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A Review of One of the Best Single Malt Whiskey's in the World: Amrut Fusion

MG is an air warrior and a global traveler well as an amateur astrologer who loves to visit and explore new places.


Single Malt

British rule had its spin-off and there are many things which they gave to India. One of the items introduced in India is what is known as IMFL Indian made foreign liquor and that includes whiskey and Rum. These were unknown commodities in India though the Indians used to ferment wine. Scotland is generally considered the home of whiskey and it is also the state which first introduced a single malt in the world.

The single malt is pure whiskey of the highest quality and is not blended with any other taste. It is also fermented in a single cask in a single brewery and the product is marketed maybe after 10 or 12 years. Single malt whiskey is exclusive and generally is much costlier than blended whiskey. Scotland is home for the single mart whiskey and some of the best single malts in the world come from Scotland. The names that immediately come to mind are the Macallan, the Balvenie, the Glenlivet, the Glenmorangie, and many more.

One of the topmost breweries in India the Amrut distillery has a decade back launched a single malt comparable whiskey. Experts from Scotland were hired to ferment and manufacture this whiskey. This whiskey has now been around for more than a decade and in 2010 won the Young World Whiskey Distillery award. It's a pricey whiskey but thankfully it's available in the Armed Forces canteen at a subsidized rate and that is where I have been able to lay my hands on it the first time. Subsequently, I have seen and drunk this whiskey in almost all the high-end bars in Dubai and London and it has been a pleasure to partake of it as one of the glorious products of India.


Amrut Fusion

Amrut single malt whiskey appeared on the scene after 20 years of research by the Amrut Distilleries Private Limited. The aim was to produce high-quality malt whiskey in tune with world standards. The whiskey is made from select Indian malted barley grown in Punjab and Rajasthan the northwest frontier states of India. In Punjab, the waters from the great Himalayas flow through the Sutlej and irrigate the land which grows the grains. The cold winters and fiery summers create a unique quality of grain-rich in flavor. Malting takes place at maltsters in Jaipur and Delhi according to the standards laid down by ADPL.

The malted barley is then transported to South India to the city of Bangalore where the Amrut distillery is located. Experts from Scotland now oversee the product where the grain is mashed and then distilled in small batches to preserve the natural aroma. The whiskey then undergoes maturation in imported wood oak casks for over three years. This maturation is greatly helped by the unique tropical climate in Bangalore. The intense maturation leads to a considerable amount of whiskey being lost as 'angels share'.

The city situated at an altitude of 3000 feet above msl and has a unique geographical location to help mature the product. To maintain the natural character of the products the whiskey is not chill-filtered. This lends its own individuality to the product.


Last word

When you open the bottle there is a mild aroma that is intoxicating to a connoisseur of whiskey. A few of the classic testing and tasting parameters of this whiskey which has a proven strength of 46% are given below.

Nose. The whiskey has distinctly confident licorice- Bourbon note. It has a near-perfect bittersweet balance of burnt honeycomb and toffee. The aroma itself will overwhelm a drinker.

Taste. Coming to the taste, the whiskey shows that it has an outstanding richness and sheen mainly due to the enormous barley-oak sweetness. The barley adds the extra dimension to the Bourbony cut of licorice and molasses sugar.

Finish. The whiskey has a smooth finish mainly because of the long wonderfully layered oak variations which lead to a sweet dry theme with a touch of silk with some cream toffee at the death. This makes for a wonderful flavor.

The old saying that proof of the pudding is in its eating. The Amrut Fusion whiskey has carved a niche for itself in the world of whiskey and has been declared as the third finest whiskey in the world by Jim Murray Whisky bible 2018. That is some achievement in comparison to the more famous Scotch whiskeys going around


MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 23, 2020:

Alan, you foxed me there. Let's get one thing `and that is as far as my knowledge of the history of the war in India the British never sent Irish regiments to India, I don't know why and secondly never thought of the spelling. Have been using this spelling for decades and also in Indian English literature embodied by Kushwant Singh and John Masters. Beats me on the spelling. I think I must make a point here about the English language. It is not only the Associate official language of the country but nearly 500,000,000 Indians know English and that's more than the combined population of United States and England.

