The whiskey gospel has gone global. Just taste how India's Amrut Fusion and Sullivan's Cove from Tasmania (each featured in meet-the-distiller events at restaurants this week, as well as Thursday's Whiskey Fest) emphasize how traditionally made spirits take on distinctive terroirs.
For Amrut, a Bangalor distillery that began as rum producer for the Indian army, copper pot-stilled northern Indian malt ages at a significantly faster rate than in Scotland in India's warmer climate (a max of seven years). But the complexity in its "Fusion" blend is clear, a coppery hue touched exotic with cardamom and clove, orange, fennel, and a shade of smoky peat. For the pricey and deeply colored whiskeys of Sullivan's Cove, Tasmanian barley spirit, averaging 11 years old, is aged in either American oak barrels or French oak once used for Aussie port. The result is exceptionally smooth, fruity, and sweet. The double-cask, in fact, which blends both kinds of barrels, tastes like a cherry cordial. Sullivan's is still limited in Pennsylvania, but Amrut is a holiday gift slam d(r)unk.