The first Indian whisky to earn worldwide attention is Amrut Fusion. Amrut has been distilling in Bengaluru since 1949, but it didn’t enter the Single Malt Whisky market until 2004. Amrut invented the category, as prior Indian whiskies were distilled from molasses, not grain.
In 2009, Fusion was introduced in Glasgow, Scotland. Then, it went to Western European countries, but it still wasn’t gaining much traction, until it garnered the attention of Malt Maniacs, who awarded it the Best Natural Cask Whisky. And in 2010, Jim Murray claimed it was the third-best whisky in the world.
Both Amrut and Indian whisky have come a long way. Amrut has several expressions and won many awards. The category is no longer a curiosity, earning a solid fan base.
Today, I’ll explore Fusion and all it has to offer. It is an aptly-named Indian Single Malt whisky because it starts with 75% unpeated Indian malted barley and 25% peated (8-to-10ppm) Scottish Highland barley distilled separately and then married for about six months in ex-Bourbon barrels and virgin oak casks. It is naturally colored, non-chill filtered, and carries no age statement. You can expect to pay about $65.00 for a 50% ABV (100°) 750ml package.
If you’re unfamiliar with Indian whiskies, they give up about 12% to the angels each year. As such, it matures much faster than its Scottish or Irish counterparts. Also, if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out how a whisky made from both Indian and Scottish malted barley yet still considered a single malt, that’s because everything is still coming from a single distillery.
I received a 50ml sample from a friend who manages a local liquor store. Let’s #DrinkCurious and discover what this whisky is all about.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, Fusion presented as a dull, golden liquid. A medium-thick rim formed medium-wavy legs that rolled down to the pool.
Nose: A kiss of smoke attempted to hide apple, pear, citrus, and dark chocolate. Caramel shot across my tongue when I drew the air past my lips.
Palate: My initial sip offered a full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Earthy peat, lemon peel, and vanilla hit the front of my palate. The middle consisted of candied orange, walnut, and dark chocolate, while the back featured sweet tobacco, leather, and smoky oak.
Finish: Fusion created an Energizer Bunny finish that seemed to run forever. Flavors of peat, brine, leather, and charred oak carried to the end.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Fusion is, in a word, excellent. Is it the third-best whisky in the world? I don’t get into those kinds of comparisons because they’re silly. I can, however, tell you Fusion is worth every penny and even more. It would not only make a fantastic introduction to Indian Single Malts but one for peated Single Malts as a whole. It would be silly as well not to give this one 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.