Canada calls

Amrut will be in Canada in May 2014. It’s a return visit to the Spirit of Toronto, where we’ll join more than 100 whiskies and premium spirits from around the world for the 10th anniversary event. As well as a headline slot for Amrut’s International Brand Ambassador Ashok Chokalingam’s tutored tasting, there’s live jazz, a gourmet table d’hote, classic cocktails and a poolside cigar bar.

The 45-minute Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky tutored tastings is one of the early sessions and will be popular with novice tasters and seasoned connoisseurs alike as it will be a unique opportunity to learn more about the Amrut malts and the distillery’s latest treasure trove of single cask bottlings matured in a variety of woods. We expect the Whisky and Oyster Bar to be popular as show visitors explore the gastronomic frontiers by matching land and sea. And the Mark Eisenman Trio and the Neil Swainson Duo can only add to the festive atmosphere. Full show details here.

Not all the details of the Amrut visit to Canada have been finalised yet, but watch out for a tasting that Ashok will be hosting in Ottawa.

3 May: Spirit of Toronto, Roy Thomson Hall, Simcoe Street, Toronto. www.spiritoftoronto.ca

How others see us

Continuing our occasional round-up of comments about Amrut which have appeared on line, we look back at a great recommendation from Liquor.com.

TOP PICKS: At Christmas time Liquor.com named its top five whisky gifts. We’re delighted that Amrut Single Malt Peated is one of those top five. Jamie Boudreau, of Canon in the western US city of Seattle, was the spirits guru whom Liquor.com called on for its wisdom – Cheers Jamie! Liquor’s picks

THE HIGH LIFE: A blog that’s always well worth reading is Peak Perspective by Shelley Sackier @ShelleySackier who lives on top of a small mountain on the edge of the Blue Ridge in Virginia. Alongside her witty jottings of everyday life she is something of a whisky fan. She claims: “I’ve spent the last twenty years learning just how little I know about it’s technology and production,” but she has obviously picked up something along the way as her post about Amrut shows here.  

ON TOUR: There’s a report (in German) from Nordwest-Zeitung of a tasting session hosted by our brand Ambassador Ashok in early November at the Seekieker fish restaurant in Bad Zwischenahn. On his German tour, Ashok, gave guests in the northern German town exclusive previews of two of Amrut’s latest Single Cask malts – before they were released.

NORTHERN SPIRIT: The Manchester Whisky Club @MCRWhiskyClub reviewed Fusion in September as part of a six-malt World Whisky tasting. The members, who meet each month in the trendy Northern Quarter of the city, found the nose “a lovely interplay between soft peat and sugary barley notes”. Their description of the finish is poetry to our ears: “the peat now just a whisper playing across the tongue”. Read it all here.

In the fast lane

The “Global market review of non-Scotch whiskies – forecasts to 2018” – a report by just-drinks.com and IWSR – makes for interesting reading for distilleries outside Scotland. It shows that the market for non-Scottish whisky grew at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 per cent between 2006 and 2012. The report attributes the lion’s share of that growth to sales of Indian whisky. Being a long-established producer of whisky for the domestic Indian market, Amrut was not surprised that the report states that within the global 349.7 million 9 litre case non-Scotch whisky market, Indian whisky has been the most dynamic segment rising by 115.7m cases over the past ten years. At 170.6m cases, Indian whisky is also the largest sub-category within the non-Scotch whisky category. However, only 2 per cent of Indian whiskies are consumed outside of India, with the Gulf accounting for most of the exports.

That means that the carefully crafted single malts which Amrut Distilleries exports from Bangalore are a very exclusive taste of India. We love the fact that discerning drinkers across the world are having the chance to taste Amrut’s range – from the extremely rare Greedy Angels, or the extremely popular Fusion to the recently released Bourbon, Sherry or Port cask-matured single malts. Cheers!

Amrut to the test

Nice to read so many views from people trying Amrut single malt whiskies for the first time. Smoky Dram published his review of the 46% Single Malt having enjoyed the long finish “with a very nice sweet spiciness throughout”. Smoky Dram is “partial to single malt Scotch, especially the smoky peaty whiskies of Islay”, so we hope he tries Amrut Fusion next.

Miguel of a Wardrobe of Whiskies encountered Amrut’s three Single Cask whiskies when they were launched at the end of last year. His review of the malts, which were matured in Bourbon, Sherry and Port casks, concludes: “I wish that every tasting would be like this. Three fantastic whiskies in a row. Not everyday is as nice as this.” See what else he thought here.

Harshid Sridhar from Chennai, is working in the power industry in Bangalore, India. So it’s rather appropriate that he reviews Amrut Fusion here. We are delighted that ten years after the launch of Amrut Single Malt, the inhabitants of the city were it was created are now getting a taste for it. Cheers Harshid!

For our French readers here’s a review of Fusion by Whisky Leaks. He finds the finish sweet with spices, cumin, dark chocolate and the citrus fruit bergamot.

