Distillery/Brand: Amrut | Region: India | ABV: 62.3% | Colour: Dark Copper
Nose: 8.8 | Palate: 8.4 | Finish: 8.6 | Overall Score: 8.6
I don’t need to remind anyone of my complete and obvious bias towards Amrut whiskies. Pioneers of fearless whisky making is what they are. They do things to their whiskies that would make the collective Scotch Whisky Association turn in it’s grave. Once it’s dead and buried, of course.
Cask seasoning, multiple flavour staves in one barrel, maturing on different continents – you name it, they’ve done it. They’re the mad scientists of the whisky world except instead of blowing stuff up they make some of the most delicious liquid on the planet.
Aside from their weirdly wonderful experimental expressions are their single cask offerings which are universally quite phenomenal if you ask me. And independent bottler Blackadder seem to think so too. They’ve bottled this sherry cask as part of their Raw Cask series which essentially means that the spirit is drawn straight from the cask without any dilution or filtering. Proof of which you can see in the form of charcoal bits floating in the bottle.
Whisky the way it’s meant to be drunk, I strongly believe.
My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at a scrumptious 62.3%
Nose: Coffee. Lots of it. Tiramisu. Dark chocolate. Burnt caramel. Betel nut. Betel leaf. Starts off sweet then turns savoury. Green cigar leaf. The oak here is solid. Cracking nose this. High-pitched aromas hinting at a young whisky but enough complexity and intensity to keep me entertained. 8.8
Palate: Big. Big. Drying. The oak is the dominant force here. Just about threatens to overwhelm but is pulled back by a late dark chocolate and cinnamon coffee arrival. With water it mellows out a touch. The chocolate is a touch sweeter now and more pronounced. However, overall it remains quite savoury. 8.4
Finish: Huge. Oaky. Drying. Quite spicy. Touch of fruits with a drop of water. 8.6
Overall Comments: Great little whisky this. I don’t expect any less from these guys. My first Blackadder bottle as well and so I’m quite happy to search for new ones. Find it. Drink it.
Overall Score: 8.6
Distillery/Brand: Amrut | Region: India | ABV: 50% | Color: Copper
Nose: 23 | Taste: 24 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 93
Those of you who know me know that I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to anything Amrut. I heard about this distillery from Bangalore from an Indian friend of mine and was then pleasantly surprised to hear that a certain Mr Murray had rated it as his Top 3 for the year.
Intrigued I set about trying to snag a bottle but given the distillery’s ridiculously tiny output and (at that time) limited distribution it was proving to be an extremely tough assignment.
Anyway, after much perseverance (twelve calls to the distillery and a friend traveling from India) I somehow finally managed two. Luckily for me it was totally worth the favor I had to reluctantly pull.
At 46% they were intended for the local Indian market which gave me a hankering for the 50% export expression. By that time my local distributor had some in stock so it was much easier scoring a third bottle.
Amrut Fusion is a blend of peated Scottish barley and un-peated Himalayan barley. Distilled separately using water from Punjab both spirits are left to mature independently for three to five years in ex-Bourbon barrels and then married together to create what is, arguably, my favorite thing to come out of India.
PS: If my wife is reading this I meant to say second favorite thing.
This sample is from Batch No 10 bottled in May 2011 and opened over two years ago. The oxidization seems to have made this even better than I remember.
Nose: Strong barley. Honey. Peat. Salt. Coffee. Chocolate. Mocha. Perfectly ripe bananas. Crisp pears. All spice. Hint of husk and breakfast cereal. Funnily enough it has a sherry quality to it even though there is none involved. A warm captivating nose.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel. Peppers. Orange marmalade. Honey. Raisins. Figs. Almonds. Cream puff. Chocolate. And that oak. It’s the perfectly crafted oak that makes this delivery quite sensational.
Finish: Oily. Long. Spices. And that magnificent oak.
This is the dram that put a traditional rum making distillery on to the whisky map. The expressions that followed were genius but they were dared on the back of this savant.
It’s called Two Continents because it’s been matured in both India and Scotland. I don’t know who thought of doing that but they’re on to something special here.
The 2nd Edition is slightly stronger than the first (50% vs 46% ABV) and I think that adds to the excitement.
Nose: Let’s start with the unreal nose. Each visit brings you something new forcing you to almost sit and nose it for hours. I had so many flavor profiles wrestling with my senses I was dazed. It’s instantly honeyed reminding you of a ripe fruit stew covered in pudding. There is also a small piece of chocolate drizzled with citrus juice that is just delightfully unexpected. Sit with it for a while and the smell of freshly cut grass grabs you. As your sense of smell eagerly waits for something new out comes a tray of freshly baked biscuits! Finally you are reminded that the one thing that binds it together is fat, juicy barley.
Palate: With heady anticipation I let some of it slide over my tongue and it was as if someone had just taken all these aromas and liquified them instantly. As the silky malt explored my mouth it left behind faint traces of oak with pencil shavings strewn around. Then suddenly from no where you’re hit with the fiery spice of cinnamon and star anise.
Finish: Once you close your eyes and swallow you realize that each component worked harmoniously with each other and made the other great. Possibly one of my favorite malts from definitely my favorite distillery.
Rating : 97
Once again the world’s most experimentally daring distillery conjures up glorious magic in a bottle. The Amrut Intermediate Sherry has been matured in bourbon casks first, shifted to Jerez sherry casks for a bit and then back into bourbon casks for final maturation.
Nose: The result is a truly unique flavor profile unlike other sherry influenced malts. The nose bursts out from a bouquet of floral aromas. The sweet barley shrouded sherry is the hero but with that you can also expect a touch of custard and fruits.
Palate: The gorgeous palate is a rush of sugar and honeyed barley. A second rush introduces us to stewed fruits and vanilla. Finally the strong sherry flavors give way to a captivating oaky finish full of spices. A truly amazing malt!
Rating : 94