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This review is part of a head to head between 2 high ABV whiskies, Booker’s batch 2015-01, and Amrut Single cask Bourbon finished single malt.
This batch has received some spectacular accolades on Connosr and elsewhere, and according to the Booker’s website is the first of 7 special releases this year. This was matured for 7 years, 2 months and 16 days and is bottled at barrel strength of 64.35% ABV. This particular bottle has been open for a couple of weeks and has been gassed each time.
Warm caramel and vanilla, yeast dough. Becomes sweeter with time in the glass. Brown Demerara sugar. After 5-10 minutes the nose has stopped developing, and it remains rich, inviting and refreshing. 22/25
Warm, rich. The first sip completely overwhelms the palate at 64%. The subsequent sips reveal caramel, brown sugar and vanilla almost to excess. I detect a little bit of cinnamon or some sort of baking spice. This is not a subtle whisky. It is bold and powerful. And GOOD! 23/25
The finish is dry, and to some extent unidimentional. It lasts a long time. 22/25
Not only do the nose and the palate complement each other, after a couple of sips the nose is enhanced. 23/25
What Booker’s lacks in complexity, it has in abundance flavour and boldness.
Because this is a head to head, I did add a few drops of water and let it sit 10 minutes:
Nose: Not much different.
Taste: Becomes hotter (some might call it spicier) but it’s not a good thing.
This is one that ought to be taken neat (my personal preference only).
Chocolate (with the neat spirit):
Trader Joe’s Milk: - awesome combination
Trader Joe’s Dark: - good fit, but different from the experience with Milk chocolate
TJ’s 85% dark chocolate: Doesn’t really add much.
Booker’s is a consistently excellent bourbon and this is an awesome batch.
I performed the sacrilegious act of mixing my remaining Amrut and Booker’s together (50:50). How would the bourbon-matured single malt react with powerful bourbon? My hypothesis is that Booker’s would overwhelm the Amrut.
After a few minutes:
The nose is more muted than the Booker’s alone, and has more sweetness, but is not as bright and fruity as the Amrut alone.
On tasting,surprisingly, the bourbon doesn’t overwhelm the malt, with a lot of the flavours coming through.
This is a vatting success.