Sinful Samples – Bunnahabhan, Tullibardine, Millstone, Glendronach, Wolfburn

Tis the season to be jolly… and all that jazz! Yet before all the mad social rounds of the season kicked off, we snuck in a completely chilled out informal sampling of samples…

Call it a “Pajama Drams” night, it had no formality just a few folks, more than a few samples to put side by side to provoke some interesting tasting experiences…

What did we try?

It may seem like a prodigious amount for one sitting but we were a disciplined lot… some sniffing, swishing and spitting went on plus a swallows and discarding the balance. Sacralige to some but sensible for us.

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Sherry Element – Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1%

Next up in our Sherry Elements evening was a complete surprise – An Amrut Intermediate Sherry, part of their core line-up purchased by our host around 7 years earlier.

We sampled it completely blind, with the reveal shared only after sampling all whiskies in the evening.

Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1%

  • Colour – It initially struck us incredible – a deep ruby, exceptionally dark. Could it be real? It seemed impossible, til we started to really get into the whisky and then it didn’t seem so improbable after all
  • Nose – Initial sniff was sharp, medicinal dispensary, came across as having high alcohol, homeopathic sulfur, then began to open up… banana, tropical fruits, caramel, a children’s sweet chewable multi-vitamin, lemon hint, the aromas just kept dancing around… needing time to settle…. then prunes, gave a sense of being oily, perhaps some spice… going through several cycles, including tobacco, burnt matches, cocoa, juicy plums, opening up more to reveal different dimensions. After sipping, the aromas revealed clear sherry, peppers
  • Palate – At first quite intense, bitter, sour then Wow! Raisins, cocoa, a clear stamp of “Now this is a whisky!” Sharp, bitter but balanced. Then shifted into orange and chilli chocolate. With a lovely mouthfeel, fabulous balance.
  • Finish – Long, starts like bitter chocolate and ends with sweet
  • Water – We decided this one could have a few generous drops of water…So smooth! The Diwali explosion  of flavours were softened yet retained its full character. Became even sweeter, almost floral, a crisp dosa smell, then more like crepes with the orange really popping out.

It was in many ways a complete chameleon… Hard to pin down, needed time to open up. We thought it could make a marvellous cigar malt – holding its own and pairing well. The nose and  palate were beautifully matched. It was clearly an interesting whisky, complex, the kind where a little goes a long way. A few in the room pronounced it “Stunning.”

And when it was revealed? Amazement. To put it mildly, what we had otherwise sampled of its core line available in India… let’s just say we’d be underwhelmed. Whereas this was a fabulous dram. Leading talk to frustration with the inconsistency of our Amrut experiences. This one was without a doubt a ‘keeper’…

What do the folks over at Amrut have to say?

  • Nose : Instead of the usual biscuit aroma, we now get moist cake. And my word: is it fruity and spicy!! Love the freshly waxed oak floor, too. Brain-explodingly complex and multi-layered with one of the most intriguing sherry-style-bourbon-style marriages on the market
  • Taste : Cracking delivery and entirely unique in form. The structure is decidedly oak-based, but acts as no more than a skeleton from which the juicy sultana and spices drape. Salivating, too, as the barley kicks in powerfully. But the liquorice-orangey-honeycomb bourbon theme quietly shapes the flavour profile; the spices pulse and glow
  • Finish : Quite a chunk of natural caramel quietens the more exuberant characteristics; long and elegant

What did we sample in our “Sherry Elements” evening?

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Sherry Elements – Oban, Amrut, Kilkerran

As a whisky tasting group, we’ve sampled many a sherry matured cask over the years.. however we have not had an evening dedicated to different elements of sherry… until one fine evening in November 2017.

What did we sample?

And what made each of these distinctive?

1st off the Oban was not your standard familiar friend – the 14 year – no siree! It was instead a 15 year limited edition initially matured in an ex-bourcon cask then a Montilla Fino Cask.

Next up was an Amrut Intermediate Sherry purchased some 7 odd years ago and carefully kept. Again a combination of bourbon and sherry… with quite a complex and different character than the Oban.

And the Kilkerran? The Campbeltown offering was again Sherry wood… with a peaty element too.

None were full force sherry, each had a unique dimension, making our evening a most enjoyable exploration. All had been carefully collected over years by our host… none can be readily obtained today… of if you do, likely not quite the same as what we sampled.

