Sunday, 5 February 2017



Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky has to be one of the great whiskies found anywhere in the word this decade. The fact that it is Indian is irrelevant; from distillation to maturation this is a classic whisky from whichever continent.

“It is one of those which command a big mouthful, a chair with a headrest … and silence. You will chew for seemingly hours and never quite get to the bottom of its mystical complexity. It is massive whisky, but its genius is that you get the feeling that there is some almost invisible element keeping the malt together so the proportions are never less than perfect.”

Amrut bottles all its products at 50% ABV, except for its peated version which is bottled at a massive 62.1% ABV and will never be seen in India. That's because the Indian laws do not permit bottling over 42.8% or 75 proof. Even Amrut Fusion, a 50% ABV malt (87.5 proof) is watered down to 75 proof, diluting its taste somewhat at 42.8% ABV. 

Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky gets its name from the fact that it uses two barley mashes: 75% six-row Indian and 25% two-row Scottish barley – with the latter being peated. It comes from Amrut Distilleries, the Bangalore-based company which introduced the first SM from India to the UK in 2004. Amrut Fusion is probably a 4 year old whisky, perhaps a shade less.                                  

Amrut’s Indian barley comes from Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan, and  distillation takes place in the tropical garden city of Bangalore at 3000’ AMSL. Lightly peated barley mash from Scotland is also distilled in Bangalore and both are matured there separately. After they have reached their peak, the two whiskies are married in bourbon casks in proportions which give both a subtle peat flavour and a rich fruity flavour from the Indian barley. This is bottled at 50% ABV to reflect the depth and finish of the whisky. This rare combination of Indian and Scottish elements means Fusion has a really excellent mouthfeel and palate, combining oak, a hint of vanilla, fruit and the sublime peat. 

It was rated the third best single malt whisky in the world by the King of Experts, Jim Murray! The public agreed, because when Fusion was launched in June 2009, the first consignment was sold out within few weeks of its release. The next batch was completely pre-ordered before it even reached the UK.

Nosing &Tasting Notes:
Colour: Golden Yellow

Nose : Heavy, oaky and complex: some unusual barley-sugar notes here clouded in mild smoke. Six-row barley influence? Big, yet enticingly tender. Unique.

Taste : The delivery builds up to a piledriver! The fuzzy smoke on the nose becomes mildly peaty, with some vanilla and sherry, strange since sherry butts are not in its production line-up. Custard apple; oaky vanilla hammers home that barley - fruitiness to make for a bit of a free-for-all; but for extra good measure, the flavours develop into a really intense chocolate fudge middle which absolutely resonates through the palate. Adding six drops of water to one Large liberates floral attributes and waxiness in about 7-8 minutes. 

Finish : A slight struggle here as the mouthfeel gets a bit puffy here with the dry peat and oak; enough molassed sweetness to see the malt through to a satisfying end, though. Above all the spices, rather than lying down and accepting their fate, rise up and usher this extraordinary whisky to its exit.