Whisky Advocate

Whisky Advocate Award: New World Whisky of the Year

February 6th, 2012

Amrut Two Continents (2nd Edition), 50%, $100

It’s been a great year for whiskies from less traditional whisky territories, both in terms of new distilleries coming on line, and for distilleries bottling quality spirit for the first time. Choosing one winner has been a challenge, and honorable mentions should go to Glann ar Mor in France, Mackmyra in Sweden, Kavalan in Taiwan, and St. George’s in England for each releasing more than one outstanding whisky this year, and to Lark for continuing to produce stunning and impressively different single malt whisky.

But the award goes to Amrut for its second batch of Two Continents.  In fact, Amrut released four whiskies that could have lifted the crown, but two were very small scale and were all but gone before they were released. This one, which was first released a couple of years back to widespread acclaim, reappears in a slightly different format, and is even better than the original.  It’s an absolute peach of a malt and combines spirit made with Indian malt matured in Scotland with Scottish malt matured in India. The innovative approach to whisky making across the portfolio, the diversity of flavors, and in this case, the rich, complex, unique, and exciting oral explosion would impress anyone. Honorable mentions, too, for Amrut Portonova and Amrut Fusion, which would feature in any New World top ten for 2011. That’s some achievement for the distillery. Can’t wait to see what they come up with next. —Dominic Roskrow

Whisky Advocate’s Blended/Blended Malt Whisky of the Year will be announced here, tomorrow.

19 Responses to “Whisky Advocate Award: New World Whisky of the Year”

  1. Andre Girard says:

    Good pick…

    Really love Amrut products. Sherry Intermediate, Two continents, Peated cask strength, so nice products and a lot of of interesting stuff coming from emerging countries. Glann ar Mor really improve in their last bottling, specially with their Kornog Peated.

    So much people still stick to traditional single malts productors, they are missing a lot of good stuff from new countries.

  2. Neil Fusillo says:

    Amrut has some really fine whiskies. It’s a shame they’re so difficult to find in my local market. It took forever before we got Fusion here (by then, I’d ordered a couple of bottles online and had had them for maybe half a year). It’s unlikely we’ll see this one.

  3. Jeff says:

    Any leads on where this might be available in the NJ/NY/CT metro area? Two likely suspects, Park Avenue Liquor and Shoppers Vineyard, don’t have it (or the Portonova, for that matter).

  4. Stevely says:

    Amrut is doing something amazing with whisky that’s for sure. I sampled the Portonova and Two Continents at the Victoria Whisky Festival and was very impressed. I like the fact that they are consistently putting out quality NAS whiskies. The hot climate they have must have a great influence on the whisky aging process. After all, the Fusion has no whisky older than six years! This interesting fact should make small distillers take notice and that there is a future out there for them in producing young quality products.

  5. Raj Sabharwal says:

    Thank you all for your comments. As the US importer of Amurt we are proud of the innovations and awards of Amrut. There were limited amounts of Two Continents (57 cases) and Portonova (45 cases) that made it to the US.
    There is still some Two Continents available via our NY/NJ distributor.
    If anyone needs help in sourcing please contact me at Raj@purplevalleyimports.com
    Amrut Kadhambam (another innovation and a great dram) arrives in April
    Cheers
    Raj

  6. Gal Granov says:

    A lovely dram, although i would pick the Portonova over this one…

  7. mongo says:

    “It’s an absolute peach of a malt and combines spirit made with Indian malt matured in Scotland with Scottish malt matured in India. ”

    is that right? it’s not what it says on the box in the picture. on the box it says it’s made entirely from indian barley (though what these “North West Provinces” are, i have no idea; india has states, not provinces), barreled and matured first in bangalore and then shipped to northern europe for a second maturation. nothing about combining indian malt matured in scotland with scottish malt matured in india. raj, can you clarify?

  8. Raj says:

    Mongo,
    You are correct. Amrut Two Continents is made from 100% Indian barley that is grown in Punjab and Rajasthan. After being mashed, distilled and aged at Amrut Distilleries in Bangalore (ageing of the whisky is in a combination of new American oak and ex-bourbon barrels). The whisky is then transferred to northern Scotland where it is aged in ex-bouron casks before being bottled.
    BTW – the Indian barley used is a strain of barley especially developed for use in brewing and distilling.
    Raj

  9. mongo says:

    thanks, raj. maybe dominic got his notes for this one mixed up with his notes for the fusion.

  10. Dominic Roskrow says:

    Big apologies – i have indeed made a mistake and I stand corrected. In mitigation, it came because for the British Whisky Masters Awards, which I chair, the judges chose Amrut Fusion as their New World Whisky winner. When it came to the Whisky Advocate Awards there was little to choose between these two outstanding expressions and we made a late call to go with Two Continents over Fusion, causing, um, con-Fusion on my part. I am really sorry.

    • mongo says:

      but dominic the amrut fusion is also not made by combining “spirit made with Indian malt matured in Scotland with Scottish malt matured in India” is it? on the tube it says it’s made with a mix of peated scottish barley and indian barley, and matured in bangalore.

      is there another amrut bottling that is made in the way you describe?

      • As far as I know no Amrut is made that way, but I could be wrong

        Steffen

        • Raj Sabharwal says:

          Steffen ,
          You are correct. Even Amrut Fusion is made from combining fully matured Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength and fully matured Amrut Single Malt Peated Cask Strength. Both of the malts are mashed, distilled and aged it the Distillery. The combination of the two whiskies are then aged in ex-Bourbon barrels before being bottled.
          None of Amrut’s Single Malts contain whisky that has been produced or aged in Scotland (or any other country).
          Cheers

  11. mongo says:

    i expect there’ll be a correction in the next issue of the magazine. the current issue, which must have been in press as the announcements were being made on the blog, replicates the error.

© Copyright 2014. Whisky Advocate. All rights reserved.