Amrut, Cask Strength, Batch 2

Amrut CS, Batch 2
Amrut is now so identified with all their one-off or otherwise limited edition whiskies that their core line-up seems to get lost in the shuffle. Well, maybe that’s not true of the Fusion, but the basic 46% releases and even the rather good cask strength releases certainly don’t seem to get talked about much these days. That’s a shame as the cask strength versions, at least, are rather good. I’m as guilty as anyone else as all my Amrut reviews so far have been of the more exotic/hard to get bottles. While I don’t have any of the 46% bottles at hand I do have large reference samples left from my bottles of the regular and peated CS releases from a couple of years ago. This review is of Batch 2 of the regular CS (unpeated) and will be followed soon by a review of Batch 4 of the peated CS. This was bottled in January 2010–I have no idea what batch number they’re up to now.

Amrut CS, Batch 2 (61.8%; from a reference sample saved from my own bottle)

Nose: Rich (powdered) gingery, malty sweetness. Some wood too–first polished and then dusty. With a little more time some dark citrus begins to emerge–dried tangerines or may be it’s Bergamot–along with some chocolate. The fruit gets really quite intoxicatingly intense and there’s some honey in there too now and some biscuity malt. Water pulls out more of the dusty wood at first but there’s also some milk chocolate and then some sharper, more gingery citrus.

Palate: Not as hot as you might expect from the strength. Not as intense as the nose but along similar lines: sweet, malty notes followed by some wood and then a big burst of late-breaking citrus. Water brings out more floral notes and more tropical fruit–some kiwi, hints of mango. And the wood is more intense now (though not off-puttingly so) and more spicy.

Finish: Long. That late-breaking citrus just keeps going, getting some tannic bite as it finally peters out. With water the spicy wood hangs around too.

Comments: Despite the high strength, the nose seems better neat and is really quite lovely; the palate, however, is much better with water–so sniff it for a good long while before adding water to drink it? On the whole, this is very nice stuff. If you’ve never tried it and it’s available for a reasonable price near you, I don’t think you’d be sorry. If the Scotch industry could give us NAS whisky of this quality I’d not complain. Yes, yes, I know it’s not quite the same thing at the production level but this is also very good value (especially when you consider how much more spirit Amrut lose during their necessarily shorter maturation).

Rating: 87 points.

4 thoughts on “Amrut, Cask Strength, Batch 2

  1. How are you determining the bottling date – is there a code on the bottle/tube? It seems the first release was @ 61.9% and thereafter it was bottled @ 61.8% – consistently. So are they altering the whisky prior to bottling to hit the same alc/vol for each successive batch? Or is there just two batches?

    Anyway appreciate the timely review, and pleased to hear you didn’t get massive notes of banana. A few other reviews I’ve read focused on the heavy banana notes present, which was a bit of detraction for me. Your palate seems to line up relatively well with mine. A bottle is in my future.

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    • The back label, if I remember correctly, had the batch number and bottling month on it; or it may have been on the front (it’s been a while since I disposed of the bottles themselves). I don’t know about how they may or may not be manipulating successive batches–I can’t imagine that they produced so much of this one back in 2010 that no new batches have needed to be created. It is possible, I suppose, that with all the limited editions they put out they don’t produce so very much of this one or the Peated CS (a review of Batch 4 of which will soon be up).

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