Amrut Cask Strength Indian Single Malt Whisky Review & Tasting Notes

India is the single-largest producer of sugar cane in the world. Sugar cane is used, among other things, to produce molasses. And, in India, many things called “whisky” meant for the domestic market are nothing more than fermented molasses, similar to what we’d recognize as rum.


However, for export purposes, Indian whisky is the nice, tight definition that the rest of the world uses. It is distilled from grain and shares many qualities with Scotch, Irish, and other whiskies.


What differentiates Indian Single Malts from their cousins is the typical barley used is six-row compared to the more common two-row. Six-row barley is typically used in animal feed. It possesses more protein and less starch than its two-row counterpart. It also has a higher enzyme content to convert starches to sugars during fermentation. On the other hand, two-row barley is easier to grow, especially in drought-prone conditions, and you get a greater yield of distiller’s beer than you would six-row. Finally, two-row barley usually provides more mellow flavors.


In 2004, the world was introduced to Indian Single Malts thanks to Amrut. From there, Jim Murray is considered responsible for its acceptance, thanks to his naming Amrut Fusion the third-best whisky in the world. The distillery is located in Bengaluru.


Amrut Indian Single Malt is distilled from northern Indian six-row malted barley. Its fermentation cycle is a longer-than-average 145-165 hours, and the newmake is aged in 90% vintage Bourbon barrels and 10% new American oak, both at a #3 char level. There is no age statement; it did rest for four to five years with an average 12% annual angel’s share loss. It is non-chill filtered and naturally colored.


A handful of laws govern the export of Indian whisky; one such example is the maximum allowable proof. Simply put, you cannot bottle a whisky higher than its entry proof. As such, anything labeled “cask strength” has been proofed down as needed, so it isn’t an actual cask strength whisky as most of us understand the term, but it fits Indian regulations.


In the case of Amrut Cask Strength, the whisky I’m reviewing today, that made the bottling at 61.8% ABV (123.6°). It isn’t overly challenging to procure a 750ml package; you’ll pay in the neighborhood of $85.00.


I want to thank Glass Revolution Imports, the exclusive US distributor of Amrut, for providing me with a sample of this Indian Single Malt in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now, let’s #DrinkCurious and learn what this is all about!


Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, this single malt looked the color of dull gold. The liquid formed a thinner rim which released slow, thick tears.


Nose: A sweeter aroma of banana, custard, starfruit, nuts, and pine (not juniper) wafted from the glass. Forcing the air into my mouth offered a taste of roasted almonds.


Palate: An oily, full-bodied texture coated my tongue, and the first flavors I picked were pineapple, lemon citrus, and coconut. As the whisky moved to the middle of my palate, I discovered almonds, oatmeal, and cocoa powder. The back featured dark chocolate, a puff of smoke, and oak.


Finish: The long, spicy finish sizzled my hard palate but was not overwhelming. Instead, earthy peat, chocolate, and oak notes were simple to identify.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: What some proof points do to a whisky is impressive. I was not too fond of the Amrut Indian Single Malt at 46%. But, serve it at its cask strength, and it isn’t even in the same universe. No water was needed; it would ruin the experience. For the money, Amrut Cask Strength Indian Single Malt is a winner and earns my Bottle rating. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.