Tag Archives: Amrut

Amrut Raj igala


I’d spied this bottle on the Le Maison Du Whisky Site a while ago , recently it won a few awards so i decided to pull the trigger on it and see what it was like , at 38 Euros (about £28) it wasn’t exactly a wallet buster . This bottling is available in France (LMdW and supermarkets) and in the Far East .


Raj igala is bottled at 40% and chill filtered , the name means ‘King of the Eagles’ , the spirit is made from Indian Barley grown at the foot of the Himalayas . Golden Syrup colour in the glass and quite oily , nice legs for 40% ! Lovely nose , first thing that hit me was Millionaires shortbread , then the Amrut Liqourice mixed in with a lovely bit of exotic fruit , lots of pineapple . No let down on the palate with the lower ABV , again liqourice mixed in with a fruit salad ! Smooth across the mouthfeel with a bit of spices and pepper . The finish is quite short with a lovely warming pepper and a touch of fruit .

The quality is still there , it doesn’t disappoint , big thumbs up from me , probably a lot of people would say it’s a step backwards going down the 40% / Chill Filtered route , at least it doesn’t taste like it is ! So how does it compare to the original 40%er and the current 46%er ?

amrut40  The nose has more of the liqourice than the Raj igala , it seems to have a bit of smoke as well ! There’s a bit of digestive biscuit . On the palate it’s not as smooth , lots of spices , in particular cloves , the Amrut liqourice is there but not prominent . The finish is longer with spices , chocolate and it’s actually quite chewy .

Not a bad dram , i actually prefer the Raj igala , it’s a more relaxed and enjoyable dram and i love the exotic fruit in it . 

 The ‘Classic’ Amrut , 46% and unchilled filtered , The fruit is there on the nose , then the shortbread / caramel / chocolate (AKA Millionaires Shortbread) , love the pineapples , bananas and mangos . Eventually the liqourice appears…. The palate has a bit more of a body to it than the 2 40%ers , the liqourice is more prominent than on the nose , lots of pepper and spices (especially cloves) , The finish is longer than the previous 2 , Shortbread , chocolate , spices galore .

A great dram with a greater kicker at 46% !


Yorkshire Whisky Festival 2015


This was the 3rd of 4 Whisky festivals this year where we were representing Amrut Distilleries . Once again The Whisky Lounge Yorkshire Whisky Festival was at York Racecourse on Saturday 12th September , an ideal venue for such an event . We had the usual drams available ( Classic 46% / Classic Cask Strength / Fusion / Peated 46% / Peated Cask Strength) . Once again our drams went down well and we got lots of good feedback from the public , some even went as far as purchasing a bottle from the event shop !


yorkwf2015_2 yorkwf2015_3

Next up is the Manchester Whisky Lounge Festival……

India , Land of the Amrut…. and beep-beep!


Chapter One .   A Passage to India……

This year we’ve been doing a bit of travelling and not to islay for once ! Earlier in 2015 we headed west to Toronto again and at the end of the Summer we travelled just as far east to India . This time we could fly from our local airport rather than have to travel elsewhere .

Saturday 29th August

So we headed off to Newcastle International Airport to take the early afternoon flight to Dubai , as most people know i’m not the greatest admirers of Airports (give me Kennacraig Ferry Terminal anytime!) but at least Newcastles staff are a bit friendlier that the other UK Airport we’ve used…..

Our flight was at 1.45pm so having arrived early we settled in at the bar for a pre-flight drink and got to see our Emirates plane arrive……

(Click on the photos to see full size version)


It was going to be a long day(or two) , it was a 7 hour flight with a 3 hour time difference , i got to watch the Toon playing on the on board entertainment and watched a couple of movies , Melanie was engrossed in her Kindle . We have to say Emirates is a great airline to fly with , the staff are fantastic and the food was superb , the main meal consisted of a starter of Smoked Salmon with Pesto Potato salad , the main meal was Roast Chicken with Creamy Mash , roasted Veg with a Cranberry gravy and finished with Chocolate Pudding with a caramel sauce , rather yummy!  We arrived at Midnight to temperatures of 38 degrees C , it was like stepping off into a sauna !

Sunday 30th August

Now it was a 3 and a half hour wait for the connecting flight to Bengaluru (Bangalore ) , again not the best place to hang around for me , too busy , unless you want to shop not a lot else to do . So at 3.30am we left Dubai , it was a 4 hour flight and another 1 and a half hour time difference . We set down at Bengaluru Airport just after 9am , first thing i noticed out of the window was rows of Coconut Palm trees lining the airport perimeter , very exotic , funny what you first pick up on….. To get into India from the UK you have to go through quite a lengthy process of getting a visa , it was actually easier to get my passport ! The Bureaucracy didn’t stop there , we had 2 more forms to fill in at the airport oh and a photograph taken , eventually we got through security and exited the Airport to a first for us , someone standing at the Entrance with a sign saying “Amrut Distilleries Welcomes Gordon and Melanie Homer” , wish i’d had my Camera out , a great welcome ! Pramod (who works with Ashok and we’d met in Paris last year) was standing beside the driver , Pramod was going to be our guide over the stay . The road leading away from the Airport is beautifully landscaped , even though it was Sunday morning the roads were very busy and we got our first glimpse of Bengaluru driving , it’s very hard to describe , stock car racing without the dunching (look up dunch….) , not so much as who has right of way but ‘Who dares Wins!’ It was a very colourful drive to our hotel in the centre of the city !


Interesting Fact No.1 -The Hotel we stopped in is built on the site of the original Amrut Distillery , the land is still owned by the family , the office block is called the ‘JNR City Centre’ ( JNR – J.N. Radhakrishna , founder of the distillery) and will shortly house – (or if you’re reading this in the future) now houses – the head office of the distillery .

After getting dropped off we grabbed a bit of a nap, freshened up and went downstairs to the bar to wait for Ashok to pick us up , enjoying our first Amrut in it’s home town while watching Black Kites (the feathered variety) flying over nearby housing . IMG_20150830_163514Fusion !

Ashok took us to his new abode to meet up with Viji and their kids Asitha and Jeeva , after a coffee and a catch up we headed back into the centre of town for a meal ,  he took us to the Vivanta by Taj Hotel on the MG Road , where we dined poolside……


I have to say it was a wonderful experience , a lovely setting with good friends and wonderful food……..


Mixed Tandoori

Lentil Dal

Mint Chutney



Lamb Bhuna

Chicken Andhra

Travancore Fish Curry

Paratha Bread

My mouth is starting to water thinking about it again…….  what a great way to start a holiday off !

The Chokalingams dropped us back off at the hotel and we went to bed knowing the next day we were going to sample the nectar at it’s home .

Monday 31st August

So after a bit of a lie in and Breakfast , Ashok along with Prakash (our driver through this adventure) picked us up to take us to the Distillery , i’ve done a few tours in my time but i knew this was going to be something special . We didn’t actually go straight to the Distillery , Ashok was going to take us to somewhere special first , somewhere not a lot of people get to see . The Journey out was once again busy and very colourful , there were an amazing amount of temples along the roadside , none of them dull !


  After turning off the main Bengaluru – Mysore Road we headed along a small road littered with fruit and veg stalls , eventually we stopped at a farm which turned out to be owned by Amrut , it had a wonderful view …….


There were quite a few people employed on the farm , they had their own cattle and grew there own veg


There were Fig Trees and Coconut Palms growing , the Coconut Palms all had a number on them , so they knew if one went ‘missing’…….

3_fig_tree 2_coconut_grove

They had there own temple


And we were shown the ‘Alternative Boardroom’ by Ashok , apparently they retreat here sometimes to get away from the hussle of the distillery and enjoy a nice cup of fresh Coconut Water , which we did , and boy it doesn’t half quench your thirst !


