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Amrut Single Cask (Bourbon Cask)

Magical Mystery Tour

7 1192

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

26th Jul 2018

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    92

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

  • Brand: Amrut
  • Type: World
  • ABV: 60%
  • Batch: Cask number 3443

This was my first ever blind tasting. It was a very fun experience that I hope to repeat soon. I even started a “blind tastings” thread about it. This was my first ever Indian Single Malt whisky, and it won’t be my last.

Sample provided by @Nozinan Bottle Opened Dec 9, 2017, gassed after each use, 1/2 full when sample was poured April 20th, 2018.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): no discernable peat at all, dates, raisins, nuttiness (walnuts), dark cherries, definitely seems like a Sherry/Port Cask-matured whisky, a bit of dark chocolate, oak notes, brown sugar appearing after a few minutes.
  • Palate (undiluted): a bit hot on arrival, definitely feels like higher ABV, yet still rich and mouth coating, a bit brighter than I expected from the nose, honey, a little nutmeg, cinnamon, sharp black pepper, and a touch of orange zest, and a vague floral note.
  • Finish: medium length, cherries, toasted oak, walnuts, honey lingering
  • With water: nose brightens up a bit, more floral, a hint of citrus (orange?), with walnuts still very present along side the cherries, palate becomes fruitier and the spices are still present, though not as biting, much like Christmas cake. This is terrific whisky.

I was shocked to learn this was a bourbon cask whisky. But then again, the dark cherry aromas/flavours are often found in some bourbons (OGD 114 and WT Rare Breed come to mind). This is also only 5 years old. The Indian climate clearly plays a big role in the quick maturation, as this does not taste young or immature. For those who didn’t see the other thread, my 3 SWAG (sophisticated wild ass guesses) as to the identity of this whisky were:

  • Amrut Portonova (based solely on the descriptions I’ve read and a few conversations with @Nozinan)
  • Aberlour A’Bunadh (not batch 57 or 58, but some other batch I hadn’t tasted)
  • Macallan Cask Strength (based on the nuttiness and dark fruits as well as my experience with Sienna and Rare Cask)

Related Amrut reviews

11 comments

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

The perfect whisky for a blind tasting. Amrut Single Cask is a mind-blowing single malt. LCBO exclusive bourbon cask not yet five years old with 40+% shrinkage. @OdysseusUnbound, which cask is this, 3444, 3442..3...1?

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, great review! Thank you.

Blind tasting is quite a teacher, isn't it? There is so much prejudice in whisky tasting, viz. people reacting to what they think it "should" taste like based on its age, type, and brand, rather than what it does taste like. Blind tasting gives an education and is humbling.

I am not at all surprised that you loved a 5 yo Amrut unpeated un-wined whisky. I have very much liked almost every taste I have ever had from Amrut. That is why Amrut would be in my list of three distilleries "if I could have whisk(e)y from three distilleries only".

19 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge It was cask 3443, distilled June 2009, bottled Jan 2014 (and then shipped to Ontario the same year). So less than 5 years and so awesome! That bottle is no longer half full...it is 1/4 full.

Opened at our gathering in Toronto in December, I believe it will not see another winter. Add I think Amruts are best when consumed within a year.

@Victor One of the things I find about Amrut (and I have tasted at least 11 expressions (and multiple batches of at least two), is that the defining signature spirit seems to come through, regardless of the maturation details. The fruity, tropical notes seem to complement any cask type. This is in contrast to some sherry matured or peated whiskies where you can't really tell what the spirit was like.

19 days ago 3Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor Exactly why I wanted to do a blind tasting. I like to think I’m judging as impartially as possible, but I also know that we humans are curious little creatures with a million different idiosyncrasies affecting our behaviour and judgments. This was fun, but more importantly, this whisky was fantastic!

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, yes I am sure that the whisky was fantastic. I think that that cask is one of the ones I tasted at the 2014 Spirit of Toronto Amrut Master Class with @Nozinan and @talexander on the night I first met @Nozinan and introduced him to @talexander.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I'm not sure if it was cask 3443 we tasted SOT.

The LCBO bought a few single casks, and this was just one of them. I don't think I recorded the cask number at SOT. So far I've tasted from the SOT bottle, and from 2 other bottles (each from a separate cask). Not H2H of course, but all were phenomenal.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, I don't know with certainty whether this cask was tasted at 2014 Spirit of Toronto, either, but I would guess that it was because this cask was bottled 4 months prior to SOT and we did taste from at least 2 or 3 single casks that evening.

19 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor My notes indicate only that we tasted, in order:

  1. Single cask (bourbon)

  2. Single cask (sherry)

  3. Portonova

  4. Amrut seated 46%

  5. Amrut peated CS - the pinnacle of single malt whisky.

I was still a relative newbie and my note-taking has matured since that time, but I don't think Ashok disclosed which cask it was. I've checked the boxes for 3442, 3443 and 3444, and all were distilled and bottled in the same months respectively.

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

Well put together review as always, this is a great whisky to try in a blind setting, I fell hard for this whisky, the good doctor can attest to my love for it. I have enjoyed all the Amruts I have tried barring a flat and lifeless bottle of Fusion purchased two years ago.

As @Nozinan mentions there is a clear house style or character that is present in most editions even with the standard 46% abv bottles, something I cannot say with that I found in Kavalan for example.

Strangely there hasn't been many new single cask releases from the lately at least not in my recent searches and even the special editions (Khadambam, Intermediate Sherry, Cask Strength) have been absent from Québec and Ontario shelves. I heard rumours that Kensington Wine Market is supposed to receive a new single cask but I am unsure if/when that will occur.

18 days ago 0

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