What a way to kick things off! With a dram from my much missed home – India!!
Over the years, I’ve sampled many an Amrut Fusion… however it has been some time since I ‘properly’ sat down with one – particularly the international version that helped catapult Amrut to global attention.
My first taste was in 2010? (I think!) at a spirits exhibition in Mumbai with father and son Neelakanta Rao Jagdale and Rakshit Jagdale. I was impressed by their passion and commitment to bring Indian whisky to the world – by establishing their credibility outside India. At the time, I found the concept of “Fusion” interesting but was personally more drawn to their “Two Continents” – yep that was the 1st edition.
After that, I had a mixed experience with the Fusion version which became available in India – with a very clear caveat that the conditions under which these bottles are stored likely varied considerably.
The most memorable was an evening in 2015 with N R Jagdale and Jim Murray.
I next properly sampled Fusion 50% at Singapore airport and went – huh?! This was NOT the same Fusion available in India. True – the alcohol percentage is different as Amrut must abide by the state regulations on strength for domestically produced alcohol. But it was more than that…
So what did I find with the Vita Dulcis 2020 Advent Calendar mini?
India – Amrut Fusion 50%
- Nose – Hmm… is that a hint of bacon? Shifts into toffee apples, oatmeal, cream and honey with a light peat chaser
- Palate – Full warming spice, some oak, tannins, definitely more spice, chocolate
- Finish – A nice cinnamon spice, slightly bitter
- Water? Nope! Not a drop…
Well? Thumbs up or down?
This version, this day… its a yes. Particularly the way the cinnamon spice interplayed with the sweet subtle peat.
And Amrut’s official tasting notes?
- Nose : Heavy, thickly oaked and complex: some curious barley-sugar notes here shrouded in soft smoke. Big, but seductively gentle, too
- Taste : The delivery, though controlled at first, is massive! Then more like con-fusion as that smoke on the nose turns into warming, full blown peat, but it far from gets its own way as a vague sherry trifle note (curious, seeing how there are no sherry butts involved) – the custard presumably is oaky vanilla – hammers home that barley – fruitiness to make for a bit of a free-for-all; but for extra food measure the flavours develop into a really intense chocolate fudge middle which absolute resonates through the palate
- 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
What about some of my other encounters with Amrut?
- Single Malt, Fusion, Peated – Evening with Jim Murray
- Bourbon 62.8% (LMdW Trilogy) – I’m glad I tried it, once.
- Fever Club (2017) Batch No 1 46% – A special variant of Fusion
- Intermediate 57.1% – A sherry chameleon
- Kadhambam 50% + Portonova 62.1% – At Whisky Live Singapore
- MaQintosh 42.8% – My most popular post?!
- Port Pipe Peated 48% (The Vault Biennale Festival Release) – I still have a bottle of this!
- Port Pipe Peated 62.8% (LMdW) – Well crafted remarkable whisky
- Spectrum 50% – A peculiar experiment
- 5 year (May 2010 / June 2015) 56.5% CS No 3823 Oloroso Sherry, Taiwan Bottle – An Amrut that made me go – wow!
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