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Whisky Live Singapore – Amrut

Whisky Live Singapore had many wonderful highlights! Some terrific discoveries, great opportunities to revisit familiar whiskies in a distillery progression, chance to meet some wonderful new folks part of the whisky fabric, passionate about the art and craft of producing quality whiskies for our enjoyment.

However there were some disappointments. Alas Amrut was one.

Let me be clear – I’m delighted Amrut have grabbed global attention and put India on the whisky map. Heck this blogs all time top ‘hits’ whisky post is about – believe it or not – Amrut’s MaQintosh whisky!

However my direct personal experiences have largely been wanting.

The evening with Jim Murray was rather mixed.

The lack of access in India to their niche releases garnering international attention is frustrating.

Only in Singapore did I have a chance to try the Fusion 50% and admit – yes it is better than what we’ve tried in India. Even the unique Spectrum which, while very interesting, isn’t my kind of whisky.

Only recently courtesy of Malt Maniac Krishna Nakula did I finally meet an Amrut whisky that I genuinely was impressed with… and it was a sample from a limited edition, only for the Taiwan market whisky.

Seeing Amrut was part of Whisky Live Singapore, I hoped for something special to make its way to the event. A chance to finally properly see more of what is getting the whisky world excited.

Nope.

The standards.

And worse?

2016-11-13-amrut

The entire two days of the event their booth was mostly empty, the people staffing it seemed completely bored and totally disinterested in being there.

One had to wonder – really – what a missed opportunity!

Let me re-iterate, I want to be a well wisher. Yet not with this experience…

Other Amrut experiences:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Finally… an Amrut that made me go “Wow!”

It is one of those ironies that the best whiskies produced in India are not available in India. The complexities of getting permissions for each state, distribution challenges, restrictions on alcohol percentages by state for Indian made spirits, and locally acceptable price points are all barriers to bringing quality locally produced whiskies to the locals.

However it is a shame that much of what has made the world of whisky pay attention to Amrut is simply not available in India.

This sample shared by Malt Maniac Krishna Nakula was no exception. Made purely for distribution in Taiwan, the only reason it made it back into the country was as part of the Malt Maniac global independent award tasting competition.

Photo: Whisky Auctioneer

Photo: Whisky Auctioneer

Amrut 5 year (May 2010/Jun 2015) 56.5% Cask No 3823 Olorosso Sherry for Taiwan Bottle 1/600

  • Nose – Musty, sweet, very vibrant, the dusty quality is actually what makes it interesting, there are many layers – spices like cinnamon, cloves then sterile notes, pickles, dried currents, some oils, a dash of salt, the ‘khatta‘ quality of tamarind
  • Palate – Big thick raisins, spice kick, sugar-coated chillies, marshmellows
  • Finish – Sweet liquorice

The beautiful thing about this is the layers, sherry but not too much sherry… there is a brightness to it that contrasts with the heavy rich flavours. Even re-reading through my notes, it doesn’t sound like it should work but it does.

I hope more such Amrut’s wander their way to me.. this is certainly one I would have liked to spend more time enjoying.

Other Amrut’s sampled include:

Other whiskies sampled that evening with Krishna included:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Amrut Bourbon 62.8% (LMdW)

Last in our Bombay Malt & Cigar club’s blind tasting surprise evening was an unusual dram. Clearly cask strength, clearly different… it was definitely an interesting close to the tasting portion of our evening.. to then shift gears to desi street food snacks and fine cigars.

amrut-bourbon

Amrut Bourbon 62.8%

(circa 2016 via La Maison du Whisky, Singapore)

Here is what we discovered:

  • Nose – Initially lots of phenols, quite ‘chewy’ seeming, woody, then as it began to open up a dark mocha chocolate, shifting between bitter chocolate and espresso coffee, hint of sweet grass smoke. With more time, dried bitter dark berries, some currents, vanilla joined by wheat
  • Palate – Flat…thud. Sweet, clearly cask strength. Did we mention sweet? Some spice, cereal, sugar sweet. Did we mention flat and sweet? Think diet coke opened for days…
  • Finish – Nothing much, a tingle, with a malty chaser

The nose was really quite promising but the palate was simply flat and disappointing. Like pricking a balloon letting all the air out… just simply didn’t even come close to matching the aroma.

We gave it more time. Wet rag, malt and more raisins joined the aromas. The palate? Still lacklustre.

We added water. Sugar sweet.

We waited some more. Sigh…

This was a difficult dram. Definitely different however not an easy one to get to know.

