It’s been almost three years since my last review of an Amrut. The distillery’s strong reputation among single malt whisky drinkers endures, even if they’re not quite as exciting a prospect as they were a few years ago. Their lineup hasn’t changed very much either, and in the US we mostly see the Fusion and the regular and cask strength editions of their standard and peated releases. As far as I know, we have still not begun to get the single casks that go to the UK and EU and even to Canada. If true, I’m not sure why that is—is the market for Amrut in the US not strong enough to sustain that? I’d imagine that those paying >$100 for the Intermediate Sherry and Portonova releases would be fine shelling out for the occasional single cask as well.
Anyway, I’ve reviewed the Amrut Peated CS before—that was Batch 4, released in January 2010. This is Batch 9 and was released only a few months later. I assume by now they’re on to Batch 50 or so. I liked that previous bottle a lot and when I opened this one recently for one of my local group’s tastings, I liked it a lot too (as did the others: it was our top whisky on the night, beating out the Lagavulin 12 CS, 2016 release). Here now are my formal notes.
Amrut Peated CS, Batch 9 (62.8%; released, August 2010; from my own bottle)
Nose: Mildly farmy, mildly phenolic peat plus some roasted malt and cream and mild chocolate. The farmy peat expands as it sits and there’s a bit of lemon too, and then quite a bit of brine: indeed, gets quite coastal as it goes with some kelp and seashells joining the party. Water softens up the peat a bit and the lemon gets preserved; some ham too now.
Palate: Hits with the peat and smoke with the salt right behind. Inky as I swallow. Rather drinkable at full strength but I can feel it go down. Smokier and peatier still on the second sip: the smoke is dry and ashy, the peat is farmy. Less salty and ashy with water; the smoke is now meatier and a bit sweeter.
Finish: Long. Nothing new but the peat and smoke and salt take a long time to fade. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Starts out in Ledaig terrritory, veers off towards Caol Ila and then settles somewhere between them. If this were a Scottish whisky I’d guess there were at least some sherry casks in the mix; I’ve no idea though if that’s the case here or if it’s aging in a hot climate that has that effect. Anyway, very similar to Batch 4—unsurprising given the proximity of release—and very good. Which probably has no bearing on what the current releases are like. Better with water, I thought.
Rating: 88 points.
We released an Amrut Single Cask late last year – Bengal Tiger, a 5 year old Peated Port cask. 480 bottles – now sold out.
We will be releasing another Single Cask in September
The USA is the second largest Export market for Amrut
Follow us @GlassRev or @WhiskyRaj for details
Thanks—that sounds interesting. Do you know if it came to MN at all? Will the new one? With the new shipping restrictions in the US, unless it comes to your state, it might as well be in another country!
Yes some was sent to Minnesota. Check Ace Spirits or contact my distributor Negoce to find out.
The new one will be available in MN
We also have Amrut Naarangi available.
Thanks for the review.
Also, were there different releases of Bengal Tiger for different markets? I’m seeing references to an Amrut Bengal Tiger, exclusive to Canada, which involved not port but PX sherry casks.
The USA Bengal Tiger was our exclusive. The name actually belongs to Canada and Taiwan and all future releases will be theirs.
We will have our own label for future USA cask releases and plan to release 2 to 3 per year.
I will be at the Distillery in July and will be selecting casks for future bottling
I see. It’s also the case that the Canada Bengal Tiger had the same cask number as an EU single PX cask. See the comments on this post. Was the USA Bengal Tiger also re-racked into/finished in a previously used cask? What are the chances of getting Amrut to be more transparent about their casks?
This may have been a split cask. Amrut does provide all the cask details on their Single cask and the Double Cask releases.
The details on the bottle strip show the type of barley, type of cask, date of fill, date of bottling.
What additional information were you looking for?
Well, in the case of the EU and Canadian casks, I believe the dates on the label didn’t line up to support the split cask possibility; and the ABVs were different as well. So, it seemed more like that PX cask had been used once and then the Canadian Bengal Tiger re-racked into it for a shorter period of time than the total maturation time. So, not a single cask as most people understand the term—and more the kind of thing that Glendronach has been known for doing. Clarifying on the label when something has been re-racked/finished would be good.
I will check with Amrut. When they release a single cask it is that – a single cask. If it was Re racked then they would declare that.
It may have been an error in showing the same cask #
Thanks for pointing that out.
Thanks for looking into it. I’ll be interested to hear what they say. I know we whisky geeks—who pay attention to and care about these things—are only a small part of the market* but we’re also the most faithful part of the market; and trust is always key.
*Though maybe for single casks, we’re not such an insignificant part of the market.