The meaning of the word ‘Amrut’ literally translates to ‘the ‘Elixir of life’, is the first single malt whisky to be ever produced in India. Battling prejudices and finally managing to convince the experienced Scottish consumer that Indian malt could be on par with their Scottish counterpart, Amrut Whisky has come a long way.
Amrut Whisky History
Based in Bengaluru, the company which was founded in 1948 was a local supplier for Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). They faced a lot of difficulty initially, because original production of alcoholic beverages was not a priority in the county. Ultimately, in 1982 the brand created a premium blend with barley and malt, going away from the traditional Indian method of manufacturing whisky with molasses. Since the ‘angels’ share’ is higher in India because of the advanced heat, Amrut finally cracked the method to get the same level of maturity and taste profiles that a Scotch does and launched Amrut Whisky in the European market. Eventually, the company gained traction and decided to debut their Amrut Single Malt Whisky in Europe. There was some reluctance in the market because it was the general belief that Indian single malts don’t meet the same standards as a Scotch. However, several blind tastings later Amrut was not only accepted, but loved. It is now available in North America, Europe and Scandinavian countries. As of now in India, Amrut is only available in Karnataka and Mumbai.
Amrut Whisky Production
Amrut distillery is located near Bengaluru city. Another re-distillation unit operates in Kerala. Amrut is one of the few companies where technology and automation hasn’t taken over completely. The owners are in favour of providing employment for maximum people; hence the distillery relies on manual labour for almost all of its functions. Each bottle is carefully packaged by people; most of which are women. Amrut procures the barley for the whisky from the northern regions of India, while the peated barley comes from Scotland. Amrut distilleries also produce other alcoholic beverages like gin, run, vodka and brandy.
Types of Amrut Whisky
Amrut’s single malt variants are as many as 11. A unique feature to note is that, Amrut whisky bottles do not mention the age of the malt, because the company believes that consumers who are unaware of the fast maturation in Indian weather, might not want to buy a ‘younger’ whisky when they have the option for a more aged and mature Scottish kind. Some of the Amruts you ought to try include:
Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky
Amrut’s first and a classic. Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky is matured in New American oak and contains a hint of bourbon. A true connoisseur’s whisky!
Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky
A combination of Scottish peated barley and unpeated Indian, this one is promoted and named as out and out Indian malt.
Amrut Intermediate Sherry
This Amrut whisky is first matured in ex bourbon or new casks and later transferred to a Sherry cask usually imported from Portugal or Spain. They believe that the hit of sherry is great to balance out a whisky.
‘Kadhambam’ which means concoction in Tamil, is a whisky that is aged in different casks, which is also the reason for the malt’s unique taste profiles and tones.
Amrut Two Continents Single Malt Whisky
This is a limited edition that is released every 2-3 years. These are matured in different casks.
Amrut Greedy Angels
Named after the evaporation term, ‘angels’ share’, this Amrut whisky is believed to be the oldest whisky to be ever produced in India. Because of the high evaporation rates, only 144 bottles of this were released in 2013.
Amrut whisky India have done something truly unique and taken an Indian single malt whisky to the glasses of whisky lovers all over the world, putting India on the global whisky map.