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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.
- 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)