A week of reviews of Indian malt whiskies began with one from a new distillery: Kamet. I’ll continue now with the distillery that really put Indian whisky on the single malt aficionado’s radar: Amrut.
Over the course of the last decade Amrut has added to its core roster of malts—the Fusion and the unpeated and peated variants of its base malt—with a number of special releases. They’ve also bottled a large number of casks both for specific markets and for retailers across the world. This is one of the latter. It’s a 7 yo bottled for the Spec’s chain in Texas. It is made from unpeated Indian barley, triple-distilled and matured in an ex-bourbon cask—a far cry from the last Amrut I reviewed, the Naarangi, which featured an infusion of oranges. Not very many Scottish distilleries triple distill. In Ireland, of course, it’s far more common and I’ll be interested to see if there are any Indo-Irish crossovers here. And speaking of Amrut’s core roster of malts, I’m quite out of touch with the current state of all of those. I should look into some recent releases at some point—especially as it appears that I’ve never reviewed the Fusion.
Amrut 7, 2014 Triple Distilled (60%; bourbon cask 2868 for Spec’s; from a bottle split)
Nose: A bit grainy at first and then expanding cereal sweetness along with berries and cream. Rosewood on the second sniff along with some citrus (lemon peel). The sweeter notes expand as it sits (apple juice and honey). The tropical notes emerge here too with a bit of air in the glass. Water adds some polish to the wood and some apricot jam to the fruit.
Palate: Dusty oak at first and then a big fruit bomb goes off—and it’s a tropical fruit bomb with passionfruit, tart-sweet mango (Imam Pasand for those who know) and pineapple. Remarkably approachable at full strength and a good weight. Continues in this vein with time/air with the oak becoming more prominent with time. A few drops of water push the oak back and add honey and apricot jam.
Finish: Long. The fruit crests with spicy oak in the background. Quite a bit of melon here. The spicy oak has the last word as the fruit finally fades. With time the oak gets a bit tannic. Water pushes the oak back here as well and makes it much more sticky.
Comments: Well, this was a very pleasant and very fruity surprise. Neat, there are indeed major crossovers with older Irish fruit bombs; and with water it is quite reminiscent of older fruity Speysiders. I liked it neat and I liked it even more with water which helped push back the oak that is otherwise a little too prominent on the finish. Water doesn’t completely get rid of that tannic grip and that’s what keeps it from rising to the next tier in my group. Those who are more oak-positive may feel differently. At any rate, if you ignore the age, the $120 being asked for it at Spec’s is probably a good value for this very fruity whisky.
Rating: 89 points.