I am not ashamed to say that if Amrut is not my favourite distillery, it is likely in the top 3. While I enjoy whiskies from all over the world, and many distilleries produce one or more great bottlings, Amrut is by far the most consistent whisky producer I have encountered. I have tasted no fewer than 18 different batches from 12 unique expressions and not one of them has been disappointing. Amrut is now the distillery from which I own the most bottles.
In the fall, Kensington Wine Market made some bottles of this expression available for $100 plus tax. I enlisted the aid of my trusted brother in law @nosebleed but he was too late. Other places he went to were selling it for $180. Even with a small discount this was out of reach, especially for an untested expression.
In November I hosted a tasting and @cricklewood semi-surprised me by bringing this to the table and opening it, and we exchanged some samples for reviewing purposes. He had sourced it somewhere for about $100. Some time before our tasting here in February he was able to find me a bottle of my own, also at that price (plus tax).
On March 24 I finally got a chance to sit down to do some reviews. I decided to catch up on my Amruts. Also in the line-up were the 2007 CS edition and a sherry-matured single cask bottling from 2014 that was an LCBO exclusive.
The box says that this peated spirit was distilled in January 2011, and first matured in charred American Oak casks. I note the plural of “cask”. My assumption is that the angels enjoyed a lot of this, and it sounds like several casks were dumped into Port Pipe (“rare and difficult to obtain”, like this bottle) number 2712. After five years, the mature spirit was emptied into 660 bottles at 59% ABV. This was a Canadian exclusive.
The bottle (labeled Batch 3) had been opened on November 10 when the sample was poured. This expression was allowed it to settle into a Highland Whisky Glass after which I took my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I did the nosing of all three expressions before the tasting of all three, and then the impressions with water.
First impressions, a light nose, with mild dusty peat and underlying sweetness. Sweet (but not cloying) red wine, ground pepper. Cinnamon apple. Ashok manoeuvre (warming by hand, covered) brings out the cinnamon (almost like mulled wine) and the peat. It’s no peat explosion like the Peated CS, and it integrates well with the red wine. Very nice nose. Water brings out the peat, with beautiful tropical notes integrated. A little pineapple and green banana. I get a little varnish or shoe polish with warming. Fantastic! (23.5/25)
Dry arrival. Very peat forward. Sweet, fruity development, you get the Amrut signature. With water and warming it’s sweet, peppery, peaty wine-laden punch in the mouth. (23/25)
Ashtray peat. Some pepper. Astringent, Medium short. Lovely.
This is a sleeping peat dragon on the nose (without water) but it’s alive and kicking on the palate. Integrates well with the port.
Score: Neat - 88.5/100 With Water: 90.5/100
After finishing all three sets of tasting notes I put what was left of the three pours (roughly 10 cc each) into one glass, and let it marry for a few minutes (including some time using the “modified” Ashok method (warmth by computer fan). It’s an interesting mixture. It seems to get the best from each expression. More complexity on the nose, more wine and a little less peat on the palate, with a rich backbone that I think comes from the CS. This one would definitely score in the high 80s.
This is yet another great bottling from Amrut. They just seem to be putting out great after great expression. The only problem is that the high quality and relative rarity is coming with an ever increasing price. Most of the bottles I’ve picked up recently were discounted by up to 25%, and of course the bottle of this expression that was somehow obtained for almost 50% off, for which I owe @cricklewood much appreciation.
I fear that soon Amrut will price me out of the market, but for now, I will enjoy each new expression I can get my hands on (and a few of the older ones too).