Although it sounds more like the warped master plan of a sinister Bond villain, it’s actually named after the four different woods in Amrut’s second wave of spectrum casks. Prune stone, dried fig, black cherry flesh, raspberry, cinnamon, and a hint of macchiato aromas. Dense concentrated cherry and sultana, cooked apple and pear, heavy spices, and fruit and nut chocolate. Finish of hot, sticky dates and baked orchard fruit. Commendable.
A whopping three-quarters of the spirit put in these casks was taken by greedy angels. It has a big waft of crystallized pineapple, tropical fruits, and spiky spice on the nose. On the palate, red licorice, syrupy jellied fruits, some mandarin, cherry lozenge, and tinned strawberries, and the same menthol rancio you’d kill for in a 30 year old scotch. This is Amrut's oldest-ever whisky; it's as rare as hen's teeth…and just 8 years old. Awesome.
Amrut’s chimeric five-wood cask has been one of the greatest whisky innovations of this year. The aromas release Madagascan chocolate, the fruitiness of Panamanian Geisha coffee, a sturdy granite core, new oak extractives, fresh walnuts, wood spices, treacle, and mango peel. Like velvet, the palate develops lush fruits, Gianduja chocolate, rich, dark coffee, nut oils, and oak tannins, before the red juicy fruits soak through the chocolate. Heat, dry spices, and ground coffee finish. Clever concept: a seminal whisky. £100
What’s a rye single malt, you ask? It’s 100% malted rye distilled in pot stills, bursting with rye spices, thick toffee, malt loaf, chocolate, licorice, burnt sugar, and tropical fruits. Praline, cinnamon, and burnt orange flavors succumb to an assault of spice, tropical fruits, and licorice, ending with virgin American oak char before a gum-numbing aniseed finish of Fisherman’s Friends. Water just mutes the enjoyment, so leave it.
The whisky gets its name from the fact that 57.1% ABV is 100 proof in the British measuring system: the alcohol concentration needed to sustain flaming gunpowder. It comes in 100 cl bottles and only 100 bottles are being released in each territory. This malt takes no prisoners, with big, bold flavors dominated by peat, but with chutney-style fruit and an array of spice making for a rich, intense taste experience.
This release is a port version of Amrut’s Intermediate Sherry — a sort of port pipe sandwich. The spirit is matured in both unused casks and bourbon casks, then spends a few months in port pipes, and then returns to bourbon casks. The result is a Pink Floyd show of a whisky: vibrant, colorful, complex, and nearly too much. A blackcurrant and wispy, smoky nose gives way to an intense and bittersweet mix of chili, blackcurrant, oak, damson, dark chocolate, and peat. Astounding.
Balance, complexity, and surprising maturity for its age -- these are the defining characteristics of the best Indian whisky I have ever tasted. Amrut is doing some great things, and this whisky just elevated them to a new level. Combining Indian malt and Scottish peated malt, this whisky shows a sweet side, but is never cloying, with rich caramel, vanilla custard, and fruit cocktail in light syrup, balanced by vibrant -- almost floral -- dried peat smoke, delicate white pepper, and a hint of tropical fruit (toasted coconut, pineapple). Soothing, lingering smoke finish. I look forward to more great whiskies from Amrut.
Proof, if it were still needed, that Amrut intends to cement its position as the leading innovator in world whisky. Kadhambam is the sweetest of Amruts, as a result of a complex maturation process that has seen peated Amrut matured in local brandy and rum casks. There's a liqueur-like edge to it as a result, but it's a complex malt, with cherry blossom, peppercorn, and apple peel in the mix. Not the distillery's best, but very, very drinkable.
Aged in bourbon casks, then sherry casks, then finished in bourbon casks. An interesting (and original?) approach, but is it worth all the effort? I think so. The sherry notes are clean, not cloying, and there’s plenty of oak resin on the palate for texture, and to balance the sherry’s sweetness. Liqueur-ish fruit (orange, raspberry, cherry, caramelized peach), along with a good peppering of dried spice (vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, anise). Distinctive resin on the finish props up the rest of the flavors.
Two Continents refers to the fact that this is matured in India and then Europe. But Amrut has tweaked the winning formula of the first edition, taking the alcoholic strength from 46% to 50% and using bourbon instead of grain casks for European maturation. The changes are immediately noticeable. The nose is honeyed, with key lime pie, and strawberries and cream. The taste is spikier, spicier, and feistier than before, with dark cherry, blood orange, and unripe banana.
The first of three Iron Dram single cask Amrut whiskies released for the European market. The Pedro Ximénez cask certainly has the upper hand here. Black cherry, dried cranberry, blueberry, and mixed peel mingle with apple peelings, baked pear, thick-skinned sultanas, and chocolate frosting. Tart piquancy to the fore on the palate, but it melts to show glacé cherry, baked apples, pear, and ground almonds. Water brings the childhood sweetness of old-fashioned Kola Kubes. Oodles of character. £77
We can thank Bangalore’s climate for the arrival of this 2009 distillate. Honeycomb, vanilla shortbread, crispy tart shells, graham crackers, and malt extract make for an attractive proposition. It tiptoes onto the tongue, but within seconds you get the thundering sense of its full strength approaching. Dried fruits, wood spices, malt loaf, chewy caramels, shortbread biscuits, with Horlicks malted milk on the finish. A dash of water triggers a sensation of plump raspberries dipped in chocolate. £59
Good balance between ripe barley, rum-like sweetness, and damp kiln smoke. Dried oak spice, bourbon char, brine, and anise add complexity, peaking on the finish. An interesting contrast to the other Amrut whiskies. This whisky could pass for a youthful Islay malt.
Amrut ingeniously flavored an oloroso cask with wine and orange peel for 3 years before finishing this highly innovative whisky in it. A warmth and richness exudes, the citrus intensity of peel and orange oils develops the longer you resist temptation. Dried fruits, apricot, heather, ripe mango, triple sec, with a slight mustiness. Syrupy, soft orange pulp with zested limes makes it quite nippy. Finish of gum and wood notes after a spicy start. Whatever you do, drink it neat. (Europe, Canada, and Asia; 900 bottles) £75
Full port maturation has been tried by distilleries great and small. What does the cask contribute to the spirit beyond being soaked in port? Empress plums and bramble jelly meet smoke in the form of snuffed candlewicks and smoldering cedar sticks. At cask strength, it’s sharp and puckering but after the plummy opener fades there is rosehip, licorice, zested lime, and a squirt of lemon. Water keeps the licorice, but bottoms out the sweetness for a mouth-filling dram. £82
A mouth-coating whisky, and oily in texture. Ripe vanilla malt, peaches & cream, polished oak, roasted nuts, and a hint of coconut cream pie. Soothing, creamy finish. A pleasant “anytime” dram. Bottled at 46% to better display its fine textures and subtle nuances.