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Amrut Portonova

Banana Flambéed

6 1388

@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

8th Sep 2018

1

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
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  • Overall
    88

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As the name suggest, this Indian malt was finished on port casks, albeit after an initial maturation on both refill bourbon casks and new American oak. In fact, after the finish on port pipes, it was returned to bourbon casks for a final finish. It was launched in 2011. The experiment – if you can call it that – yielded only 270 bottles – at a whopping 62.1% ABV.

The nose bursts with fruit like figs, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. This is quickly joined by chocolate, leather and something like chewing tobacco. Clearly the port pipe was quite active! Strangely enough, I am reminded of a good rum after a few moments, with banana flambéed, crème brûlée and some hazelnuts. Very fragrant. It turn a touch herbal with water, but never loses the fruity sweetness – au contraire!

Sturdy arrival, but not scorching. Oily and rich on the palate, but the influence of the port cask is now even more pronounced. The Indian spices are present: curry, cardamom, ginger and… ketchup. Lovely fruitiness though. Tobacco and leather lurk around the corner. With a spoonful of water, it opens up beautifully: tropical fruit, joined by spices and chocolate.

The finish is fairly long – no surprise – and keeps the spices going, while the red fruit slowly takes over.

Impressive release by Amrut, that keeps surprising (does it? Are we not yet used to this?) with its excellent malts.

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13 comments

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Thanks for the review, Mark. This sounds like a winner!

2 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

It's hard to pick a favourite Amrut, because I rarely have enough of my top expressions open at the same time to compare.

This was the second or third Amrut I tried and I really enjoyed it. I tasted from Batch 1. What batch was this?

I have a couple of bottles stashed away. I am waiting for the guy who beat me in the 2015 election to come over to open one. Port-matured whiskies are his favourite, and I'm sure this would blow him away.

2 months ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

@Nozinan Sorry, did not check the batch as it was a given sample.

2 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I very much doubt I would have been able to get my hands on a total of 3 of 270 bottles (that's less than the original Greedy Angels).

I wonder if the batch 1 that I have is the first batch AFTER the experimental batch, just like the CS 2007 special edition (no batch number) was preceded, according to @maltactivist, by an "original" batch.

One annoying thing about these amazing batch releases is that they are all released at the same ABV, 62.1% in the case of Portonova. It would ne nice if they would just bottle them at cask strength, but maybe the costs of packaging would go up.

Aside, I have a hard time accepting that each batch of the CASK Strength is magically the same ABV, or the peated CS. Either the ABV is not accurate on the bottle, or they have fantastic cask management.

I guess because their expressions are so good it doesn't really matter.

2 months ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Couldn't they just be doing the old "Glenfarclas 105" trick?

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt Theoretically, yes, but how hard would it be to get the right barrels for each batch to be the same for so many different expressions...?

2 months ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I imagine all you need is:

a. Barrels below and above the target ABV

b. Algebra

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt You need enough barrels above and below, math skills, and also the ability to make those specific barrels combine to taste like Portonova consistently without much variation... Not that easy.

2 months ago 0

@Frost
Frost commented

This may be sold as "cask strength" on webstores, but I just checked my bottle & the lovely gift box and no where does it claim to be "cask strength". So, could this just be cut with a little water to the same ABV for each batch?

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Frost, that could very well explain the consistent ABVs on the Portonova, just like Ardbeg does with Oogie and Corryvreckan.

But @Nozinan is talking about various Amruts that are explicitly labeled "Cask Strength"—but I don't understand what his suspicion is. @Nozinan, care to take one more stab at explaining your notion here? You lost me.

2 months ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I expressed my interest in so many expressions always coming out at the same strength. The Cask Strength and Peated cask strength are examples of ones labelled CS.

The single bourbon casks released in Ontario were all 60% but they did not say CS.

I don't really care much to look into it deeply, but if I have time I'll try contacting the distillery to see what they have to say.

Either way, their stuff is fantastic, CS or not.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

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