I've been wanting to feature the Amrut Fusion on the Whisky Cabinet since I first had a taste last year, but it just kept selling out far too quickly from the LCBO shelves.
This shouldn’t be tooo surprising: Amrut Fusion was rated the number 3 whisky worldwide by Bill Murray (author of the annual Whisky Bible, not to be confused with Ghostbuster/Zombie Bill Murray). What is surprising is the distillery location: Bangalore, India.
Amrut Distillery has been around since 1948 producing blended whisky, and in the 70s they expanded to single malt whisky. Unlike most Indian whisky, which more closely resembles rum than scotch, Amrut uses barley and is meant primarily for export rather than local consumption. They also produce a wide variety of other hard liquors, including rum, vodka and gin.
Fusion is more than just a name: Amrut grows most of its barley in India, but for this production they grew barley in Scotland, peated, and brought it over to Bangalore where it was distilled and mixed with locally grown barley. The intent is to bring some of the traditional peaty Scotch profile to an otherwise Indian drink. The split is about 25% Scottish barley and 75% Indian barley. The results are fantastic.
Bottled at 50% alcohol, you can expect this drink to be warm. Some may prefer to add a bit of water. Saying that, the nose isn't overpowering; instead you get more of an orange peal zesty sort of scent. There's a smoky aspect to the drink, but it's light. On the palate more of that orange peel flavour comes through, but it's milder now, and complemented with spiciness and burnt sugar. The finish is long and smooth, not too sweet, and lingering of peat. It had me thinking of marmalade.
Thankfully the LCBO has imported a third batch of this brand and the supplies are plentiful. Still, I have noticed Toronto locations quickly slipping in supplies, indicating that people are buying it up as they did previously.
Note: Originally published on Spotlight Toronto