Our efforts to speculate what it could be fell as flat as the palate. We just couldn’t figure it out. Though perhaps someone tossed Amrut out simply as our whisky curator is an Amrut fan.

With the reveal… surprise. Particularly at the strength! “Can a whisky even have an alcohol strength like 62.8%??” Leading to discussion of another of our curators favourites – Aberlour with their cask strength A’bunadh sometimes coming above 60%.

Now here is the challenge. I want to like Amrut’s offerings. I want to be proud of what this Indian distillery is offering and what is exciting the world too! Somehow I struggle…

With the Old Pulteney, we had a clear classic. A terrific start and clearly a whisky to simply enjoy.

With the Westland, you could picture curling up with a warm fire or lighting up a cigar and whiling away the evening, chatting with friends, sharing a laugh or two or three!

However with the Amrut, I simply couldn’t picture a context I would reach out for it. Instead, it fell neatly into the academic category of “I’m glad I tried it once.”

This Amrut Bourbon forms part of a trilogy exploring different effects of peat – all at cask strength.

Here is what the folks at La Maison du Whisky have to say:

Unpredictable and surprising, this unpeated Amrut draws on both malted barley and a perfectly integrated woodiness to express every facet of its personality with great lyricism. With an exotic character overflowing with freshness, it also shows itself to be particularly spicy and vanilla-tinged. Alongside its two peated “sisters” released in our 2016 Collection, they form a trilogy that will mark a milestone in history of the Bangalore distillery.

Tasting notes:

  • Appearance : Burnished gold tinged with orange.
  • Nose : Full-bodied, firm. Majestic malted barley takes centre stage in the aromatic palette. It is accompanied by vanilla, nuts (walnut), strong spices (curry), flowers (lily, iris, lavender) and exotic fruit (pineapple, banana). Gradually, noble wood essences bring out the exceptional quality of its woody character.
  • Palate : Dense, complex. The palate counterbalances the rigour of the nose with a remarkably liberal style. It offers numerous gustatory paths, each as intense as the next. Vanilla acts as a base for fresh and exotic fruits, aromatic plants (vervain, camomile), spices (turmeric, star anise) and white spring flowers (lily of the valley, lilac).
  • Overall : Long, almost never-ending. Without losing any of its exotic character, the finish develops with aromas of liquorice and cocoa powder. The spices become increasingly hot and the fruit bursts with sweetness. Like the nose, it has a phenomenal, superb woodiness. Thirst-quenching retro-nasal olfaction fills the taste buds with the delicious juice of blood oranges. The empty glass leaves a noble spiciness (saffron).

Other whiskies featured in our BMC Blind Surprise tasting:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

BMC go ‘blind’ – Old Pulteney 17 year, Westland Sherry, Amrut Bourbon

Til date, our Bombay Malt & Cigar (BMC) gents have proudly shown off their bottles. And who wouldn’t? We’ve had some rare treats like the Balblair 38 year or whiskies all filled by hand.

However sometimes half the fun of a whisky tasting evening is to have a surprise – discover something new about a distillery you thought you could readily spot or have your notions challenged by something completely different than expected!

Our most recent BMC night adopted a ‘blind tasting’ approach, with our whisky curator carefully covering each bottle. He was rather excited to see what we thought before the unveiling… prompting us to try to guess the region, if not distillery.

old-pulteney-westland-amrut

What did we sample? And what did we guess?

Gleefully the whiskies were uncovered to show that while we guessed the right region for the Old Pulteney and the distillery was named at one point, it didn’t have the clear maritime stamp we now associate with Old Pulteney…

As for Westland? Wow! I will confess to shouting out my delight as it proves once again the folks there know exactly what they are doing!

And Amrut? The verdict is still out…

If we were betting, the house clearly would have won this round!

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

The surprising Amrut Spectrum 50%

Sometimes our sessions have a small ‘bonus’ offering. A little something extra tagged on after the main show. Call it an ‘encore’ performance.

Usually there is a specific reason it is kept separate from the main trio of whiskies sampled. Hosts often have a little ‘surprise’ like my sharing a rather unique tequila like Tapatio Excelencia Gran Reserva Extra Anejo or another evening with a post dinner El Dorado Rum.

Amrut Mystery Malt

In this case, after dinner we were offered a sample of a sample… introduced blind with no context.

