My son discovered this on a trip to India, and bought me a bottle when he came back. I am glad he did, it's an excellent and subtle single malt. As I said in my review of Amrut Single Malt elsewhere it reminds me of Macallan somewhat - and nearer the 20yo than the 10yo version.
And no, it's not 'made from molasses' as the other reviewer said but from barley. "The manufacture of whisky from malted grains in India was pioneered by Amrut Distilleries. In 1982, Neelakanta Jagdale, Chairman and Managing Director of Amrut Distilleries, decided to create a premium whisky from a combination of malted and unmalted barley, while most distillers in India were manufacturing whisky by converting molasses to alcohol." [Wikipedia]
The manufacturer's site includes this 'tasting note' that pretty accurately nails it, for me:
Nose : Distinctly confidant liquorice-bourbon notes with near perfect bitter-sweet balance; burnt honeycomb and toffee also abound Taste : Outstanding richness and sheen to the enormous barley-oak sweetness; again there is a big bourbony cut to the cloth with all the liquorice and molassed sugar normally associated; but the barley adds that extra dimension Finish : Long, wonderfully layered oak offering variations of a sweet dry theme; a touch silky with some cream toffee at the death
I had heard about Indian whiskies from somebody from India and how they are mostly made from molasses so they are more like a rum with a whisky taste. I just had to try it once in my life. Would it be a taste from the British Raj days, magically frozen in time, waiting to be rediscovered by the British public who would be amazed at the old-world quality? So it came today and I just tried it. It is 46% alcohol so it dulls the taste buds if you don't dilute it but I could savour the smell. Disappointing. Not even whisky-like. Not pleasant. I put a lump of ice in it so that I would taste it at 40% alcohol. The taste? Disappointing. I bought this at the same time as buying a Johnnie Walker Double Black for the same price. The Double Black was superb; the Amrut -- disappointing. Not anywhere near as good as Ballantine's Finest, if you want an idea of what to compare it against. Maybe as a novelty, with friends round for an Indian meal, you could serve this with ice with the onion bhajis and talk it up, assuming they had all taken a bite from one of your Indian bhajis then they won't notice the flavour for what it is - disappointing.
This whisky tastes like a weakly-flavoured rum disguised to taste slightly like a whisky, which is exactly what it is.
The "coffee test" for me is whether you would want to put some in a cup of coffee you were about to drink. The answer could be "no", because it is too good for coffee, "yes" because it isn't a good whisky but tastes OK in coffee, or "no", it would spoil the coffee. This whisky, for me, rates as a latter "no".
Not worth the money. Not worth half the money. Not worth a third.