I first noticed Amrut in one of local Department stores (Fenwick) in Newcastle and like probably everyone else thought “that’s odd !” . The next time i came across it was at the First Newcastle Whisky Festival in May 2009 , Ashok was dishing drams out left , right and centre to eager Drammers , not the ideal place to try it but the peated one i tried was very nice . Move on to September 2009 and one of Eddies “Whisky Lounge” Tastings , Scotland Versus India , 3 of Scotlands finest tasted Blind against 3 Amruts ! Now this was the ideal way to try them , not knowing what you were drinking , no prejudices , no preconceived thoughts , just the malt ! I have to say i think everyone was shocked , except Ashok , that the Amruts won the night , deservedly so ! We had a great night , Ashok told us about the history and production methods of the distillery , gave us an insight into the area around the distillery and above all opened our eyes to the Product he was promoting . I bought a Fusion and a peated Cask Strength that night , it was just the start…….
What was even more surprising was the revelation that the Global office was Amrut was based in Newcastle , about 3 miles from where i sit writing this , and as Ashok is always saying “Newcastle is the Spiritual Home of Indian Whisky !” .
I’m now a major fan of Amrut , having purchased quite a few bottles , if it’s good i will drink it and by god this stuff is good ! Since then we’ve had a launch of a new expression of Amrut in Newcastle (Well Gateshead to be more precise….) , A Few facts about Amrut…….
The distillery is in Bangalore , the Garden City of India at 3,000ft above sea level . It was opened in 1948 , the year after independence , it didn’t start life as a Malt distillery , that didn’t come till much later , it has 4 stills (2 wash , 2 spirit) with a capacity of 5,000 litres . The Barley for their Unpeated Malt is sourced from the North of India (at the feet of the Himalayas…) , The Peated Malt (at 24ppm) is fetched in from Scotland (Inverness) as they don’t have the facilities to do the peating on site . They use a mixture of Old and New American Oak Barrels to mature their stock in , they never use larger Casks than Barrels . They are matured in Rack Warehousing where the “Angels Share” runs at an average of 12% per year (up to 16% at the top of the rack and over 10% at the bottom ) , this is due to the extremely high tempeature differences during the year , very cold in the winter , very hot in the summer ! The oldest cask they have in the warehouses is just over 6yo , The malts are actually bottled younger than this but one of the posive outcomes of the high temperature is that the malt Matures very fast !
Amrut Whisky – http://www.amrutwhisky.co.uk
Amrut Distillery – http://amrutdistilleries.com