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This review is part of a head to head between 2 high ABV whiskies, Booker’s batch 2015-01, and Amrut Single cask Bourbon finished single malt.
This particular cask is number 3444, distilled June 2009, bottled at 60% January 2014. It is part of a set of exclusive Amrut bottlings for the LCBO released last year. Initial maturation took place in virgin oak casks followed by a transfer to first fill ex-bourbon casks. Total Maturation losses reported as 45.1%! This is bottle number 149 of 156. Given that all the various LCBO casks are bottled at 60%, I strongly suspect they standardized the bottling strength so this may not be quite at cask strength.
This is my second time trying this particular bottle, which I opened about 4-5 days ago and preserved with gas each time.
Nose Neat (in order of appearance):
sweet Bourbon-vanilla note, some spices, dust, faint whiff of ethanol. Pineapple, hint of jack-fruit. Slight sour citrus aroma after about 10 minutes in a covered glass. The nose keeps developing and becomes more fruity with time. Every nosing reveals greater complexity. 23/25
Dry arrival with the first sip. Sweetens in the development. Bourbon (vanilla and caramel) are the first things I taste. Some of the fruits come through but they are a little muted by the alcohol. Some spices late in the development. The promise of the nose is not quite delivered in the taste. 22/25
The finish is short and quite dry with vanilla tones. 21/25
Balance: Nothing unbalanced about it but the flavours are a little muted in the taste and don’t keep up with the nose: 21/25
With water and 20 minutes to open:
Nose: more fruit forward, citrus comes out, ripe banana 23/25
Taste: more complex, fruit and spices (not “hotter”, truly spicier), sweeter. 23/25
The finish is sweeter with more complexity, and lasts longer. 22/25
Balance improves with water: 23/25
Because I would normally drink this with a few drops of water, I am posting the higher score as my final one.
Trader Joe’s Milk: - enhances the malt quite markedly
Trader Joe’s Dark: - also quite delicious
TJ’s 85% dark chocolate: nice combination but the chocolate overpowers the malt
I performed the sacrilegious act of mixing my remaining Amrut and Booker’s together (50:50). How would the bourbon-matured single malt react with powerful bourbon? My hypothesis is that Booker’s would overwhelm the Amrut.
After a few minutes:
The nose is more muted than the Booker’s alone, and has more sweetness, but is not as bright and fruity as the Amrut alone.
Tasting, surprisingly, the bourbon doesn’t overwhelm the malt, with a lot of the flavours coming through.
This is a vatting success.