Archive for June, 2012

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.

Bunnahabhain NAS ‘Toiteach’ (46%, OB, +/-2010?) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Bunnahabhain NAS ‘Toiteach’ (46%, OB, +/-2010?)

A peated Bunnahabhain which one has to presume is made up of mainly younger whiskies other wise there would be an age statement. Un-chillfiltered however which is a very good way to start and “Toiteach” is Gaelic for Smoky. On the nose there is peat smoke like peanut butter (think of the natural version, not the versions with sugar and lard), some hints of juniper and a little caramel sweetness. Quite vibrant and lively. And nice. Pleasant. After some time in the glass there are also some hints of smoky bacon. The taste is gentle at first and then some very nice peat smoke (and the bacon) takes over along with some vegetal hints and also hints of the juniper (not too much, just a little). And then some really good cereal/grain/malty moment. The finish is a good reflection of the nose and the taste with the peat smoke and grains holding on well and not falling apart into something unsavory. After some moments some really good smoked grain appears to finish things off.

Surprisingly good.

£53 at The Whisky Exchange

Score 85 points

The Malt Maniacs Pass A Milestone – Whisky News

The Malt Manics have passed the 50,000 ratings mark from over 15,700 different bottlings on the Monitor!

Scotch Malt Whisky Society July Previews – Scotch Whisky News

July Previews: 4 New Releases

We’ve released 4 preview casks from July’s Outturn… be amongst the first of our members to preview the new list before its release on Fri 6 July.

Poles Apart Pair: 41.52 & 76.91 only £95
41.52 Boiled sweets and Playdoh & 76.91 Caballero in an orange grove. A young bourbon cask and an old sherry cask, this pairing contains plenty to delight the sweet-toothed explorer.

July’s Tasting Panel Favourite: 3.189 – £61.10
3.189 Echoes of bonfires and funfairs (Islay) The taste could best be described as fierce but pleasant – ash, smoke, burnt toffee, toffee apples, echoes of bonfire night; dry clove and mustard heat to finish.

Seaside Stunner: 4.165 – £82.30
4.165 Soft peat and seaside piers (Highland Island) A chewy taste of toffee crisp, soft heather, mint hot chocolate, Murray mints with saccharin bitterness and a minerally peat heat left the Panel pleasantly surprised.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, 87 Giles Street, Leith EH6 6BZ
Contact: or call 0131 555 2929 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.45pm).

Visit the Society at for your chance to join and to take advantage of their great offers.

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #284 – Scotch Whisky News goes Vintage again with Whisky Review 284Coleburn 1979 30yo (Mackillop’s Choice)

Compass Box ‘World Record’ UK Tasting Tour – Success! – Scotch Whisky News

A note from Chris at Compass Box;

Starting in Inverness just after midnight, at 12.01am, John Glaser and Dominic Roskrow proceeded to host 8 different whisky tastings in 8 Whisky Shops across 8 cities between Inverness and 643 miles away in Brighton.

Travelling by car, the team reached their destination in Brighton bang on time at 11.30pm, 30 minutes within their 24 hour deadline. There were many highlights, but drinking Great King Street Highballs with more than 25 whisky fans in Edinburgh at 4.30am in the morning will live long in the memory!

Guinness were unfortunately unable to process the World Record attempt before it actually took place….but kindly replied three days afterwards (!) to confirm that it would have been a new world record category for them. So it’s the ‘World Record’ that wasn’t…Oh well, it was still an amazing day!

Glenrothes NAS 1988/2011 (43%, OB, 2011) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

Glenrothes NAS 1988/2011 (43%, OB, 2011) 

On the nose there is some very light fruit (which grows with time in the glass), a good dollop of citrus, hints of leather and tobacco, a little lumber yard. When all are taken together it makes for a heady and pleasing combination. The taste leans towards the leather and tobacco followed by the fruit which is now in the form of stewed prunes and raspberries along with some of the citrus, orange zest? No matter it’s quite good and solid. The finish warming and a very good reflection of the nose and the taste and therefore quite well balanced. There’s a little more of the leather and tobacco with some spice in the finish which is a good addition to the mix. 

Well done Glenrothes! 


Score 85 points

Sample kindly provided by David King of Anchor Distilling, Whisky Intelligence recently had a chance to chat with David and covered the follwing topics;

David has been in the whisky industry since 1989 and his father was a customs officer in a scotch whisky distillery.  In ’95 he first came across The Glenrothes and in 1998 he started working full time with The Glenrothes. The distillery only uses 2% of liquid for bottling as The Glenrothes (the rest goes into other blended whisky). The 1988 Vintage, which is jsut now arrving in the USA, is different from the predecessor vintages. The spirits used for the Glenrothes single malt is determined by cask selection and not by an age statement hence the use of vintages.

The Glenrothes is now with Anchor Distilling (a boutique craft international group) and The Glenrothes is the biggest brand in the portfolio.  The Glenrothes works well for Anchor’s portfolio because of the evolving market place – consumers want education and smaller craft products – “maturity not age”  The Glenrothes motto really works well in this market place. David’s also said that they plan to have a significant commitment to focusing on events and festivals in order to talk directly to consumers. 

Arran 10yr Old 50 ml Bottles Soon To Be Available in USA – Scotch Whisky News

Following the latest Gold Medal Award from the San Francisco World
Spirits Competition 2012, Arran 10 yr old will be available in
50 ml bottles in the U.S.

It is bottled at 46% without any chill filtration
Absolutely no artificial colouring whatsoever
Jim Murray from Whisky Bible rated Arran 10 yr 93 points

We are very excited to have the Arran 10 yr old available in miniatures
• Can be used for the “Newbie” to Arran
• Fill a well deserved space in one’s miniature collection
• Serves as a good gift idea for travellers, colleagues, corporate gifts, friends, family members, etc.

RRP $ 6.99/btl

Current accolades for Isle of Arran Distillery include:
Winner for Best New Exporter (2004), Queen’s Award for International Trade (2005),
Scottish Distiller of the Year (2007) and Scottish Drinks Producer of the Year (2007)

Product awards include: Best Whisky Liqueur (2007), ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 12 Years & Under’ for The Arran Malt Amarone Cask Finish (2008) ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for The Arran Malt Sherry Single Cask 1998 (2010) and ‘Best Single Malt Scotch 11-15 Years’ for the Icons of Arran Peacock (2011)

Arran- The Devil’s Punchbowl at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

Arran- The Devil’s Punchbowl 52.3%

Limited release of 6,660 bottles

Cask strength vatting of 24 casks including ex-bourbon, sherry and peated malt.

Named after a stunning landmark on the Isle of Arran.

Dare to meet the devil?

£74.99 (£62.49 ex VAT)

Ralfy Publishes Whisky Review #283 – Scotch Whisky News

Ralfy publishes Whisky Review #283 Lochside 1981 30yo Malt (BB&R)

Powered by WordPress