Amrut Spectrum 004 Single Malt
Review by @Nozinan
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- Brand: Amrut
- ABV: 50%
- Batch: Batch 1 - Oct. 2021
Those of you who know me will no doubt be aware that Amrut is one of my favourite distilleries, if not my favourite. I have never tasted anything from them that was less than good. Many are outstanding. I have striven to try as many of their expressions as possible. Unfortunately, the price of Amrut has risen considerably, and many of their special bottlings are out of my price range. However, the combination of FOMO, and the willingness of a friend to split a bottle, made it possible for me to get my hands on this one.
Spectrum 004 is initially matured in ex-bourbon casks, then “transferred to a custom built, unique barrel that is constructed out of…four varieties of oak - American oak with level three charring, French ok with slight toasting, Ex-Olorosso Sherry stave and Ex-PX Sherry stave.” Bottled at a respectable 50%, only 6000 bottles were released.
Looking into this further on the internet, it appears that this is not the first Spectrum release. An earlier release, simply called “Spectrum”, apparently included 5 different types of wood in the custom barrel, including lightly toasted Spanish oak. So this is simply Batch 1 of a subsequent iteration.
We first opened and divided this bottle on Dec. 10. It was then gassed at just under half full. This expression is reviewed in my usual manner in a Brilliant Highland whisky glass, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Sweet, sherry, dark fruits, some baking spices, prunes soaked in Armagnac. A slight hint of spiritiness. Some freshness. The Ashok manoeuvre accentuates the low pitch notes. The nose becomes rich and thick, almost syrupy. As it cools I get fresh red berries. This is a complex and very interesting nose.
With water there is a greater emphasis on baking spices, some caramel, and berries.
Sweet arrival. dried fruits, spices, a touch of alcohol nip, but pleasant. Very rich, concentrated flavours. The Ashok manoeuvre makes it explode with fruit flavours.
Water brings out some higher pitched notes, more fruit. Hints of some of the tropical fruits that are common in Amrut expressions. Once again warming it gently adds richness. (22.5/25)
Long, astringent, sweet, prunes on the exhale. A little shorter and pepperier with water.
The nose and the palate complement each other. Perhaps it is a touch sweet, and the concentrated flavour makes it difficult to pick out some of the subtleties that I know lie underneath. With water some of the complexities become more apparent. (22/25)
Score: Neat - 88.5 /100 With Water: 89.5/100
Total score based on Ashok adjustment - 90/100
I would consider this an above average Amrut. Even “diluted” to 50% it retains a rich mouthfeel and is full of flavour. I’m looking forward to exploring this further in the future. It’s a bit pricy to stock up on, but if I were to win the lottery…
Thanks @fiddich1980 for splitting the bottle with me!
@Nozinan beautiful review! Thank you.
I am sorry that you didn't get a chance to taste from @dbk's bottle of Amrut Fusion with us in 2011. Then you would see that it is possible, albeit very rare, for a bottle of Amrut to be "off". The experience of that bottle in no way prevents Amrut from remaining my third favourite distillery, after Buffalo Trace and Ardbeg...and my second favourite distillery for CONSISTENCY of high quality after Laphroaig.
It is indeed challenging that Amrut has become gentrified and premiumized to the point of becoming rather expensive.
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