I love movies that keep me guessing, and I have a bro-crush on Hugh Jackman, ergo this review is named for a movie that kept me guessing, since the whisky fooled me the way Jackman's character was fooled by "The Transported Man" in Christopher Nolan's The Prestige. My notes follow my process before I knew what this whisky was.
The sample, provided by @Nozinan, was from a bottle that was opened November 10, 2018, was 2/3 full when the sample was poured on Dec 2/2018.
- Nose (undiluted): Classic wine cask notes pop out at me; figs, raisins, prunes, cinnamon, then a little hint of fresh tobacco, a bit of alcohol prickle, probably a higher abv offering, christmas cake, walnuts
- Palate (undiluted): a bit hot on arrival, spicy black pepper, terrific oily mouthfeel, cloves, ginger, red grapes
- Finish: long and warming, dark chocolate-covered raisins, more walnuts, oak spices, cloves and cinnamon particularly
With water there's some sticky brown sugar on the nose with just a hint of something herbal (mint? rosemary?), the palate is very much chocolate-covered raisins upfront with the pepper and cloves coming into the mix later. The finish is just as long, warming and sweet with water as it is neat. Whatever this is, I'd like to get a bottle of it.
Guesses: Amrut Portonova, Amrut Intermediate Sherry, Macallan Cask Strength, Glendronach Cask Strength
Reveal: Amrut Cask Strength, bottled 2007, 61.9% abv
I was shocked to learn there was nary a wine cask in sight when this whisky was matured. This is very rich, very fruity and an absolute pleasure to sip. I have no idea what this type of thing would sell for, but I'd be willing to pay top dollar for it. Absolutely decadent. Thanks to @Nozinan for the generous sample.
Great, entertaining review!
I don't remember how much I paid for this. I bought several over several years, and likely they are less abundant than before (unlike the metal tinned batch-based expression, there was only one 2007 edition - They aren't getting more in). But the price was probably between $70-80 plus 5% tax. This has always been a little cheaper than the peated CS in Alberta. You can get a more recent batch for, probably < $100, and it is almost as good.
I purchased an Amrut CS online last year and was sent the regular 46% version. After some negotiating I was able to work out a deal with the online store and actually kept the inexpensive Amrut 46%. That said @Nozinan provided me with a CS sample as well and it was very good. I still prefer the IS and Portonova but the difference is negligible. Very nice review!