The Amrut distillery was founded in 1948 as Amrut Laboratories. Established by Shri J N Radhakrishna, the company started blending and bottling various alcoholic beverages. During the 1950s and 1960s, Amrut launched products for the Indian armed forces as well as the general market; products included the dark rum Amrut XXX and Silver Cup Brandy. During the 1970s, Amrut began marketing a grape brandy called Bejois, made from Bangalore blue grapes.
It was not until the 1980s that the company began producing malt whisky. The guidelines for what constitutes a whisky in India are decidedly lax, in fact 90% of whisky consumed in India is made from molasses and blended malt whisky can contain as little as 4% malt whisky. Amrut strived to provide a better product that would meet global requirements and employed the help of whisky experts from Scotland to perfect the processes. The barley is specially grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and the whisky is matured at 3,000ft at Bangalore. Due to the tropical conditions, the whisky matures extremely quickly. As much as fifteen percent abv is lost every year to the angel’s share, thus it is unwise to mature it for much more than a few years, lest the product drops below forty percent abv and ceases to be whisky.