In September 2021 we had a very fun event we called the ‘Battle of India’ where we pitted the two big single malt producers from India against one another: Amrut and Paul John.
We had 3 pairs of spirits that were similar in nature to one another from each distillery, and one mystery dram at the end. Each pair was tasted blind and members guessed at which distillery they came from, and gave their preferences live on the call.
The first pair were classic single malts at cask strength:
This one probably stumped people the most in terms of differentiating between the two. Preferences were split as well.
The next were Oloroso sherry influenced bottlings:
These were easier to tell apart given the very citrus forward nature of the Amrut Naarangi, and overall the Paul John Oloroso was preferred.
The third pairing were peated expressions:
These were more easily differentiated as well since so many were familiar with Amrut Fusion. The Peated CS from Paul John was a popular pick and surprised many.
Finally came the mystery bottling, which we asked everyone to guess on, using what they had learned about the two distilleries to figure out where it was from:
The majority did pick Paul John, but only one person guessed the Mithuna – not surprising since it had very limited distribution in Canada and most wouldnt have seen it, much less tried it before! It was the runaway favourite of the event.
Overall, Paul John had more preference votes than Amrut which shocked all of us, given Amrut’s popularity. Of course we didn’t taste any of the darlings of the Amrut line-up (peated cask strength, Spectrum etc), so it may have been different had the line-up been more extensive. Overall, some incredible malts being made in India that everyone should try to check out!