Tasting Notes for Amrut Nilgiris Indian Dry Gin
A dry handcrafted gin using the freshest botanicals from the pristine Nilgiris (Blue) mountains in the western Ghats of India at 7000 ft above sea level. The maceration and distillation is skillfully performed in copper pot stills with juniper berries, coriander, lemongrass, angelica, orris root, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and tea. A refreshing herbal forward gin.
The inception for a distilled gin was laid down as a team at Amrut, however, the preliminary work on botanical research was really initiated by the late CMD Shri Neelakanta Rao Jagdale. The idea was to create a profile that was unique to India and one that was reflective to its namesake, Nilgiris. Nilgiri mountains is part of the western Ghats of India, over 7000 ft above sea level; offering an array of botanicals that exhibit an indigenous flavour to some of the commonly available species and herbs.
Nilgiris has a vast area dedicated to tea plantation and grows a variety of Indian spices. The research included multiple trips to the Nilgiris, foraging numerous botanicals and distilling them individually and as a part of a compound recipe; understanding its organoleptic nuances within a broad flavour chart. The use of Nilgiris tea and spices are a fitting representation of the rich flavours the blue mountains has to offer. The packaging has allusions to the phenomenal expanse of the blueness of the mountains and the vivid colours of flora.
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 Amrut Distillery Style Indian Dry Gin Volume 70CL ABV 42.8%