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Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 23, 2020:

If the Irish version didn't take on in India - although there would've been Irish regiments with the British Army in that part of the world - how come you use the Irish word. The Scots' word hasn't got an 'e' in it, i.e., spelt 'whisky'.

That's what's puzzled me all along here.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 23, 2020:

Thanks, Alan that's a fair amount of knowledge about the grouse. Somehow Irish whiskey has not caught on in India and maybe because the British ruled here it is the scotch that is the preferred whiskey. There is no comparative phrase 'to your health' in any Indian language. The Sikhs have a form of greeting Sat Sri Akal. Even 'çheers' doesn't exist in an Indian language but in any case, hell of a lot of English words have been adopted into Indian languages.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 22, 2020:

It's an open area bird, emge. Where there are now moors were once dense broadleaf forests. The Celts first began to denude the upland forests in the pursuit of metal extraction and production of swords as well as shields and decorative wear. We had the Bronze Age, then around the time the Romans came the Iron Age further depleted the woodlands.

The Romans went a step further, their mines occupying the prime metal-bearing uplands, where the remainder of forests north from Cheshire and Derbyshire in the Peak district and sub-Pennine uplands were used up. Agriculture is useless up there, so sheep farming largely occupies the region. Sheep clear much of the vegetation cattle can't digest, but can't digest heather.

So in comes our Master Grouse, a cousin of the Capercaillie. Grouse are not 'farmed', but their spread is controlled - unlike pheasants, that run all around roadways and get themselves killed - and their numbers are managed. The North Yorkshire Moors are a centre of operations for grouse management, as are the moorlands north of the border in Scotland.

Peat is cultivated as a 'self-perpetuating' fuel in marsh areas in both regions, although Scotland is the undisputed centre of whisky production in mainland Britain, followed by whiskey in Ireland, largely Northern Ireland, or Ulster, the 'springboard' of the whiskey/whisky distilling culture, "the water of life", which brings me back to where I came in.

There's a Gaelic word that means, "[to your] health". Is there a Sikh word for the same that you can lift your glass with?

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 22, 2020:

Thanks, Alan, that's a lot of interesting information. Probably the bird thrives only in a cold and temperate climate that why it's not found in the tropics. I am still intrigued why scotch is named after this bird/ Maybe because it must be popular and common in Scotland.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 22, 2020:

Grouse is a moorland bird that nests in the heather, emge. Not only Scotland but England also has large tracts of heather moorland that's regularly burnt off the tops to encourage growth and therefore create or maintain habitat for grouse. The grouse season starts on 'The Glorious Twelfth', i.e., August 12th (although this year it was shelved), with beaters recruited locally for groups of 'shooters' who come from all walks of life, notably the professional and wealthy. The beaters drive the grouse towards the shooters who are usually based in small, open bivouacs on the moor tops. The beaters stop before they reach the moor and fan out to the side to drive the birds in from the shooters' flanks. Dogs are sent out to retrieve the dead birds. Grouse that escape the shoot breed for the following season.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 22, 2020:

Alan, I absolutely agree with you, it is sacrilegious to mix soda with good whiskey. VAT 69 okay stuff and one of the older brands, I have been seeing this brand since my school days. I have not drunk black grouse or even blue label. But the Red label is very common and I like it also. Incidentally, is the grouse a common bird in England? I read such a lot of hunters going in to shoot grouse. How come whiskey carries the grouse name?

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 22, 2020:

Thank you, Umesh for commenting. Are you a whiskey drinker? If so which is your favorite?

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 22, 2020:

Very elaborate and well presented.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 22, 2020:

That's the one I couldn't remember the name of - Jack Daniels.

When I've had Johnny Walker it's been Red Label as the Black Label was only available for export. Now it's available generally I've gone off it. Irony, eh? Haven't tried Black Grouse yet. It's more expensive than the ordinary Famous Grouse (when you go into a bar/pub, try out the barmaid's/barman's knowledge and ask for a 'low flier'; that sorts the knowledgable from the 'greenhorns' - ever seen grouse fly? Not straight up in the air like ducks or geese, pheasants or even pigeons, they 'spook' along just a foot or so from the ground like owls on the hunt, that's why at a grouse shoot they keep everyone back while the guns go off).

