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Amrut Single Malt Whisky

Average score from 11 reviews and 27 ratings 81

Amrut Single Malt Whisky

Product details

  • Brand: Amrut
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 40.0%

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@markjedi1
Amrut Single Malt Whisky

Amrut is a household name by now on the Belgian whisky scene, but that has only been the case for about a decade. Some very special releases have been seen, but I would like to try their original releases once more, which I first tried in 2009. Today, I will taste a more recent offering, bottled on the 2nd July 2015. The nose is quite powerful and spicy and apart from the sweet fruitiness it actually has an oriental side to it. Think cardamom, curry powder and some sandal wood. Funny, no? This Indian whisky reminds me of India. But it is a lot less fruity than I remember from older batches. On the palate, the sweet fruit is more outspoken. It offers both white and yellow fruit, but the spices overpower the whole a little. Oranges, lemon and apricots, some almonds and loads of wood spices. But it is really good. The finish is medium long, peppery and sweet. Nice but mostly interesting malt, but I preferred the earlier batch a tad. Thanks for the sample, Pat!

In Alberta where it's available the standard single malt is now bottled at 46%, and appears to be a high quality product. I've tried about 13 different expressions and never found one I would score under 85.

@Nozinan

I readily admit that I enter any Amrut review with a bias and so I disclose this right from the outset. I have never tasted an expression from this distillery that I didn’t enjoy a lot. I take the opportunity to try any expression that is new to me, and I have never been disappointed. But with the riches of variety in Canada (for a while at the LCBO but more consistently in Calgary) I’ve never tried the closest thing that passes for an entry level malt from them.

It seems that in this case, an entry level expression is bottled at 46%. This is the lowest ABV I have seen or tasted of any Amrut. The miniature canister clearly states that it is non-chill-filtered and that there is no colour added. It is NAS but we all know that time in the cask means something completely different in India than it does in Scotland. This is a craft-presented whisky. The bottle itself indicates it contains spirit from batch 53, bottled March 2013.

Is it possible for an Entry Level Amrut to hold its own against its cask strength brethren?


I reviewed this slightly differently than my usual. The initial nosing and tasting were done neat. Because many Amrut expressions transform magically with a little warmth, I then used the modified Ashok Manoeuvre (warming the covered glass with the air expelled from my desktop computer) and smelled and tasted again. Then I let it cool, added water (a few drops only), waited, smelled, tasted, and then rewarmed.

The miniature was freshly opened, and I used one half of the 50 cc contents for this review.

Nose:

Neat - Fruity, hint of vanilla in the background. Faint whiff of unripe (green) bananas and pineapple. Warming intensifies the fruitiness of the nose, especially the banana. Elegant nose. 22/25

With water, I get a hint of butterscotch or caramel added. Maybe the intensity of the fruit is slightly increased. I like it, but I will leave the same mark .(22/25)

Taste:

Neat – spicy heat, fruit, sweet arrival drying on the development with a sour tangy note. Definite vanilla, oak. Warming brings out the pineapple and tropical fruit sourness and a richness to the flavour. The mouth-feel is thinner than higher ABV offerings but the flavours, while weaker, are defined if more subtle. 22/25

Water and time make it more spicy. More vanilla, and a little thinner on the mouthfeel. (22/25)

Finish is medium long, dry. With water, and more so with warmth I get a slight hint of grapefruit pith (similar to Greedy Angels but less pronounced) 22/25

Balance: The nose and the palate are very much in synch. 22/25 - With water there is a touch too much spiciness that overwhelms some of the flavours. 21/25

Score Neat: 88/100
With water: 87/100


Overall this is an excellent whisky, one that makes me think of the single cask bottling I have been enjoying since July. It is not quite as complex and it is a little underpowered compared to its “older” siblings of higher ABV.

Would I buy it? I don’t think so. Not because it isn’t good enough. It certainly is. But the flavours of this whisky can be found in the unpeated cask strength and single (bourbon)cask versions, with more intensity, and I have a number of those bottles on hand.

