Monday, December 29, 2014

An Afternoon with Amrut.

Amrut Distilleries recently held a blind whiskey tasting in The Glass House, on Lavelle Road here in Bangalore.Initially I never liked whiskey or scotch. I am a hard core Rum fan. But then I have started to not just enjoy an evening with Whiskey but also to try and find out the taste Flavor and the palate of it.

All this was promised when I signed up for the Blind Whiskey tasting at The Glass House, which is breathtakingly beautiful, the unique blend of glass concrete and steel make the place look so elegant, the lighting with the beautiful ceiling adds to the magic.

The day unfolded with Mr Ashok Chokalingam , introducing us to a blind tasting of whiskey’s from around the world. Mr. Ashok is a renowned whiskey expert voted whiskey Ambassador for the year 2012, by the Icons of whiskey. 
Ashok guided us trough the samples of whiskeys explaining how to appreciate your whiskey and walked us trough different ways to understand it right. He helped us 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 smelling the aromas in the first glass. It seemed a little strong. And then we had to warm up the glass covering it on the top and base 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. I rolled it around my mouth and gently swallowed it. Smooth in the mouth, no burning in the throat, short caramel finish.

The flavors and complexities of the whiskeys were interesting and overwhelming as we moved along the glasses. One had the smell of bananas, and turned out to taste like vanilla and spice. Another was sweet as liquorice with flavors of bourbon, but in reality made in India! We spoke to factors affecting color, taste, how soft water and peaty water make their differences. Our guide helped us with hints and directions keeping the event fun and informative. No water was allowed, and of course no soft drinks. 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 Glenmoraingie.
‘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 favourites list.
After the whiskey tasting we were served with the cuisine at TGH, European inspired but with a twist. The chef has done a wonderful job with the oh-so-mouth-watering menu.
The menu for the evening was-
1.Stuffed mini eggplant roulade: hummus
2.Goat’s cheese lollipops: spiced romesco, dates and jalapenos stuffing, chilly lavash triangle
3.Rosemary margarita: san marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh rosemary
Non veg-
1.Chicken fire cracker: red dynasty cabbage slaw, scallions
2.Beef carpaccio: red wine cured, shaved ginger, togarashi spice
3.Lamb and jalapeƱo sliders: pickled cabbage, mini bun

4.Fish and chips inspiration: house tartar sauce, lavash crisp

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