India is ostensibly a huge whisky-drinking nation, the biggest of them all if you look at the bare consumption figures, but nearly all the domestic whisky"„¢ produced here is dominated by molasses-derived spirit (and therefore, according to EU legislation, not whisky at all).
But there are honourable exceptions, most famously Amrut, launched not in India but in Glasgow in 2004. Since then, the company has evolved its techniques and developed an experimental streak, especially in the field of cask maturation.
And now there is the much talked-about range of Paul John Distillers single malt whiskies, from single-cask offerings to the unpeated Brilliance and part-peated Edited. In both cases, Amrut and Paul John, these whiskies are early-maturing, thanks to tropical climatic conditions which accelerate the maturation process.
Amrut Distilleries was founded in 1948 by JN Radhakrishna. Its initial products were brandy and rum, but in 1982 it became the first company to make single malt whisky in India, discovering along the way that the warm Bangalore climate matures whiskies at three times the rate of that in Scotland.
Amrut, which means 'nectar of the gods' in Sanskrit, was introduced to the overseas market in 2004, where it has since gained a loyal following. Popular bottles in its range include Amrut Cask Strength, Amrut Rye and Amrut Fusion.
AMRUT PEATED 94/100 - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible
A great peated offering from India's Amrut"from the land of the Great Himalayas". Jim Murray speaks very highly of this, giving it 94 points. Rich and intense.
Amrut Peated is made from specially peated barley that is carefully mashed and distilled in small batches to preserve the natural aroma. It is then matured in oak and bottled without chill filtration and is not coloured with caramel.