Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky Review: An Indian Single Malt From Bangalore
| 2017-05-08T23:21:41+00:00 Last updated: August 26th, 2019|
Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky Review: An Indian Single Malt From BangaloreCharles-Philippe2019-08-26T05:09:17-04:00
Right after being treated by my wife with the French Glann Ar Mor Kornog single malt for my birthday, I was presented with a bottle of the Indian Amrut Fusion single malt by some close friends. It appears that my entourage knows me well!
Founded in 1948, Amrut means “Nectar of the Gods” in Sanskrit. Originally focusing on brandy and rum, Amrut went on to become India’s first whisky distillery in 1982 before exporting their expressions in 2004. Their Fusion expression is a unique marriage of Indian and Scottish barley that I was excited to sample.
In this review, you will discover Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky with me as we explore the following topics:
Between the Bangalore heat at 3,000 ft (1,000 metres) above sea level offers fast maturation in exchange for a severe Angel’s Share, Amrut’s whiskies tend to be young. Their Fusion expression is created from a blend of 75% unpeated Punjabi and Rajasthani Indian barley and 25% peated Scottish barley, which are distilled separately and aged for four years. Before bottling, the two are then aged together during a three-month finishing process.
Amrut’s Fusion expression features a mid-caramel hue reminiscent of dark Amontillado sherry. Its robe is clear and I can easily see my prints when pressing a finger across the other side of the glass.
A quick swirl with my Peugeot Les Impitoyables glass reveals thin and fast legs, which confirms its surprisingly young age. Meanwhile adding a generous dash of water creates thick viscometric whirls.
Notes: Barley, Pineapple, Butter, Cloves
Being a heady 50% ABV, the nose is brash and bold, which is why I would later add more water than usual. The alcohol bloom is unapologetic yet the expression still releases a warm palette of notes.
The bouquet prickles the nostrils with its eucalyptic feel. While the aromas aren’t as lucid as more refined, aged expressions, they’re intense and rich in odour. The presence of barley dominates the nasal passage while zesty pineapple smooths off any sharpness.
Finally, a hint of spicy cloves make a tantalising accord that begs to be sipped.
Fusion’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Primary Tastes: Sweet, Bitter
Opening: Crème Brûlée, Saffron, Tinned Apricot
Heart: Black Pepper, Molasses, Oak
Finish: Medium [Blood Orange, Mince Pies, Lapsang Souchong Tea]
Like the nose, Fusion’s palate is a relentless blast of flavour that invigorates the senses. At 50% ABV, it was hard to enjoy neat. However, dropping this down to between 25% and 30% with water made it a real treat.
Fusion opens with a caramelised accord of crème brûlée and tinned apricot. Meanwhile, saffron dominates the initial flavours and draws the palate towards a peppery heart.
The palate builds in momentum from the start for a crescendo of flavour in the reveals itself in the heart. Black pepper adds a fiery texture while oak coagulates the saliva with a hint of thick molasses.
As the oak notes persist, the heart fades in favour of an astringent finish with bittersweet blood orange and fruity mince pie. The crumbly pastry essence of the mince pie is harmonised by smokey Lapsang Souchong tea that lingers on the tongue.
Would it be stereotypical to sample Amrut Fusion with a curry? Thinking “when in Rome”, I tried a few pairings to discover that it worked particularly well with a rich lentil Dal.
While other curries, such as Aloo Gobi or chicken Korma, also paired well, I found that the Dal offered the best harmony thanks to the heavy use of turmeric and raw spices.
Otherwise, pineapple fritters sprung to mind as an original choice. Thanks to the pineapple note in the nose and fruity opening, this would be a fun side-dish or snack.
Otherwise, mince pies would be an excellent choice during the festive season. Given that Fusion carries molasses in the heart with a mince pie finish, the two would accord perfectly.
Finally, I initially expected that a full bodied cigar would pair best with this expression. However, I realised that a lighter and more aromatic cigar yielded the best results. For instance, a Nub Connecticut offered a wonderful marriage of herbs and spices on the palate.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Presented in a dark brown metallic tube, Amrut Fusion has a modern design with a slight oriental touch. The gold scrolling and lettering accents are eye-catching while the label showcases its various awards. Furthermore, there’s a handy description on the back that briefly explains the whisky’s story.
Inside, there’s a small booklet that talks about the distillery while also presenting a selection of their beverages.
Meanwhile, the bottle is a classic shape with a simple label that recalls the tube. While not as grandiose as the tube’s design, it’s still relatively attractive.
As for the cork, it struck me as somewhat loose and had contracted over time. Although still effective, it’s something worth keeping an eye on.
With regards to the occasion to drinking this expression, it’s a very versatile choice. As an acclaimed Scotch whisky killer, it’s a great conversation piece with guests but can be thoroughly enjoyed alone.
Finally, the value for money seems quite attractive. Although it was a gift, I’ve noticed that it retails between $65 and $70 in the USA.
There’s a lot of hype about Amrut Fusion and its been lauded by many renowned critics including Jim Murry. Although I don’t believe it to be quite the Scotch killer that some claim, it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable expression.
With its unashamedly brash flavours, Fusion endeavours to carry its namesake by marrying the iconic flavours of the West with an Eastern twist. Indeed, it embodies many traits of Scotch while bringing a new experience to both enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
If you’re looking to enjoy a whisky that’s both unique yet still affordable, Amrut Fusion is definitely one to look out for.
Charles-Philippe's work has covered a broad range of subjects from cigars and fragrances to wine and spirits. Fascinated by how history and culture together form the unique contemporary identities of alcoholic beverages, his articles follow an in-depth exploration of their development through a combination of tradition and innovation.