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Those of you who know me know that I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to anything Amrut. I heard about this distillery from Bangalore from an Indian friend of mine and was then pleasantly surprised to hear that a certain Mr Murray had rated it as his Top 3 for the year.
Intrigued I set about trying to snag a bottle but given the distillery's ridiculously tiny output and (at that time) limited distribution it was proving to be an extremely tough assignment.
Anyway, after much perseverance (twelve calls to the distillery and a friend traveling from India) I somehow finally managed two. Luckily for me it was totally worth the favor I had to reluctantly pull.
At 46% they were intended for the local Indian market which gave me a hankering for the 50% export expression. By that time my local distributor had some in stock so it was much easier scoring a third bottle.
Amrut Fusion is a blend of peated Scottish barley and un-peated Himalayan barley. Distilled separately using water from Punjab both spirits are left to mature independently for three to five years in ex-Bourbon barrels and then married together to create what is, arguably, my favorite thing to come out of India.
This sample is from Batch No 10 bottled in May 2011 and opened over two years ago. The oxidization seems to have made this even better than I remember.
Nose: Strong barley. Honey. Peat. Salt. Coffee. Chocolate. Mocha. Perfectly ripe bananas. Crisp pears. All spice. Hint of husk and breakfast cereal. Funnily enough it has a sherry quality to it even though there is none involved. A warm captivating nose.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel. Peppers. Orange marmalade. Honey. Raisins. Figs. Almonds. Cream puff. Chocolate. And that oak. It's the perfectly crafted oak that makes this delivery quite sensational.
Finish: Oily. Long. Spices. And that magnificent oak.
This is the dram that put a traditional rum making distillery on to the whisky map. The expressions that followed were genius but they were dared on the back of this savant.