My thanks to @Nozinan for the reviewed sample. The reviewed bottle has been open for 6.5 months
Nose: huge intensity barley grain, showing both cereal and grassy flavours, vanilla, a little citrus, and some very noticeable alcohol. The level of alcohol greeting from Batch # 15 may be unattractive to the very alcohol sensitive, but this is a minor level for my taste. 30 minutes air exposure in the glass almost completely removes the initial alcohol greeting . The balance is very good, leaning a little to the dry side. Overall this is a staightforward grain nose, but very pleasant. Score: 22.5/25
Taste: from big flavours in the nose to big flavours in the mouth. There is an emphatic translation of the flavours from the nose. Cereal with vanilla. Score: 21.5/25
Finish: stays medium long, then fades to the sour. Sour cereal with vanilla at the death. Score; 20/25
Balance: good but not great balance throughout; the nose has a little too much alcohol emphasis, and then the sourness developing mid-palate goes farther than I would like. Score: 20/25
Water added: 1) gives some delicious much needed sweetness to the nose, and 2) brings out citrus and hickory wood flavours in the mouth. I slightly prefer the nose with water and the palate and finish without water
Total Sequential Score: 84 points
Strength: very strong flavours throughout. Score: 24/25
Quality: good to very good grain flavours; satisfactory wood influence, mainly perceived as vanilla. Score: 22/25
Variety: simple barley-malt whisky. Adequate variety. Score: 20.5/25
Harmony: generally good harmony, with a bit too much alcohol in the nose, and a bit too much sourness on the finish. Score: 20.5/25
Total Non-Sequential Score: 87 points
Comment: I did not enjoy this particular sample as much as I was expecting, based upon prior experience with a number of Amrut whiskies. Because I do enjoy the very intense flavours and am not particularly sensitive to alcohol, my enjoyment score for this whisky is more like 87 than the 85 critic's score I am assigning here. I like most Amruts a good bit more than this particular Batch 15 of the non-peated Cask Strength. This Cask Strength un-peated Amrut is a simple barley-malt whisky, virtuous in its flavour intensity and fine quality barley flavours, but slightly blemished by a little too much alcohol greeting and a drift toward the sour on the finish
I think I am enjoying this batch a little more than you did. When I pour it I add some water and I give it a lot of time in the glass.
That said, I'm sure you'll remember the single barrel offerings from the Masterclass in 2014. I do prefer the bourbon cask single barrel to this, even though they were probably matured in a similar way. The single cask is a little more complex.
@Nozinan, I liked every one of the whiskies in that 2014 Spirit of Toronto Amrut Masterclass better than I liked this particular sample of Amrut CS Batch 15. Not that this whisky is at all bad. It is just that I have come to expect great things from every taste of Amrut that I get. Thanks again for your generosity in making these samples available to me!