When I say whisk(e)y you, depending on your particular type of choice, will conjur an image in your head. Take a second to try this - I'll wait. It may be of the rolling Scottish Highlands; the smell of a peat fire; the isolated stillness of the Orkneys. For you it might be an American scene that is brought to mind: a ranch; a rye field; a saloon. On occasion I am even taken to think of Japan, given my developing fondness for some of the excellent single malts they produce. The whisk(e)y regions vary vastly in culture and imagery and, to my mind, is part of the enjoyment in this spirit. As a result, the Amrut has not disappointed!
I would be reasonably willing to bet that at no point in your wander through the imagination did India feature in your imagery. If truth be told, before I received this sample I had not been aware that India was a player in the whisk(e)y world, let alone of this brand. Before going any further, the origin of the distillery's name is worth mentioning. It is a part of Indian mythology that the gods ("devas") and demons ("rakshasas") churned the ocean in order to obtain the elixir of life ("Amrut"). A pattern seems to be emerging through the world and the ages with whisky being viewed as an other-worldly force. Uisge Beatha (Scottish Gaelic) and Uisce Beatha (Irish) both literally translate as "water of life." These were, in turn, translations of the original aqua vitae from Latin. Coincidence? I think not.
Now, on to the Fusion which, in my opinion, quite rightly earned a spot in Ian Buxton's 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die.
Appearance: Tawny (Yes, I have finally got a chart that will allow my range to advance beyond gold, amber and straw).
Nose: I struggled with this one. I got fruity notes but was unable to tie them down any more specifically than that; there was definitely a hint of smoke on the nose but this only became apparent to me after adding a couple of drops of water; slight hint of toffee.
Taste: At first I had the same unspecific feeling that it was fruity; the peat came through more prominently than I was expecting but in a pleasing way; after struggling to identify the flavour I looked at the tasting notes provided with the tasting pack and, with my last mouthful, I got it - dark chocolate. Plainly there and very enjoyable.
Finish: Both sweet and spicy in equal measure and at the same time.
This dram is an enigma wrapped up in a riddle disguised as a haiku. Not an easy one to get to grips with by any means but it is definitely on my list for one to buy as a full bottle. The town of Bangalore, where this delightful dram is aged, has produced a damned fine single malt of which it should be proud!