The company Amrut Distilleries Ltd has been in existence since 1948 and almost 40 years it just produced the wonderfully titled Indian Made Foreign Liquor for the home market. IMFL as it’s abbreviated to is essentially neutral gain spirit, mainly made from molasses. It is generally caramel coloured and can include spirit imported into India.

By the early 1980, when the founder’s son took over the running of the company, they were bottling a premium blend of whisky produced from malted barley vatted with molasses based spirit, and one assumes that Neelakanta Rao Jagdale dreamed of releasing a Single Malt Indian Whisky, but I imagine worried that introducing such a product into a market that only consumed at best blended whisky and at worst, cheap, coloured spirit of dubious origin, would be an uphill climb.

So, they eventually took the unusual step of launching their single malt in Scotland instead. In the early 200’s they conducted a number of blind tastings of their spirit to gauge Scottish whisky drinkers’ opinion and as the feedback that they received was very positive, they official launched their Indian Single Malt Whisky in 2004.

The current distillery was built in 1987 in the village of Kambipura and features a pair of Indian made 5000ltr copper pot stills. They use locally sourced barley for their unpeated spirit but just like Paul John they import Scottish peated malt. The wort sees a long fermentation of 144 hours and sets out the lovely fruitiness of the distillery style. Their unpeated spirit is filled into a combination of virgin oak and refill ex-Bourbon, therefore the resulting whisky is quite heavily oak influenced which has a marked difference to Paul John, but just like Paul John they cannot mature their spirit for very long due to the heat. In Kambipura the angels share is a little higher than in Goa and is somewhere between 12 and 16% per year. Also, the heat is very dry and thus most of the angel’s share is actually water.

Along with both unpeated and peated bottlings, their range features a unique bottling. The Fusion is an intriguing vatting of 70% unpeated spirit and 30% peated spirit. According to Neelakanta Rao Jagdale, the idea was not to pass it off as a Scottish whisky but as something uniquely Indian. From time to time, there are also cask strength peated and unpeated releases.

Amrut has won numerous awards of the years and is now available in markets all over the world. Including in Bangalore!
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