Amrut Distilleries is Bangalore-based. JN Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale set up Amrut Distilleries in 1948 and 56 years on, his grandson launched Amrut Whisky, the first Indian single malt brand. Interestingly, Rakshit Jagdale started it all as an MBA student in Newcastle, UK, in response to his father’s challenge to market an Indian single malt in the very home of the spirit, in Scotland. Conforming to the tough European Union packaging norms took a lot of time and effort. But it was all worth it. We had our jaw-dropping moment when the host at Glasgow’s famous Pot Still whisky pub served Amrut to a group of connoisseurs, without telling them where it was from. Each person named a different region of Scotland as the likely place of origin, but they were unanimous in their appreciation, recalls Jagdale junior, who is an executive director of the company. What sets it apart from other Indian liquor brands is its target market. India has always been a huge whisky market, but at the lower end. We wanted to move from quantity to quality, and the biggest challenge was to gain acceptance from the luxury whisky market in Europe, chairman and managing director of the company. That’s why they set aside a portion of their blends for ageing. The success of Amrut in the Western markets is to a great extent because of endorsements from people who matter.
The first thing that you will notice about the bouquet is the sweetness. Notes such as molasses, sugar cane, and even plum make up Amrut Intermediate Sherry Matured’s first impression. Undertones of citrus fruit and grass give the sweetness balance. The flavors are surprisingly little like sherry, although the sherry cask has obviously donated the sweeter elements. The finish is perhaps the real ‘star’ among this whisky’s elements. It is long and laden with a variety of tropical fruit flavors. There is a little spice and a little peat smoke, but the overall impression is lingering sweetness.