My friend Kyle, who isn’t a member if Connosr as far as I know, is incredibly generous and gives me samples upon samples any time we meet up. He gave me this mystery sample today and asked me to review it ASAP before he forgot what he gave me. So here goes:
- Nose (undiluted): sherry (dark fruit) forward, a touch aggressive, cherries, cinnamon, oak, something vegetal in the background (damp hay?), and a hint of umami, like a dark soy sauce
- Palate: very fruity at first, a bit brighter than what I expected from the nose, Christmas cake, then some heat from the alcohol, definitely a high proof whisky, oak tannins kick in on the back end
- Finish: medium length, maraschino cherries, oak spices (nutmeg now), candied pecans, a little coconut lingering
With water the umami becomes more pronounced, as does the brown sugar. Teriyaki sauce maybe? The palate gets darker and the finish is nuttier with more vanillins lingering. I dig it. I feel like this is a mood whisky. It’s not something I can see myself drinking casually while paying attention to something else like a hockey game. It demands your full attention.
Best Wild-Ass Guess: one of the Bunnahabhain whiskies with the crazy Gaelic names. Dreiaghuir Ngath Gruinghoiruirgh or whatever.
The reveal: Amrut Portonova 62.1% abv
Thoughts: Amrut continues to fool and amaze me. I should have guessed Port cask as I always get cherries and/or maraschino cherries from Port cask whiskies. I’m disappointed I never found or acquired a bottle of this stuff.
@OdysseusUnbound thanks very much for your review. Amrut Portonova is one of the greats. And so complex and mysterious.
Now let's just put out the thought forms for Amrut to bring this and Intermediate Sherry Matured back into production and availability.
@OdysseusUnbound oh yes, re-release needs to be of the REAL Portonova, at Cask Strength. Like @Nozinan I just cannot take a 46% ABV version with full seriousness, compared to the original. That thick sock you in the mouth texture and overwhelming intense murky flavours of the high test version make it a very unusual whisky experience.
About 18 months ago I went and dug out for myself my first and only bottle of Portonova, at 62.1% It remains an unopened treasure.