If you are looking for a good example of Amrut and this is the only unpeated bourbon-matured expression available, I highly recommend this. If you have comparable (and affordable) cask strength options available, I would recommend those.

If offered a dram of this I would definitely not say no.

Head to head with the Amrut Bourbon cask (single cask) they have their similarities. This one is more subtle and is overshadowed by its stronger ABV cousin. I poured the last 5 cc of the 46% in with the bourbon cask and it was essentially swallowed up.

I'm glad to hear that Amrut delivers on all levels!

@MaltActivist

I have had a love affair with Amrut ever since I first heard of them a few years ago. They are easily the most intriguing brands out there. Young, exotic, brash and not afraid to take risks. And, boy, do they come out with some corkers!

And while we all go gaga over their insane experiments it's this humble expression that started it all. Initially distilled and aged for just one year it was used exclusively in blends. However, a stroke of fate (and a blending decision) meant that there was a lot of unused stock left over. A decision was made to leave it for longer to see what would happen. The result? This particular liquid.

Made exclusively from Indian barley and matured in oak barrels this super young whisky (it's between 3-4 years thanks to faster maturation in hot Indian weather) feels and tastes like a 12 year old!

Nose: Lots of salty sweet pineapples and lemon drops. The young age and freshness comes through a nice sugarcane, cucumber and coriander juice. The malted milk in the first couple of sniffs disappears and is replaced by a husky almond oak.

Palate: Strong like all Amruts tend to be. The lemon sponge cake is peppered with cumin seeds, husky nuts and a drizzle of fish oil.

Finish: Medium to long with it's oaky white pepper in lemon mist.

This is not my favorite Amrut - only because my favorite Amrut is miles ahead of anything I've ever tasted. But if you want to be shocked and taken on an exotic journey then my advice would be to start here.

@hunggar

I’ve always wanted to try Amrut, but I hadn’t had a chance to until recently. The reviews for the standard single malt tend to suggest that it’s an average dram, but I won’t be dissuaded. I’m determined to see how unique and “Indian” tasting an Indian whisky truly is.

Nose: Loads of banana in here. Almost a baked quality to the banana scent, like banana muffins or banana bread. Nuts. Some melon as well. Wheat, barley, and cereal dance about behind the prominent fruit. Once in a while I get a whiff of white wine, but it seems to come and go. There is the lightest of a peat presence in here, too. Nice fruity nose, overall.

Palate: Creamy and silky smooth arrival. The banana from the nose is noticeable again. A very warming and gentle vanilla. Not overly sweet. Some faint peat in here, too. Overall this is a lovely whisky.

Finish: The creamy smoothness that greeted us on the arrival helps carry us smoothly through to the finish. More banana notes, but they’re less sweet now. Nuts again. The gentle spice remains, with hints of peat and oak.

There are two things that I find particularly pleasant here. First, the creamy consistency. It’s milky and smooth, even sipped neat. Second, that predominant banana note that comes in at the nose and stays until the finish. What’s interesting is that the note seems to change and evolve. At first, it’s sweet like a muffin or banana bread. On the palate it’s more akin to a banana split, as it seems to mesh beautifully with the vanilla flavours. Towards the finish the sweetness tends to dissipate and I’m reminded of overripe bananas.

Another reviewer compared this to an Isle of Jura offering. I wouldn’t have thought of that, but I tend to agree. It’s like Isle of Jura minus the salt and maritime notes. The vanilla notes, and the general flavour profile and the medium-spicy kick tend to be quite comparable. But this has a thicker and smoother mouthfeel. But the comparison works.

So is it “Indian?” Meh. Hard to say. But it’s good. Overall, this stuff is not going to rock your world, but it’s unique, smooth, gentle, balanced, and charming.

@Rantavahti

Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky was rich but easy to drink, yet a bit too fruity for my taste. This might sound crazy but though it was rich with flavors, it was a bit too one-sided because of it's major sweet spots.