Triple gold for Amrut

Three golds for Amrut Malts at the 2014 Wizards of Whisky World Whisky Awards. Amrut Fusion, Amrut 100 and Amrut Kadhambam picked up gold medals in the ASIA section of the awards announced by Dominic Roskrow on 23 January. The awards were made after three separate judging events, each with seven to 12 judges. The whiskies were tasted totally blind and the lowest score for each whisky was eliminated. Although Donminic tasted the whiskies, his scores were not taken in to consideration. None of the judges represented or were involved with any of the whiskies they were tasting. Congratulations to John Paul on World Distiller title.

Full details of this year’s Wizards of Whisky World Whisky Awards here ASM-FUSION sm

On the road

Amrut’s brand ambassadors are gearing up for a taste of the open road. Ashok will be in Poland and Sweden, while Pramod will be in Belgium at the end of January 2014.

First stop is a tasting at the Bristol Whisky Club in Warsaw where all three single casks,  Kadhambam and the Intermediate Sherry expressions of Amrut malt will be under the microscope. Whiskyexpo 2014 in the southern Swedish city of Linkoping is a popular event and Ashok will be introducing our malts at three seminars hosted with Clydesdale.

Whisky Live in Spa kicks off Pramod’s tour of Belgium. A weekend event packed with tastings and masterclasses, Whisky Live has collected some interesting additional attractions including cocktails, chocolates and glass etchings and a special Oldies’ Corner of long-aged malts.

30 January:  Whisky tasting, 7pm at Bristol Whisky Club, Warsaw. www.tudor-house.pl 
31 January-1 February: Whisky Expo, Brigaden Restaurang & Konferens, Brigadgatan 17,  Linkoping, Sweden. Amrut seminars: Friday at 19:30, Saturday at 14:30 & 19:00. Whiskyexpo 2014.
31 January-2 February: Whisky Live, Rue Servais, Spa, Belgium Whisky Live Belgium 2014. Whisky Live Belgium 2014.
3-7 February: Belgium whisky tastings (details to come).

Winning ways

It’s always nice to look back on a year of successes and 2013 has certainly seen a few prizes for Amrut Distilleries.

With three Silver Medals, Amrut was one of the best performing distilleries in the 2013 Malt Maniacs awards announced in December. An Amrut Single Cask malt whisky was named the Best Peated Whisky in the 2013 awards. The peated malt – bottled by Blackadder – was awarded 89 points by the jury in its blind tastings, just two points behind the overall winner.

In November, the Bangalore distillery picked up awards at the New York International Spirits Competition. Amrut was named India Distillery of the Year and won a Bronze medal for Amrut Peated Single Malt. The awards, now in their fourth year, are assessed by a trade-only judging panel made up of buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant/bar proprietors, distributors and importers and attracted over 400 different spirits. Winners named here

In March, Amrut Distilleries was  named in the prestigious Inc India 500 list. Inc India 500 celebrates the contribution of the mid-sized businesses – the next generation of talent – in corporate India. It was significant recognition for Amrut, which, as well as exporting its award-winning single malt whiskies, is a key player in the liquor market in southern states of India.

Amrut named Best Peated Whisky

An Amrut Single Cask malt whisky has been named the Best Peated Whisky in the 2013 Malt Maniacs Awards. The peated malt – bottled by Blackadder – was awarded 89 points by the jury in its blind tastings, just two points behind the overall winner. It was awarded a Silver Medal.

The Indian distiller, Amrut Distilleries also picked up two Silver Medals and a Bronze Medal in the annual awards announced on 3 December, 2013 by Malt Maniacs, the on-line collective of malt whisky lovers. With three Silver Medals, Amrut was one of the best performing distilleries in this year’s awards.

Amrut malts picked up the following Malt Maniacs awards:
Silver medal, 89 points: Amrut ‘Peated’ (63%, Blackadder Raw Cask, NAS, C#BA18/2013, 268 Bts., 2013)
Silver medal, 88 points: Amrut (62.3%, Blackadder Raw Cask, NAS, Sherry Cask, C#BA17/2013, 236 Bts., 2013)
Silver medal, 88 points: Amrut ‘Single Cask’ 2009/2013 (62.8%, OB, C#2699, PX sherry cask)
Bronze medal 84 points: Amrut ‘Single Cask’ 2009/2013 (62.8%, OB, bourbon cask)

Ashok Chokalingam, Amrut’s International sales manager, said: “Our new Single Cask releases are proving very popular. We are delighted that such passionate whisky enthusiasts recognise our efforts. This month we have launched some really special limited editions and it is great to see the Malt Maniacs being so enthusiastic about these Single Cask expressions.”

Malt Maniacs are an international on-line collective of malt whisky lovers which have been spreading the gospel of single malt whisky since 1997. Each year members form a jury to sample – completely blind – hundreds of whiskies, in what is probably the only consumer-driven whisky competition.

Just released

Three stunning new single malts have been released in Europe by Amrut Distilleries. Carrying on our tradition of taking single malt whisky and aging it in particular wood, we have created three Single Cask malts.The malt whisky from the Bourbon and Sherry casks is made with Indian barley, while the spirit from the Port pipes is made from Scottish barley malted in peat. Read more about them here

The results are impressive and already the trio has had rave reviews – some of them are posted here. These Single Cask Malts look set to join Amrut Fusion and Amrut Greedy Angels as classics from the award-winning Bangalore distillery.