Tasting Notes for Amrut Neidhal Indian Single Malt Whisky
Nose: Tropical fruits, vanilla punctuated by soft phenols and above all, salt on the nose.
Taste: Fruit cocktail and mesmerizing phenols with a touch of iodine. The middle ground is an essay in chewability.
Finish: A phenolic finish with a touch of sweet vanilla.
Amrut has now conceived and launched a new umbrella brand - ‘Single Malts of India’ to showcase some of the hidden gem malts of India. The first chapter of this release, titled the Neidhal will be a limited release of 12,000 bottles across the world, with 1200 bottles being allocated for India.
Ancient Tamil texts, dating back to the Sangam period (300 BC – 300 AD), classify mother earth into five regions called Tinais, each being associated with its own distinct literary style, grammar, mood, subtle as well as overt form of romance, culture and even cuisine. “Neidhal”, according to this classification comprises all Oceans and neighboring regions or in short, Coastal Plains and the way of living one associates with them.
Neidhal is a single malt eponymously sourced from a Neidhal or coastal region and exhibits traits that uniquely spring from the locale - notes of tropical fruits, vanilla punctuated by soft smokey phenols and above all sea salt on the nose. On the palate, it is fruit cocktail and mesmerising phenols with a touch of iodine. The middle ground is an essay in chewability and a finish that is phenolic with a touch of sweet vanilla. Bottled at 46% and non-chill filtered.
Amrut whisky started life in 1948, just as India became independent and people were looking for more home-grown Indian products. In the beginning, Amrut was manufacturing Indian Made Foreign Liquor, a catch-all term for all non-Indian alcoholic drinks at the time. In 1982, the company changed direction and started producing premium spirits, using barley gown in the Punjab region, and Prestige Blended Malt Whisky was released in 1986 with a Single Malt version following 18 months later. As Single Malt was virtually unknown in India at the time it seems Amrut didn’t quite know what to do with it and it ended up blended sugar cane distillate to create MaQintosh Premium Whisky - the wild-west indeed!
One thing that Amrut discovered on their journey into making premium quality whisky was that the angel share in India was much higher, typically around 11-12% per year compared to 3% in Scotland or Ireland. The higher evaporation concentrates flavours and brings oak character into the maturation process faster (there is always a debate about temperature vs tropical aging, both are good!). The brains behind Amrut felt their whiskies were as good as 12 year old Scotch after aging for 3 years and so Amrut took a giant step forward towards international recognition and entered the European market in 2004. The quality of their whiskies has improved enormously since the days of MaQintosh Premium Whisky and this was recognized in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, where Amrut Fusion was awarded the World’s 3rd best whisky in 2010.
Producer An Unnamed Indian Distillery - Sourced and bottled by Amrut. Style Indian Single Malt Whisky Age No Age Statement Volume 70CL ABV 46%