I did detect some spiciness but not enough to make it interesting enough for my taste. Surely people will love this one, it was balanced nicely.

But for Amrut Single Malt, I will reason that it's just like watching the movie The Beach by Danny Boyle. At times it's entertaining but occasionally a bit boring or just a bit too tricky. Overall it's decent but at the same time you just feel happy for the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio chose The Beach and let Christian Bale do American Psycho. My point being: the world needs Amrut Single Malt but I'm glad that there's lots of other alternatives to pick from. Everybody wins.

For fairness, this would go nicely at the beach and it's an OK dram to enjoy while relaxing at the poolside or at your summer cottage's terrace.

Nose: Barley mixed with nuts and citrus fruits.

Taste: Spicy and fruity. The barley gets a touch of honey and apricot. Wee spices in the mix as well.

Finish: Malty and full of sweet and green fruits. Rum nicely in the aftertaste but it's a shame it fades away quickly.

Balance: Rich and interesting but I guess it's too fruity for my taste.

@squidboy007

This is an interesting one. The nose is fruity, almost banana-centric. It also has a strong, stinging spice to it. The taste is not easily anticipated by the nose- it is a strong, earthy taste, even slightly smoky. The spice taste remains throughout, however. It loses its appeal after some tastes, but it's worth trying at least once! If you're a fan of spice-with-fruit notes in your whisky, you'll love it.

@YakLord

I picked up this bottle in July 2010 while in vacation in Calgary (long before the LCBO had even thought about stocking Amrut), and have been working my way through it over the past 25 months. It has improved over time, the nose picking up a few more traces, the palate developing a delectable spiciness, and the finish lengthening.

I generally do not drink this whisky on its own; rather, I tend to pair it with curries or other East Indian foods (onion bhaji, samossas, pakoras, etc.). Diageo's 'Malt Matcher' suggests Talisker 10 is the ideal match for a curry dish, but I've found that the Amrut works quite nicely, with the whisky's flavours balancing well with either a very spicy dish (such as a tandoori and dansak), where it cuts the spice, or a sweet dish (a kashmiri or korma), where it adds a contrast.

There is spice (garam masala?), some vanilla, and faint hint of peat and smoke on the nose - sort of like a milder version of the Jura Superstition - and the palate reminds me a little bit of Glenlivet 12 year-old or Johnnie Walker Black Label, but there is also something else in it that provides a nice, mildly spicy burn with no bitter aftertaste, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

All things considered, the Amrut Single Malt is quite satisfying, and different (and that it should be, as it is distilled and aged in India using malted Indian barley, which is a different strain of barley from that used in Single Malt Scotch whisky). The fact that it is not chill-filtered, and bottled at 46% ABV only adds to the experience.

Those are a couple good questions. First, no, I haven't tried Fusion yet, but it is one of the only Amrut expressions that the LCBO now carries, so I'll definitely have to think about it.

Second,I'd never really thought about drink/food in that way (other than beer and pretzels or beer and bbq food. You may be onto something there, @CanadianNinja.

Growing up, my parents didn't really drink at all - except for wine at holiday dinners. My parents-in-law, on the other hand, are big wine (and micro-brew) people and tend to have wine and/or beer with Saturday night meals...perhaps it was the 15 months I spent in Japan that influenced me, since whenever we went anywhere for dinner, karoake, bowling, etc., there was always food and alcohol.

As for the baking, I just like baking, and the LCBO puts out really nice promotional magazines (for free!) that often contain really good recipes, and have suggestions for pairings. Of the last four cakes I've done, three were from the LCBO magazines. All of the recipes are online - you should check out their database: www.lcbo.com/fooddrink/recipes.shtml

Yes, aside from the 'obvious' combinations, there isn't a real appreciation of beverage / cuisine combinations. As I pointed out, the LCBO Food & Drink magazine seems to be taking steps to educate people about pairing wine, etc., with foods (the LCBO even offers Tutored Tasting classes for wine and whisky at some of its larger stores). But I do have to agree, in general, North Americans tend to be beer and BBQ / out at the bar drinkers and to not mix alcohol with food. @BlissInABarrel - what is your take on this?