  • Nose: Immediate in your face sherry replete with all the usual dried fruits, diwali crackers smoke, burnt brown sugar, kopra, dry roasted coconut, chokecherry, port wine, rubber and kokum
  • Taste: Dry… then stewed prunes, hint of spice, chilli chocolate, honestly a bit peculiar – very much on the dry spice side without sweetness, different
  • Finish: Wine finish, prunes, closes with spice

Observations: Prunes were consistently there in nose, palate and finish. Distinctive and difficult to adequately describe. None could place. And frankly it wasn’t exactly the kind of whisky that appealed immediately. Like a novel experiment but not necessarily one you would run out to repeat or share with the world.

Our mischievous supplier of the mystery malt then started to drop obscure clues to prompt our guessing the whisky like:

  • Single malt that is a mixed palate
  • If in Scotland, may not meet the rules
  • James Bond…

We gave up.

Reveal? A sampling of Amrut Spectrum which has sparked both controversy and admiration for the innovation of its approach.

Amrut Spectrum (www.amrutdistilleries.com)

Amrut Spectrum (www.amrutdistilleries.com)

Here is what the folks over at Amrut have to say:

One of the uniquest whisky malt in the world, to make this whisky malts were initially matured for a period of 3 years in ex-Bourbon barrels after which they were transferred to a custom built barrel. This barrel was constructed at an undisclosed location in Europe with the help of a few experts. Whisky is traditionally aged in a barrel made of one type of wood, which lends the flavor and complexities to the malt, however, Amrut Spectrum in matured in a barrel with five different types of wood. 

Tasting Notes from Biskopen Gustavs Maltklubb
  • Nose: raisins, rum, nougat, figs, oranges, tiramisu, cocoa, caramel, coffee, dried fruit, burnt rubber.
  • Palate: sherry, rum, butterscotch, chocolate, prunes, molasses, pecans, walnuts, almonds, English wine gum.
  • Finish: caramelized almonds, old cognac, apricots, Brazil nuts.

Those who’ve followed Whisky Lady tasting adventures for some time would know that I’m very proud of my adopted home India. I’m also delighted to see its nascent single malt whisky experiments begin to garner attention.

However I’ve had mixed experiences with Amrut whiskies sampled til date. In large part that is because what is available in India is NOT the same as what folks outside India rave about!

Case in point, the Fusion we buy in Mumbai does not have the same alcohol strength as what I sampled in Singapore last December. Fusion at 50% is certainly much more interesting than what you can pick up from your local Mumbai ‘wine shop.’

Spectrum is certainly different. And there is something to be said for pushing the boundaries… so bravo for that.

Want to explore more Indian whiskies?

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

Party whisky – Amrut’s MaQintosh

While there are so many fabulous single malts out there, what about those sociable evenings where folks prefer quantity over quality?

The usual suspects in Mumbai for around Rs 1,000 are Blender’s Pride, Antiquity Blue, etc. However one evening, supplies were dwindling and the local liquor store didn’t have any of these.

That’s when my friendly neighbourhood ‘wine’ shop suggested MaQintosh.

Thanks to Amrut‘s marketing efforts (with a nod to Jim Murray‘s Whisky Bible review), most would have heard of this Indian international contender in the single malt category.

However few outside of India’s local booze shops would know of MaQintosh. Touted as a ‘Premium’ whisky, just what the heck?

  • Well… it immediately comes across as fake Scottish with appalling spelling… I mean after all isn’t ‘u’ after ‘q’??
  • It declares boldly that it is ‘genuinely’ made from Scottish and Indian malts… (as opposed to…?)
  • It is also ‘aged’ and ‘married’ in imported Oak barrels
  • Admits uses ‘permitted’ caramel
  • Strength 42.8% and NAS
  • Price Rs 900 in Mumbai (That’s $15 for you folks who don’t live in India!)
MaQintosh (Whisky Lady)

MaQintosh (Whisky Lady)

And tasting notes of the whisky?

  • Nose – Toffee sweet
  • Palate – Mildly oaky, apples, pleasant but not memorable
  • Finish – Warm burn

Yeah, I know… not exactly much, eh?

But here is the deal… If you compare it with your average cheap – oops! I mean ‘premium‘ Indian whisky – it fares better. Far better.

As most folks I know aren’t familiar with MaQintosh, initially they would still reach for the usual suspects. Several parties later, I couldn’t quite seem to convince anyone to polish off the bottle. Hmm…

But the thing is… that is starting to change. More and more folks are starting to realise they can get a certain level of taste and enjoyability in an affordable package. Just the other day, at the local Bandra gymkhana, talk turned to “Have you tried MaQintosh?”

