$$$ — 46% ABV — No Age Stated
The infamy of Indian whisky was shattered in 2010 when critic Jim Murray ranked Amrut among his top 5 favorite whiskies. No longer was Indian whisky a Scotch knockoff, blended with who-knows-what. Now, people are paying attention.
What began as a blending operation, Amrut turned to distilling in 1987. They're a large company, though Amrut's single malt production remains quite small: only 10,000 cases annually, less than a fifth of the legal maximum for American craft spirits.
Amrut's peated whisky is balanced against some bizarre and sweet flavors: banana chips, citrus peel and a whole lot of salted nuts. All flavors you might find in an old-time candy shoppe. While it's certainly different, it could do with more time in the barrel.
The success of Asian whiskies (Japan, Australia, India …) furthers the question: why do we continue to talk about whisky in direct relation to where it was made, as opposed to how it was made? Maybe it's high time we start talking about whisky with a more global vernacular.
Amrut is located in Bangalore, Karnataka in Southern India. Established in 1948 by J.N. Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale, it remains an independent distiller.