@chrisrbarrett

Yellowish-green in colour. Light and fresh (young) whisky on the nose. At first taste there is some cereal and heat. Overall impression is fairly simple whisky.

@Alanjp

I’d been reading a lot about Amrut whiskies here on this website, and almost went to a blind tasting of Amrut at The Whisky Exchange last year (time conspired against me on that). So I thought that it was about time I bought myself a bottle and finally found out what all the fuss was about.

It didn’t take me long to realise what I had been missing out on. It has a beautiful aroma, both fruity and spicy, and that continues as you give it a taste. It also had a sweetness to it, which made it a wonderful all-round tasting experience, and it went down very easily! The taste doesn’t linger too long though, just enough to enjoy the experience and leave you wanting another dram!

India isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of whisky, but the quality of this unpeated beauty highlights the fact that they will be a force to be reckoned with on the single malt whisky market. It is a superb dram and one that should be sampled by every whisky drinker, if only to say you’ve tried it once!

It’s a decent price, easy to get your hands on, so there is no excuse not to sample it!

@OJK

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: A floral welcome, with pencil shavings scattered in the air like confetti. A buffet of tangerine syrup and sweet egg sushi is served up on yeasty bread. Somewhere underneath there's a rogue element of citrus washing up liquid which slightly undermines the otherwise enticing nose. 1.5

Taste: A medium-bodied sweetshop on the palate, with plenty of liquorice and ginger-snaps to add a bit of soft-spice balance to the indulgent fudge and chocolate nougat. 2.0

Finish: We stick around in the sweetshop for the finish, especially when sweet fizzing mango sherbet is on offer, not to mention a second helping of gloriously soft fudge. 2.0

Balance: Overall a very smooth and sweet offering, with plenty of defined and rich flavours to savour. A sweetshop it may be, however there is also a healthy balance of subtly spiced notes on offer, from the pencil shavings on the nose, to the ginger on the palate, and the soft fizz on the finish. A very subtle contribution it may be, however it offers the necessary backbone to this whisky that without it would otherwise be the kind of sweetshop experience that leaves you with a toothache. 2.0

Nice review as always @OJK

Much appreciated @LeFrog

@markjedi1

Amrut Single Malt Whisky is created from Indian malted barley that is grown in Punjab and Rajasthan at the Northwestern border of India. Tasting this blind, you might easily take this for a good 10 Year Old Speyside whisky, which provest hat the Indian climate speeds up the maturing process.

The nose is very powerful with oak, milk chocolate, almonds, apricots and spices.

It’s light and fruity on the palate, with barley and coconut.

The finish is medium long with peppers and again the taste of the oak lingers.

This was the unpeated version, mind you, and available for around 30 EUR. Strangely enough, Amrut does NOT sell it’s whisky in India itself…?!

jep, no religious limitations in selling whisky in India... If I would compare the quantities of whisky I've drunk by now, the major share has been drunk on Indian soil :D Also my JW Gold Label has been presented to my by my uncle in Mumbai, with whom and a few friends I have tasted a JW Blue Label... I have no idea why Amrut is not selling in the Indian market. I can only imagine the other companies are already divided it amongst them and Amrut wanted to have a steady income from the European market before trying to muscle into the Indian market...

India is the largest consumer of whiskey and other alcohol so its nothing religious, alcohol consumption and merry making with it is mentioned in the oldest of Indian texts, the Vedas which are over 8000 year old mention alcohol consumption by the Gods and Goddesses. Amrut concentrated marketing its scotch to west and according to them, they plan to launch it in India in near future, its now available in Bangalore so if anyone is there, they can check it out.

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