Me? I’m still on the quality over quantity side of the equation whereas party whisky should be the opposite.

But that’s just slightly snobby me. Don’t let me stop you!

Related posts:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

The Mumbai Amrut Jim Murray Experience

We came, we sniffed, we spat and were decidedly NOT conquered!

Over 150 folks showed up at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel Crystal Ballroom for a whisky tasting with whisky guru Jim Murray on 10 March 2015.

The invitation card said to arrive at 7:15pm as the tasting would begin sharp at 7:30. The doors were tightly shut until the appointed hour as the staff poured out 6 samples of whiskies in tulip glasses for each attendee.

Amrut

And then we experienced classic IST (Indian stretchable time) as those who reached on time, waited and waited and then la la di la la waited some more until 8:45pm when one of the ‘special guests’ meandered in…

Then the ‘show’ started. And it was a show… carefully curated to show off Amrut whiskies.

Beginning with a tribute to Jamshedji Tata on his 175th Birth Anniversary, the Amrut founder took us through Amrut highlights over the last decade before introducing Jim Murray.

After some crowd warming chit-chat, Jim began with lessons in how to nose through pointing out what NOT to do (push full snout into the glass), regaling us with tales and anecdotes while we warmed our glasses nestled next to our bodies.

Tasting steps according to Jim Murray:

  1. Lift cover off glass and take the first fresh whiff – dabbing against an imaginary moustache both right then left nostril
  2. Cup glass with both hands to seal the whisky in and warm it against your body for approx. 5 – 10 mins
  3. Hold covered glass away from body, lift hand to let alcohol evaporate while drawing close to then nose again
  4. Take a tiny sip to rinse mouth – the ‘mouth wash’ step – and spit
  5. Then a few seconds later take another whiff right and left nostril followed immediately by a large sip – the 1st taste – roll it around in your mouth, chin up, opening and closing your mouth like a fish, then spit it out
  6. ‘Listen’ to the whisky to ‘hear’ what it tells you about its character
  7. After a few minutes, take a 2nd taste… again whiff, sip, tilt head back, open and close fish style, then spit out or… perhaps… if so inclined… swallow
  8. Again ‘listen’ to what the whisky ‘says’
  9. Repeat steps 2, 3, 7 and 8 as required…

We were discouraged from discussing our impressions at the table, to reduce influencing each other, as part of the ‘lesson’ was to discover how the whisky ‘speaks individually.’ What this means is the notes that follow are the impressions of the two members of our whisky tasting club who jotted down our thoughts.

Sample setting

Sample setting before tasting…

I’ve kept the labels as per the place mat however notes in the tasting order.

And here come a BIG caveat – in fairness to all the whiskies – they were poured from 6:30pm so by the time we sampled, two to three hours had elapsed…

Whisky 1 – Glenmorangie 10 year

  • Nose – Initially very mild perfume (fruit) then nothing! Very light, slightly floral, perhaps hidden peat and apricot, dry. Post warming slightly sweeter, still very soft, remained exceedingly light
  • Taste – Dry ash, bitter, mildly briny, like weak (not very good) coffee,  slightly rancid undertone
  • Finish – Dry oak, short
  • Impression – Insipid

Whisky 2 – Amrut Single Malt

  • Nose – More character than the 1st, overripe fruit, dirty socks, sweet, very little peat
  • Taste – Oily, fruit gone slightly bad, with the 2ndtasting coaxed out a little chocolate after extra ‘warming’
  • Finish – Medium short, nothing to write home about
  • Impression – Weak and not terribly interesting

Experience – The first two were ‘revealed’ after we sampled both. We were challenged to identify which was Scottish vs Indian which lead to positively contrast the entry-level Amrut Single Malt against the mass produced entry-level Glenmorangie. While I’m not trying to defend Glenmorangie, I should note the sample was so small it could easily be misleading – the Amrut pour size was far more generous. While Jim extolled the virtues of Amrut vs Glenmorangie, neither were terribly noteworthy.