Of course the true purpose of the farm was revealed , it is the source of the water for the production of Amrut Single Malts ! It is extracted from a 300ft deep bore hole and then tankered to the distillery….. 


After a lovely time exploring the farm , we headed to the distillery stopping at one of the roadside fruit stalls for Ashok to give us a try of the local produce , including Jackfruit , Bananas and Custard Apples . The Bananas were smaller and sweeter – and i have to say better –  than the normal ones we were used to but the real surprise were the custard apples , they actually tasted like custard . 

The Distillery…….


It may not look as pretty as some of the Scottish variety but they aren’t surrounded by Coconut palms !  On arrival we were greeted by a familiar face , the Master Distiller and Vice President (Production) of Amrut , Surrinder Kumar , we met Surrinder at Ashoks house in Newcastle a couple of years ago and spent a pleasant evening in his company . Surrinder was going to guide us around his ‘baby’ , after all he was involved with the building of the current plant in the 1980’s and has been overseeing production ever since . I’ve met some passionate people in the industry about their job and product but Surrinder tops the lot ! After a coffee to catch up we set off around the distillery…….

9_mill 10_mash_room

They’ve only had to contact the manufacturer of the mill once in nearly 30 years ! The Mash Tun has a capacity of 1 tonne.

12_mashing 13_wash_backs

they have 6 wash backs each with a capacity of 10,000 litres , the wash backs are water cooled to keep the fermentation temperature down .

14_wash_still 15_three_stills_1

They have 3 stills , 1 wash and 2 spirit , each has a charge of 5,000 litres .

16_three_stills_2 17_two_stills_1

(Left Picture above) Front right is the wash still , centre is the original spirit and the newest Spirit is at the rear.

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They don’t use both of the Spirit stills together .

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As well as Whisky production they are do Brandy here , using the original tiled containers and it’s own Column still .



Straight from the Stillroom we went into Maturation Warehouse 1 , Amrut have 8 warehouses around the distillery , in each warehouse they have a board stating the temperature and humidity , it was cooler in the warehouses than outside , a balmy 26 degrees C ! The humidity seemed to average about 56%…….

In Warehouse 1 we were shown Cask No.1 , Amrut only put numbers on the casks and not the year like the Scottish Distillers , they do know when each cask was filled ! If you look hard you can also see other indicators on the cask, a ‘ I ‘ indicates how many times it has been filled (one ‘ I ‘ = First filling , etc etc) and a ‘P’ indicates Peated Spirit . There is also a permanent reminder of when the first cask was put in to the warehouse .

24_cask_number_1 23_opening_date

There was also a strange cask in this warehouse , the pupose of this was to prove how much they lost through evaporation…….


28_melanie_and_surrinder 29_in_maturation_1

While moving between warehouses we were shown the 3 bottling plants  , the first one contained the single malt line , all the work is done by hand and the people who work on this line don’t work on any other , The filling in the bottles are hand measured , an on off switch rather than an automatic measure . Anyone wearing a green outfit in the photos is a permanent member of staff .

32_filling 33_labelling



At this point we took a break to have a spot of lunch in the offices . I have to say i could get used to their lunches  ! We then returned to the warehouses to sample a selection of Amruts finest !


For some reason i didn’t take notes of the first cask (probably the excitement !) , No.3742 , 1st fill Bourbon aged 4 Years 4 months .

The 2nd was Cask 3775 , another 4 year old 1st fill Bourbon  , this was very creamy with Millionaires Shortbread and vanilla , water brought out more creaminess and marzipan .

For the 3rd cask we moved into Peated territory , 3527 was a 3rd fill Barrel , 4 and a half year old , not an overwhelming peatiness on the nose but the usual Millionaires shortbread . there was more peat on the palate along with the shortbread .


We moved on to the Port casks next  , Port Pipe No.3877 , the spirit was 4yo but it had only been in the pipe for 1.5 years having previously been in a bourbon barrel , on the nose it was fruity and spicy , the palate was very fruity with the Amrut Liquorice , with water there were more spices ,  chocolate and shortbread . 27_casks_3

Finally we hit the sherry ! Cask 3892 , Oloroso First Fill , The spirit again was 4yo but had only been in the Oloroso cask a year and a half , What can you say , Christmas Cake ! The Full Cake….. once again Liquorice and spices . What can you say about the one’s we sampled ? Sheer quality spirit ! Surrinder is doing a cracking Job !


We once more headed back to the offices to partake of a few more samples which i can’t talk about…….. 

Before we left Surrinder gave us a momento of our visit…. 


What a fantastic day ! Surrinder and Ashok made it very special , Thanks Guys !!!

We headed off with Ashok for a meal picking up Pramod on the way , he took us to a place at the South west side of Bengaluru on the Hosur Sarjapur Road Layout called Kanua , an absolutely stunning place

India-0347 India-0348

The food Ashok ordered was so good i only wrote down one….. Chicken Ghee Roast but his selection certainly went down well with us . Melanie also got to try her first Indian Wine , a Sula Sauvignon Blanc , it was rather nice ! Loads of lovely Grapefruit and not like any other Sauvignon Blanc i’ve ever tried . It was a great way to end a rather special day , Ashok returned us to our hotel and we headed off to bed to dream of Future Amruts…….

To be Continued…….

Life on the Other Side of the Table – The Whisky Solstice


Another Whisky Lounge Festival , another City !

A new one for us , Edinburgh , a new type of venue , a tent ! This one was taking place in The Queen Street Gardens opposite the SMWS venue . 

Whisky Solstice 2015 2

The calm before the storm…… 

It turned out to be quite a nice day weather wise , sunny but not too hot , once again we had 5 Amruts on the table…….

  • Amrut Single Malt 46%
  • Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength
  • Amrut Fusion
  • Amrut Single Malt Peated 46%
  • Amrut Single Malt Peated Cask Strength 
Whisky Solstice 2015 1 Whisky Solstice 2015

We had a lot of visitors to the table , New partakers of the fine , Original Indian Single Malt Whisky and Old friends , we had lots of excellent feed back about the malts on offer and we thoroughly enjoyed our day in ‘Auld Reekie’ . The show was well attended by both exhibitors and customers , We weren’t the only one’s enjoying ourselves , everyone we talked to enjoyed the show , the venue seemed to go down a storm ! As ever it was a pleasure to represent the Distillery and spread the word on it’s fine products .

Our next festival adventure is a return to York , after a slight little diversion to Bangalore……. 

It’s been a long time since we Rock ‘n’ Rolled!


So said Led Zeppelin Many Moons ago , and it seems just as long ago we had a new batch of Amrut Peated Cask Strength in the UK ! Ok maybe not as long…… but was it 2009 ? While doing the Whisky Solstice show in Edinburgh i was very surprised to see the batch we had was a brand new one ( No.20) bottled in February of this very year .

Amrut Peated CS


Golden Syrup in colour and at the standard abv for the Peated CS of 62.8% , the nose is extremely complex , very malty with lots of smoke , a touch of Fishermans Friend , Mint , Chocolate , Caramel , Digestive Biscuits and the old Amrut Liquorice . For the strength it’s not at all harsh on the old nasal hairs ! The Strength tells on the palate but it is still extremely drinkable at full strength , it seems more medicinal than previously tried batches , again we have chocolate and liquorice with a colossally long finish of Mint Humbugs and lemon throat lozenges .  

With a touch of water  , it calms the beast down a touch , it seems to heighten the medicinalness , bringing forward the lemon but not killing anything at all .

I would  certainly put this up against any peated Islay , I thoroughly enjoyed previous batches but this one seems to have raised the bar (both the figurative and drinking one…..) . My good friend over on Twitter @AmrutMalt likes to listen to his music while enjoying a dram , definitely on the heavy Zep side this one , The aforementioned ‘Rock and Roll’ or even Kashmir….. 

