Amrut Shakes Up Cocktail Scene – Indian Whisky News

Amrut shakes up cocktail scene

Amrut Fusion was the toast of the cocktail lounge when the world’s best whiskies were put to the test in New York City in June.

The Ultimate Cocktail Challenge pits whiskies against each other in identically-made cocktails and Amrut Fusion was the judges’ ultimate recommendation for the Rob Roy. Fusion was awarded the Chairman’s Trophy for its performance in this classic whisky and vermouth cocktail. The judges’ comments were:

“Lovely frosty brown appearance in the coupe. Aromatically, this cocktail highlights the Amrut Fusion Single Malt to a fine point as the nose is all about bread, baking yeast and breakfast cereal. Impeccable balance is the underlying asset. Amrut from India is now ready to play in the big leagues of whisk(e)y.”

Hundreds of cocktails were tasted and rated in the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge and the coveted Chairman’s Trophy only awarded to the top-performing spirits. The judges, led by Paul Pacult the challenge’s founder, spent a week assessing how a range of spirits performed as the base of classic cocktails. Fusion was also a Finalist in the Rusty Nail category and a “strong recommendation” for a Blood & Sand.

Entered brands were tasted in all cocktail recipes for their category. For instance, all whiskies were tasted in a Rob Roy, Rusty Nail and Blood & Sand. The cocktails were all carefully made – to identical standards – by professional bartenders out of sight of the judges. They were then tasted blind in the appropriate glassware.

The cocktail challenge takes the guesswork out of making your own cocktails. Few of us have the time or resources to experiment with dozens of different brands to determine which is the best for your favorite classic recipe “We believe that UCC ratings provide consumers with the necessary information for the best spirit to use in simple cocktails that they can make at home,” said Paul Pacult.

The decision to enter Amrut Fusion in the challenge was made to demonstrate that Amrut could compete with the best known brands on equal terms and make great cocktails. “Of course, we know Fusion is a world class malt whisky, but it is rather untested in the cocktail world,” said Raj Sabharwal, Managing Director of Purple Valley Imports, Amrut’s US importer. “We are delighted with the enthusiastic reception the judges at the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge gave Fusion and we know drinkers will appreciate exploring another way to enjoy Amrut.”

Amrut’s Brand Ambassador, Ashok Chokalingam, added: “Amrut Fusion has again proved itself as a world class whisky and the recognition from UCC confirms its position as one of the top class malt whiskies. It is an honor for Amrut to receive these awards.”

Mixologists and top cocktail bars are starting to recognize the potential of Amrut in cocktails. In Manhattan, the Gerber Group has created the Punjab for its Stone Rose Lounge at the Time Warner Center. The Punjab’s ginger note adds another dimension to Amrut Single Malt Peated as you enjoy the views over Central Park and the city skyline.

Meanwhile Patricia Richards, master mixologist at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Hotel, caused a stir at the finals of the US Bartender’s Guild Mixing Star competition in Las Vegas with her Mai Chai. She combined two Amruts (the single malt and the sherry cask matured) with Disaronno for a spice-infused variation of an Old Fashioned. Patricia told the Las Vegas Sun: “I tried to create one of those little symphonies for the palette. I like to create cocktails that take people out of their comfort zones and that give guests a new experience. Because that’s what people come to Vegas for – it’s about that wow factor we provide here.”


Ultimate Cocktail Challenge – Amrut’s scores

Award    Score    Product    Name    Cocktail Name    Accolade

Chairman’s Trophy 95 Amrut Fusion Indian Single Malt Whisky India, 50% abv Rob Roy Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation

Finalist 94 Amrut Fusion Indian Single Malt Whisky India, 50% abv Rusty Nail Excellent, Highly Recommended

88 Amrut Fusion Indian Single Malt Whisky India, 50% abv Blood & Sand Very Good, Strong Recommendation

Ultimate Cocktail Challenge website:

Press Release and UCC images:


Amrut Distilleries

Amrut Single Malt Whisky from India was launched officially in Glasgow in 2004. Since then its reputation has grown, with its range of innovative whiskies using Indian barley from the Punjab, distilled in the tropical garden city of Bangalore at 3,000ft above sea level. Amrut Distilleries has won many awards.

Last year, Amrut Fusion was named Grand Master of World Whisky at The Spirits Business Awards in London in December. Already named one of seven Masters of World Whisky by the judging panel of the prestigious event, Amrut Fusion came out as the “best of the best” in the final stage of the competition.

Amrut Distilleries was named a Distiller of the Year in the Icons of Whisky 2011 and was crowned in the Rest of the World category by the independent judges of the prestigious awards, which are organized by Whisky Magazine. The award was made to Amrut “for raising the profile of Indian whisky across the globe and its innovations in the production process”. The Rest of the World title meant the Bangalore distillery was also one of the four contenders for the Icons of Whisky Distiller of the Year title.

In February 2011, Fusion was named World Whisky of the Year at the Malt Advocate Whisky Awards. In a new category created to recognize “the wonderful whiskies” being produced in countries like Japan, India, Sweden, England, outside the major distilling nations, John Hansell, editor of Malt Advocate magazine, explained the choice of winner. “India’s Amrut distillery changed the way many think of Indian whisky. … Amrut is making whisky, and it’s very good.”

In The Whisky Bible 2010, leading whisky expert, Jim Murray awarded Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky the title of World’s Third Best Whisky. Murray said Fusion “has to be one of the great whiskies found anywhere in the world this year”. Admitting his No 3 choice could come as a surprise to some people, he said: “The fact that it is Indian? Irrelevant, from distillation to maturation this is a genius whisky from whichever continent.”

Fusion was named the Best Natural Cask Whisky in the Daily Drams Category at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2009. It picked up the award for the best whisky matured exclusively in “untreated”, regular cask(s) in the category for whiskies with an average street price of up to 50 euros. It was also awarded a silver medal. In 2011, Malt Maniacs awarded Amrut Portonova the title of Best Cask Innovation Award (Premium).

One of the Amrut Single Malt Whisky bottlings by Blackadder International won “The Best Daily Dram” category of Malt Maniacs 2008 Awards. All the Amrut brands entered into the same competition won silver and bronze medals.

Amrut Peated Malt Cask Strength Whisky won Silver and Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength Whisky Bronze at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2008.

Amrut is now sold widely in Europe (UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Spain), Canada, South Africa, Australia and the United States.

Purple Valley Imports is the importer of Amrut in the USA.

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