Tag Archives: Indian Single Malt Whisky

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 !


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Next up is the Manchester Whisky Lounge Festival……

India….. Chapter Four – Returning back North


Saturday 5th September

Our Final day in Ooty , after breakfast we headed South-West from Ooty through some absolutely stunning scenery and small villages , the hills were covered in fields of cabbages , carrots and potatoes and plantation after plantation of tea . Again along the roadside there were an abundance of temples , all beautifully decorated .

(Click on Photos to see full size)

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For this trip Pramod had stayed at the house so Purshotham and Prakash accompanied us this time along with Antony who looked after security at the house . The reason we came down here was to see two of the dam systems in the area , The Avalanche Dam and the Emerald Dam , i didn’t get any photos at the first one but got some at the Emerald…..


The Emerald Dam


View from the Dam


The Dam from the nearby town

The were pretty impressive pieces of engineering !


The Emerald Lake from the main road

We really enjoyed our drive around this area , it was really beautiful , the thing that amazed me was the farming , most of it on steep hills and all labour intensive , the amount grown was mind blowing . Seeing the Tea Plantations was breath-taking as well , makes you appreciate your morning brew even more ! We returned to Ooty for our lunch , a lovely vegetable noodle dish .

After lunch and a sit in the sun , we were taken to another garden not far away from the house , this one slightly different in that it was owned by the neighbouring state of Karnataka  , The Fern Hill Gardens also have accomodation for tourists , these gardens were once part of the Maharaja of Mysores Fern Hill Palace , A portion of the land owned by the Maharaja was gifted to the Government of Karnataka and it is now run by the The Karnataka Horticulture Department.


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The Topiaries were fantastic and are ajudged to be the best in the region . It was a very pleasant way to spend the last afternoon in Ooty . After a drive around and one last photo stop……


We headed back to the house where Pramod informed us as it was our last night we would have a camp fire ! Only the Camp fire had other ideas…… After much attention by Pramod , Purshotham and Antony the fire did take off though a few rain shower did try to put their good work out , after much merriment and a few bottles of Kingfisher we retired inside for a lovely final meal by Valli Margreat . As well as being one of lifes great Characters She does cook a pretty Mean Curry ! 


‘Aunty’ Valli Margreat and Purshotham

We retired to bed for an early start (6am !) next Morning for our drive back to Bengaluru……

Sunday 6th September

6am on a Sunday Morning at home usually means no public transport , maybe some leftovers from the Saturday night out wandering the streets…… In Ooty it means Buses all over the place , lorries , loads of people , basically a normal day ! There was a bit of low cloud when we bid our farewells to the house and set off down the hill .


We returned the same way we came , down the hairpins and through the National Parks , we caught a glimpse of one of the Elephants being washed at the reserve……..


And there were Monkeys Galore ! 

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On our way back through Mysore we had breakfast in the Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel . It was a lovely drive back to Bengaluru in the bright sunhine . After dropping Pramod off at his home , Prakash dropped us off at the Ibis where we would spend our last day in India . We freshened up , had a bite to eat in the restaurant and hit the bar where we found an unusual addition…..


The observant amongst you will have noticed that Fusion is bottled at 46% in India , this is due to local Government laws , infact most whisky in India is rarely bottled at higher that 42.8% due to State laws .

After an Amrut Nightcap it was time for bed…….

Monday 7th September

Our last day Bengaluru and India ! We awoke earlyish to a phonecall from Pramod saying that Rick (Jagdale) would be calling in to see us and oh , by the way there will be an interview with an Indian Newspaper later in the morning…… OMG ! So after a shower and some breakfast we met up with Rick in The Hub for a catch up , i hadn’t seen Rick since last October when he paid a flying visit to Newcastle (Rick was at Newcastle University with Ashok ) , Pramod arrived and for a meeting we also got to meet the lovely Malavika Pai who is better known as @AmrutMalt on Twitter . She told us i would be doing an interview over the phone with  Suruchi Kapur who writes for the Deccan Chronicle . Just after Rick went off for a meeting , Ashok arrived ( felt like Amrut Grand Central !) and we got to chat a bit before the phonecall came through….. Though this wasn’t my first telephone interview with a Journalist it was definitely nerve wrecking ! It seemed to go on for ages (probably only lasted about 20 mins…..) , she caught me out with a couple of questions but hopefully i did alright , will have to wait and see ! After a bit more of a natter everyone started departing but not before a few photos……


We bid farewell to Ashok and had some lunch before returning to our room to do the final packing and getting picked up by Prakash to get taken to the Airport .

The drive out was just as manic as all the other drives around Bengaluru , we really miss all the beep-beeps…..

The security at the Airport entrance is certainly strict (as is the security at all the hotels after the attacks a few years ago ) but once in the lounges Bengaluru is one pretty relaxed Airport , we found a nice bar not far away from our gate to relax with a few drinks and watch the lightning storm pass by ! At 20.45 we departed India…….

With Time differences it would be after 11pm when we arrived at Dubai , it was going to be a long night as our flight back to Newcastle didn’t depart till 7.25am . Now a lot of people rave about Dubai Airport , yup if you want to spend a fortune it’s good but i will say one thing , for comfortableness Toronto Pearson can’t be beat ! (yes Paul i mean it!)

We arrived home in Newcastle just before Midday on the  8th , our Indian Adventure over ! 

We would like to thank all at Amrut for their hospitality and generosity on this trip .

Surrinder for such a great tour of the distillery and his infectous enthusiasm ! 

Pramod for being the perfect guide around his country.

Prakash for driving us everywhere .

Purshotham and ‘Aunty’ Valli Margreat for their hospitality and cooking at Ooty .

And finally Ashok for…. well being Ashok and looking after us and being a very good Friend ! Cheers Marra !!!


Finally uploaded Melanies Holiday Photos…..

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You can view them all at Melanies Flickr Account

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 . 

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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 
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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 !