Amrut Naarangi


This is the latest Amrut release , Naarangi is Hindi for Orange , to recap how the distillery produced this expression…..

They took some Oloroso sherry and put it in barrels along with Peel from Oranges from Madikeri located in the picturesque Western Ghats of India , they left this for 3 years to mature in the warehouses in Bangalore . The Sherry/Peel were then discarded and the barrels filled with 3yo Amrut Single Malt Whisky and left for a further 3 years for the spirit to absorb the Orange characteristics . Giving us the Naarangi !


Bottled at 50% , it has a beautiful Orange Marmalade going on light Amber colour , The Orange plays a big part in the initial nose , then more fruit appears – pineapple , banana and melon . There is very little of the Amrut ‘liquorice’ but there is the usual chocolate and shortbread . After a while the nose develops into an amazing Orange Millionaires Shortbread , Amazing ! The palate carries on the fruitiness , particularly the orange , but there is more of the traditional Amruts flavours here , notably the liquorice . There is a lovely spiciness to the palate , the finish is long smooth and spicy .

Probably the most relaxed Amrut ever , a pretty amazing dram keeping up the excellent reputation of this distilleries outturn !



New Releases – Greedy Angels 10yo and Naarangi


A Couple of Fantastic new releases from the Amrut Stable……

Greedy Angels Press Release

Amrut Indian Single Malt launches the collectible ‘Greedy Angels’ across the world

Amrut Distilleries, India, known for their popular range of Single Malt whiskies which include Amrut Fusion, Amrut Portonova & Amrut Peated have launched 320 bottles of ‘Greedy Angels – Chairman’s Reserve’10 years old. This whisky is the first 10 YO single malts to be produced from India and are priced at circa 500 Euros.
March 31, Bangalore, India.

Amrut Distilleries Ltd., Bangalore is a boutique distillery known for their award winning single malt whiskies. Amrut recently concluded 10 years of presence in the international markets and have launched the Amrut Greedy Angels Single Malt Whisky – 10 years old to commemorate this occasion.The distillery had launched their malts in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland by N.R. Jagdale, the Managing Director through his son Rakshit & his friend Ashok and now the malts bear unmistakable shelf presence across 40 countries. The brand peaked in the limelight in 2010 when acclaimed whisky writer, Jim Murray rated the Amrut Fusion with 97/100 points voting it the ‘3rd finest whisky in the world’ putting behind over 4000 whiskies from brands across the world. Amrut is also the only Indian whisky to feature in Ian Buxton’s ‘101 whiskies to have before you die’.

Their latest and most expensive whisky so far, the ‘Greedy Angels – Chairman’s Reserve 10 years old’ is the first 10 year old single malt to ever come out of India and is also India’s most expensive whisky so far. Given the high temperatures and humidity in India the loss of whisky during maturation is close to 10-12% in comparison to Scotland’s 1-2%. This makes ageing of these malts a very tricky affair and the quantity left for bottling quite meagre compared to what was started off with. A total of 320 bottles of these exquisite bottles are available with 284 bottles sailing to Europe & 36 to the United States of America. The specially designed package consists of a 700/750 ml crystal decanter bottled at 46% ABV and a 50 ml miniature decanter bottled at full cask strength of 71% ABV.

Industry Observers note that almost all of the bottles have been pre-sold or reserved and most of the units will end up as collectibles in shelves of aficionados. “The profile can be compared to some of the very old & rare Scottish single malts”, notes Ashok Chokalingam, GM – International Markets (Amrut), you will spot a lot of tropical fruits, orangy citrus & a lingering finish”. Consumers will have to wait for quite some time before the next batch is released”, Ashok adds. “We are not sure when the next release of this ten years old malt from the Amrut stable will emanate as keeping the balance profile of the whisky is questionable given the conditions under which it matures”.

I’ve had a try of this , both the 46% and 71% and these were my notes…..

