Whisky Connosr

Amrut Portonova

Average score from 7 reviews and 10 ratings 91

Amrut Portonova

Product details

  • Brand: Amrut
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 62.1%

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Amrut Portonova

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:

Tasting notes

  • 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.

@Victor and bottled at cask strength, not 46% abv.

@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.


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.

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

@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.


Now let’s have a look at Amrut Portonova (Batch 03, ABV 62%), our final Amrut tasting. I think it’s a non-chill filtration with no added colour.

So Port finished and what do we have on the nose: figs and chocolate and a wee touch of sherry. What… Let me check that again. Yep, a definite touch of sherry on the nose despite it never having been near a sherry cask. But it’s literally swimming in figs and chocolate mind. Fig liqueur anybody? Very very sweet nose. The palate reflects the nose perfectly. Very sweet, very chocolate, lashings of figs, the trademark Amrut fruitiness and a little cinnamon oak spice. Lovely finish on all of the above. The only distraction is the missing depth due to its youth and maturation in Bangalore. This would be a master class in port finishes, I reckon, if it was matured in a cool, very deep, cellar in Bangalore for 12-16 years, leaving the cask interaction happen over a suitable time period.

By the way, it’s not in any way port or winey if you know what I mean.

So would I recommend for the price. Maybe, there are a lot of other very good malts in this price bracket mind you. It’s really sweet, so appeals readily to novice drinkers. Conversely if you are not a fan of the sweeties, then this will be borderline too sickly for you.

Do you feel good after a few drams? Mmmm again, it’s kinda of a neutral effect.

Interesting note on this. It was selected by our panel for the ‘Intrinsic Distillate Quality Enhanced Testing Phase’. An interesting examine of the spirit using layman’s techniques that involve consuming more that the recommended daily units of alcohol and more scientifically orientated laser spectrographicchemical analysis testing (some of our tasters have cool jobs). The results: this is a very clean cut distillate. I mean it’s right up there with the best. Layman’s terms: if you “accidently“ consume this product to excess, you are not as much at risk of a severe hangover when compared to others. Funny thing, we never have a problem looking for volunteers for the IDQETP!

No Problem. Enjoy it! They don't seem to be releasing anymore Portonova at the moment, whereas I have seen the sherry finished released again recently.

Does anyone know was the Portonova a limited release or something?

I've got an unopened bottle of the 2011. Thanks for the very nice review. I can't wait to try my Portonova now.


I chanced upon this gem of a whisky by accident some time ago and managed to secure a bottle. After tasting it and realizing how scarce it was on the ground I stored it away for a special occasion. Little did I know that special occasion would be me buying another two bottles. So now here I am writing another review almost a year later,

The nose is just gorgeous. Absolutely flawless. It starts off like a sherried-whisky (only I know it's port but it has all the characteristics of one). The strong red grapes come crunched with pepper corns, almonds and a fistful of dark raisins and figs. This is covered in the most divine of thick, dark honey slathered on fresh toast sitting atop an oak slab strewn with a touch of hay.

The full bodied texture is exactly like a good quality after-dinner port apertif. First the strong cinnamon then the flowing charred caramel and the aniseed infused maple syrup cascade over your palate and wrestle your taste buds into a delightful submission.

The gloriously long finish is chock full of exotic spices like star anise and black pepper on honey; all of which is encompassed in an oaky brilliance.

This is the dram against which all drams will forever be measured.


Amrut Portonova continues in the distillery's innovative style. For details on the production of this single malt it is best to refer to the official website, but in simple terms, the spirit is aged in traditional casks, followed by further maturation in casks which used to contain port. Finally, there is further maturation in traditional, I believe ex-bourbon, casks.

It's is a rich, strong Whisky, not for the faint of heart. Some might call it a "Quinta Ruban" on steroids.

The nose : Sweet, fruit, rich, warm. Vanilla and spices in the background Taste: warm, sweet , prunes, rich again. Spiciness, likely from the high alcohol

Finish becomes dry, with a mild citrus aftertaste.

It's is an excellent dram! Let's hope batch number one is not the last one we see!

This continues to exhibit the same smell and taste 3 years later...


The Amrut Portonova has been matured in traditional bourbon casks, then further matured in Portugese port pipes before spending a final maturation phase back in bourbon casks. The result is a flavor profile that I have never experienced before.

Very sweet nose full of pudding, stewed fruits and raisins. Thick, chewy oak dripping with sugary fruit juices on the palate. Dark sweet berries find their way to the back of the throat sprinkled with chocolate dust.

Put 2 drops of water in a dram (TWO DROPS ONLY!) and you will finally figure out why you started drinking single malts in the first place. The 62.1% ABV mellows down just so slightly to give you goosebumps. This will change your life!

This sounds great!


The unpeated Amrut single malt was matured initially in a combination of new American oak and ex-Bourbon barrels. Then it was transferred to once-used Port pipes imported specially from Portugal before being put back into ex-Bourbon casks. Interesting experiment, and hence the name Portonova.

I had the pleasure of trying out a wee sample of this one (in a blind tasting, I had no idea which Amrut this one was) , and immediately took to it, I had guessed it was something with port and wine but it was a longshot. This Amrut should be available for sale in the US and Europe from mid December. Here are my notes:

Nose – Sweet golden syrup, quite a few winey notes here, tannins flying high. exotic fruit in liquor : banana bread.

Palate: Big fortified wine, port. a lot of coconut, spices, banana and milk chocolate. This is a luscious mouth coating beast.

Finish : Milk chocolate, cherries (think Kirsch liquor)

All in all, an excellent dram, one of the best from Amrut in a while. It’s a wham bam in your face sort of dram. Worth getting, and at that high ABV, it’s a wonderful way to pass winter.

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