Amrut Kadhambam


Distillery/Brand: Amrut | ABV: 50% | Region: India | Colour: Full Gold
Nose: 24 | Taste: 22 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 92

Amrut expressions are extremely rare on the ground given their limited runs thanks to a policy of quality and not quantity which we all appreciate. They are also subject to the most cruel levels of Angel’s Share thanks to the hot and balmy weather of Bangalore. And so when they released the third edition of this rare expression I just had to get it.

Kadhambam in Tamil means ‘mixture’ and that’s exactly what this malt is. Matured in four different casks – new American Oak, rum, sherry & brandy – it mixes and marries flavor profiles from all influences.

Nose: It’s restrained in a confident manner. It doesn’t come rushing at you on all 8 cylinders yet neither does it shy away from expressing itself. The American Oak announces itself first with a lovely bourbon-y smell complete with vanilla, some chocolate and caramel. The rum is next with it’s dry dates and banana. The sherry with it’s clove and finally the brandy with a whiff of wild flowers. The subtle nuances coupled with the complex make this quite a nosing experience.

Palate: Now the palate I would have liked to fire on all cylinders but the restraint continues. The woody caramel delivery is sprinkled with cinnamon and cocoa powder and completely coats your mouth in a creamy goodness. I hung on for a long time to try and get some more out of it but couldn’t. And that’s where it loses a couple of points.

Finish: Long and dry with the same chocolate, oak and spice setting up permanent camp on your taste buds.

This is not my favorite Amrut but it’s a damn fine one. And I have to give them props for not shying away from doing things no other distillery would even dare. Thanks to them we experience flavor profiles we could not have dreamed possible.

Rating: 92

Laphroaig 10 Cask Strength Batch 005


Distillery/Brand: Laphroaig
Region: Islay
ABV: 57.2%
Colour: Young Sauternes

Nose: 23
Taste: 23
Finish: 23
Balance: 23

Laphroaig has been releasing a 10 year old Cask Strength version every year for the last five and I’ve managed to get my hands on all except the second. So if you have access to Batch 002 somehow please let me know.

Right, now on to the 5.

Strong Laphroaig-ian nose. Unlike the recent Cairdeas releases where the nose has been very subtle this one makes no excuses about it’s birth-right. The strong peat, seaweed and iodine burst through beautifully riding on a wave of golden, dark oranges coated in a lovely brown sugar brittle. Finally there’s a touch of butterscotch with a crinkling of almond husk and an unusual hint of fresh soap.

The palate is a strong white pepper delivery on a wave of oaky sweet honey, raisins and lemon tart. This one has to stay on the palate for a while to be truly appreciated.

The long long finish is a touch spicy and coats your entire mouth with a slightly chalky (but in a good way), salivating minty finish.

Rating: 92