Having sorted that out, when I was in Austria back in the 60's the boneheads there were hooked on 'Vat 69' with ice and soda. Yeugh!! Ice is bad enough, but soda in whisky (or whiskey if you're a Yank or Paddy) is downright sacrilege!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 22, 2020:

Alan you have given a wealth of information, thank you for it. I have gone through and tasted almost all the whiskeys which you have mentioned and out of non-single malts, I prefer Chivas Regal. Though Johnny Walker Black label is pretty good as well. Whiskey is a personal choice and once you get hooked on a brand you tend to like it a little too much as I got hooked on Macallan about 3 years back and now I like it a hell of a lot. I have tasted and drunk Irish and American whiskey. Good staff in particular Jack Daniels. I feel I am still a student of whiskey and its manufacture and it's a wonderful world and it's so great to have a person like you who knows so much about whiskey as a friend.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 21, 2020:

In other words you like a Scots (or Canadian) whisky, as opposed to an Irish or US whiskey. It's all in the spelling.

I've been through a range of whisky or whiskies. My Dad and Grandad favoured Teachers. I've had Bells', Johnnie Walker, Macallan, Highland Park (yup, the wife brought a nicely discounted bottle back from her travels), and these days I prefer a Famous Grouse.

I've had American products before, with Southern Comfort topping the bill back in my 20's and early 30's. I've had that Kentucky product they all raved about a few years back. Of the Irish I like a Bushmills, although I've had a couple of others.

I'll buy a bottle if family hasn't bought one for me for Christmas or birthdays. Buying shorts in a pub is a waste of cash - the mark-up is astronomical.

Aye laddie, a wee drap tastes nice on the tongue.

(Go back in history and you'll understand the transfer of whiskey-distilling crossed the water by coracle in the 5th/6th Century from Ulster to Dalriada, and it became whisky).

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 20, 2020:

Alan, thanks for all the information provided by you. I love my whiskey and my favorite is the Macallan. Each Macallan single malt whisky reveals unrivalled commitment to the mastery of wood and spirit since 1824.I have never been to where it is manufactured. Just an aside my GF drinks double to me and never a hangover. Thats the hallmark of great single malt. Fusion is not bad but not a patch on the Macallan.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 20, 2020:

Interesting, emge.

You probably know already whiskey/whiskey is a uniquely distilled 'creation'. I have to initiate you further. 'Whiskey' (spelt that way) is firstly the Irish form of "the water of life", the type preferred in the US. 'Whisky' (spelt the other way) is the Scots' version (preferred in Canada) with its roots in the Highlands & Islands as far north as Mainland, Orkney where the Highland Park is located, who distil a pure, non-blended whisky of various ages.

A peat distillation is produced in one type of cask made of American hardwood for a particular period, and then they produce one distilled over coke (decarbonised coal) that they store in casks from Spanish sherry makers as the wood is impregnated with the sherry essence. This is a pricier brand. The distilleries around Scotland use various methods, priced from the cheaper Bells' to one matured for 35 years. Of the Scots' whiskies, Highland Park is considered one of the finest, its priciest is around £2,000. [Reason I know this is my wife went to Mainland, Orkney one year to look around its pre-Celtic and Norse historical finds, and stayed at a hotel owned by the Highland Park distillery].

Just thought you'd like to know.

Bourbon, also favoured in the US, is a form of Irish whiskey.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 20, 2020:

Sp Greaney, nice information provided by you.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 20, 2020:

Thank you, Liz, yes, Scotland remains the home of the best quality scotch.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 20, 2020:

That's great to see other breweries producing whiskeys that are so well respected. I didn't know that they were producing products for this sector.

Bushmills here produces something similiar but it's pricey

Liz Westwood from UK on October 20, 2020:

This is a fascinating article. We recently went on a tour around a whisky distillery in Scotland.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 20, 2020:

Thank you Flourish, it's such a pleasure to read your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 20, 2020:

Clearly this is a man who loves his whiskey. I was really engaged by your detailed description as it is detailed. Only an aficionado/connoisseur can do so like that.

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