10yo Greedy Angels 46%

 Light Orange Marmalade in colour , very relaxed on the nose , the usual Amrut traits are there , liquorice , spices , Millionaires shortbread but well laid back ! It is silky smooth across the palate but incredibly spicy , wow really spicy ! It really hits you at the back of the mouth , the finish is long and again spicy , it just goes on and on and on……

 It tastes like an old , well aged malt to start with ends up like young spicy beast , Brilliant ! 

 10yo Greedy Angels 71%

Whereas the 46% is so laid back it’s horizontal , this is a smack across the nose with a large malt shovel ! Everything is more intense , it’s all in there as stated in the 46% just more condensed ! Highly drinkable at the high ABV and thoroughly enjoyable , It’s great to see an ‘aged’ Amrut just a shame about the maturation losses .

Amrut Naarangi Press Release

Amrut Naarangi: World’s first single malt whisky with Orange

Amrut Distilleries, India, known for their popular range of Single Malt whiskies, which include Amrut Fusion, Amrut Portonova & Amrut Peated, have launched Amrut Naarangi, the first ever whisky in the world with Orange notes.


March 31, Bangalore, India.

Amrut Distilleries, based in Bangalore, India is a boutique distillery known for their award winning single malt whiskies. Amrut recently concluded 10 years of presence in the international markets and have launched the Amrut Naarangi Single Malt Whisky. The distillery had launched their malts in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland by N.R. Jagdale, the Managing Director through his son Rakshit & his friend Ashok and now bears unmistakable shelf presence across 40 countries. The brand peaked in the limelight in 2010 when acclaimed whisky writer, Jim Murray rated the Amrut Fusion with 97/100 points voting it the ‘3rd finest whisky in the world’ putting behind over 4000 whiskies from brands across the world. Amrut is also the only Indian whisky to feature in Ian Buxton’s ‘101 whiskies to have before you die’.

The latest offering from Amrut, the ‘Naarangi’ derives its name from the Hindi word, Naarangi which means Orange. It is the only single malt whisky ever produced in the world to have expressions of Orange, which brings forth a new level of experimentation to the malt world. EU regulations for malt whiskies state that adding anything to a whisky disqualifies it from being called a whisky, however, Amrut who had been contemplating adding Orange notes to whisky have developed a novel solution to create Naarangi which meets all EU guidelines. To produce this whisky, Amrut procured Olorosso Sherry from Spain and matured wine along with Orange peel in it for a period of three years. The oranges for this were sourced from the tourist haven, Madikeri located in the picturesque Western Ghats of India. The wine and orange peel concoction was let to mature for 3 years in Bangalore, lending the barrel a unique Orange essence. The wine and peels were then spilled and the barrels were filled with 3-­‐year-­‐old matured single malt whisky and allowed to mature for 3 more years. In this period the barrels have lent the Orange characteristics to the  whisky  creating  pioneering single  malt.

“The whisky is not dominated by the Orange but remarkably  balanced  out”, notes Ashok Chokalingam, GM -­‐ International Markets, Amrut. “The finish is of subtle orange notes while in the middle ground you can find the traditional Amrut signature.” 900 bottles have been shipped in the first release to Europe, Asia Pacific and Canada with all bottles at 50% ABV. Reviewers and connoisseurs are waiting keenly to get their hands on this whisky. Single malt whiskies, which were for long the domain of the Scots, are now seeing increasing innovative work from boutique brands such as Amrut amongst others.

My Notes…..

Naarangi (Hindu for Orange?)

 A beautiful Golden Syrup colour , Incredibly fruity on the nose initially , Pineapple , melon , banana and orange . Then a lovely chocolate and shortbread note . Interestingly there is very little , if none , of the usual Amrut signature liquorice until it stands for a while . An intriguing and very complex nose ! The palate carries on with the fruitiness , Orange is very prominent here , there’s a slightly bigger hint of the Liquorice on the palate along with spices (cloves amongst others ) . The finish is long and spicy but it is really smooth . I would say that this is the smoothest Amrut to date and a bit different to previous releases ,  yet another quality spirit but I wouldn’t expect anything else !