Amrut Distilleries recently held a blind whiskey tasting at The Glass House, Lavelle Road, Bangalore. Being a scotch aficionado, it was an opportunity I personally looked forward to since the stakes involved were high. The eventful afternoon was brought to life by Mr. Ashok Chokalingam introducing us to the art of blind tasting of whiskeys from around the world. He is a renowned whiskey expert who was also voted whiskey Ambassador for the year 2012, by the Icons of whiskey.
Ashok guided us trough the samples of whiskeys, each time explaining how to appreciate your whiskey and walking us trough different ways to ensure we understood it right. With ample helpful insights, he brought us to understand the smokiness of oak barrel, the sweetness of caramel, the punch of citrus or the spiciness of anise just by nosing the drink and then by letting our taste buds rejoice the glittering whiskey.
We started off with nosing the aromas in the first glass. It smelt a little strong. This was followed up by warming up the glass and the liquor inside with our body heat for a good few minutes before nosing it again. And boy, it was stronger and richer in citrus and wild berries. The taste was sweet, smooth, and almost too sweet. Rolling it around my mouth followed by swallowing it gently, it left a feeling of being smooth in the mouth with no burning in the throat and a short caramel finish.
The flavors and complexities of the whiskeys were interesting and overwhelming as we moved along the glasses. One smelt of bananas but turned out to taste like vanilla and spice. Another was sweet as liquorices with flavors of bourbon, but in reality made in India! We spoke of factors affecting color, taste, how soft water and peaty water make their differences with Ashok guiding and helping us with dollops of hints and directions; all the while trying to keep the event fun and informative but not overwhelming. While no water was allowed, soft drinks were a definite taboo. We consumed several drams in a little over an hour, and though I would have personally liked more time to understand the drinks, huge pangs of hunger struck.
 We moved on to the rest of the glasses. We needed to score the drinks as well on those parameters. The exercise took longer than I anticipated. It was almost 4pm as we were totaling our guesses and scores to see how the whiskeys had fared. The crowd highest was Jim Beam, but got the lowest from me! There were three of Amrut whiskeys in the tasting, single malt, fusion blend and peated whiskey, with JW Black Label, Glen Morangie and Jim Beam being the other three whiskeys in the tasting.
In 2010, Jim Murray named the Amrut Fusion single malt whiskey as the third best in the world
The blind tasting ended with evaluation of the score cards here the most popular choice was Jim Beam followed by- The Amrut Fusion and the Amrut Peated Single Malt then on the list was Johnnie Walker Black Label and Glen Moraingie.
‘Amrut Distillery’ has won numerous awards worldwide and also won the third best whiskey in the world title. The fact that such fine whiskey is made in India makes me proud and the distinct taste has put it on my favorites list.

Photo Credits to All those who made it there and were nice enough to share them with us.