Whisky 3 – Jim Beam White Label 4 Year

  • Nose – Varnish, ash, an agave / almost tequila quality
  • Taste – Paan betel leaf sweet, a bit minty, dry, not quite leather, slight spice, after oxidizing even sweeter
  • Finish – Not exceptional
  • Impression – No body, no character

Experience – Universally this was noted as ‘different’ than the others tried but not particularly good. Two lone souls identified it as a bourbon. Jim asked one if he was a bourbon fan – the retort was ‘No!’ (and turned out to be a distributor so at least he knows his business!).

Whisky 6 – Amrut Peated

  • Nose – Peaty, smoky sweet, little citrus after warming
  • Taste – Spice, chewy, leather, not peaty on the palate. After further warming and again tasting, bit of coffee, still quite sweet, smooth, no longer spicy
  • Finish – Medium long, tinge of bitter cacao
  • Impression – Most interesting of the evening (which wasn’t saying much), also the most generous pour

Experience – Jim was clearly trying to get us to guess this was an Islay and shared insight into the art (and follies) of adding peat to whiskies – so why not to an Indian whisky? Certainly no objection from this corner!

Whisky 4 – Talisker 10 year (tried after Whisky 6)

  • Nose – Slight smoke, hint of blue cheese, light sweet… in short quite bland
  • Taste – Dry, spice, off-balance, toothpaste? ‘weird whisky’
  • Finish – Jim shared how the ‘weird taste’ lingers
  • Impression – Jim was definitely steering the audience to discover something ‘off’ with this whisky

Experience – Here is where Jim really got after the Scots for their laziness and neglect of their craft – justifying adding caramel vs what Jim would like to see – a ban on caramel! Also castigated Scottish distilleries in general for their methods of cleaning and re-using casks. Shared how Talisker may have been the 1st distillery he visited, however Indian distilleries are now taking much more care with the craft of making single malt.

Whisky 5 – Amrut Fusion

  • Nose – Sweet, varnish, smoke, tannin from oak, clean, mild peat
  • Taste – Oily, mocha, smoke, sugar, oaky
  • Finish – Medium long
  • Impression – Jim shared how ‘well balanced’ the whisky is with its different elements

Experience – Jim extolled the use of quality wood however (not sure if others caught this) did later admit an ‘inconsistency’ with this whisky. Which remains my ‘beef’ with Fusion – either quality control issues at the distillery or massive incompetence and neglect in storage before it makes it to our table. Even after our blind sampling a couple of years ago when we went ‘Yuck!’, I’ve had very mixed experiences with Amrut Fusion ranging from ‘passable’ to ‘no way’ to ‘tolerable’ to ‘ok’ and back to ‘average at best.’

Evening close…

When Jim took a poll at the end of the evening, Amrut was preferred over non-Amrut whiskies, with more preferring the Peated than Fusion (though Fusion also had its fans). He also observed more women preferred the Peated than Fusion.

Jim finished his part of the evening by sharing how he believes India has two outstanding distilleries – Amrut and Paul John – that are way ahead of anything else.

While I certainly applaud his recognition of the efforts of both Indian distilleries and appreciate Mr Murray is an expert genuinely devoted to the world of whisky, not sure the evening truly achieved either the stated objective of ‘education’ or unstated but understood aim of promoting Amrut.

Jim Murray is certainly entertaining and his enthusiasm and love of whisky undisputed, however his slightly bombastic claim of rampant independence was belied by obviously steering the evening in one direction.

And while he repeatedly said how he will keep Amrut ‘on their toes’ if he sees quality slip, the question really is – where does Amrut aspire to be?

If it is truly wants to out-class Scottish whiskies yet with a distinctly Indian character, then why fear including at least one ‘aspirational’ whisky in the sampling to show what true quality single malt craftsmanship is about? Better question, if Amrut is producing cask strength whiskies, why not showcase at least one of those which may have proven more interesting?

The only answer seems to be that clearly this event was targeted primarily at novices to whisky.

For those more familiar with single malts, one could hear various versions of the following remark:

“Have you ever had so many bad/mediocre/below average whiskies in a single eve?”

For me, even the ‘best’ of the lot – Amrut Peated – didn’t stand the test when revisited later in the evening without being juxtaposed next to Jim Beam!

If anything, the evening did a disservice to Amrut, dumbing down what could have been a more interesting debate with a renowned authority on the world of whiskies and, more specifically, where one Indian distillery is forging ground.

Not a complete waste of an evening but I for one was highly grateful to make copious use of the spittoon!

View of the Gateway of India from Taj Mahal Hotel

View of the Gateway of India from Taj Mahal Hotel (Whisky Lady)

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: