After a week of reviews of whiskies from one distillery (Kilkerran: here, here and here) and before that a week of rums (here, here and here), let’s do a week of reviews of whiskies from three different distilleries. The connecting thread this week will be sherry cask maturation and we’ll take them in order of increasing age. First up, a 6 yo Amrut that was bottled for K&L in California. I liked the last Amrut I tried that was bottled for an American store very much indeed. That seven years old was triple-distilled and matured in bourbon casks (bottled for Spec’s in Texas) and so this is not likely to have very much in common with it. I have had other sherry cask Amruts before, though, that I have liked very much—not least the regular release Intermediate Sherry (is it still a regular release?)—and so I am hopeful that this will be good too. Truth be told, I’m not sure I’ve ever had an Amrut that wasn’t at least quite good (and I’m too lazy to look up my scores). Okay, let’s get to it.
Amrut 6, Oloroso (60%; for K&L; from a bottle split)
Nose: A mix of raisins, nuts and roasted malt off the top with powdered ginger and a beany note coming up from below. As it sits there’s a lot of rosewood and some red fruit mixed in with it (cherry with a touch of dried orange peel). Gets stickier with more time (plum sauce) and also nuttier. A few drops of water unleash some dusty oak, some salted nuts and the apricot that had showed up on the palate.
Palate: Comes in spicy with the ginger and roasted malt behind. A floral sweetness as I swallow. Quite approachable at full strength with a full texture. Sweeter as it goes with more of the red fruit rather than the raisin/fruit cake notes you might expect. With more time still the red fruit turns into a mix of orange and apricot. Water should release more of the fruit. Yes, it does and it also releases more spicy oak (they work well together)
Finish: Medium-long. That floral note crests and then subsides into roasted malt. Sweeter here too with time and the finish gets longer. Develops as on the palate with time and water.
Comments: An interesting whisky. It doesn’t have the pronounced dry or earthy character that is often present in oloroso-matured malt whiskies and the Amrut profile (roasted malt, ginger, rosewood) comes through quite clearly. And with time and water it blossoms into a much fruitier whisky. Not sure how much this went for but if the price wasn’t unreasonable I would be happy if I had a full bottle. Though I have to say I didn’t like it quite as much as the Spec’s triple-distilled bourbon cask.
Rating: 88 points.