Amrut “Aatma” 7, 2013, Ex-Port

And here is the last of this week’s Amrut “Aatma” releases. Here are the first, second and third ones I reviewed. There have been more than four “Aatma” releases, by the way—it’s just that I only got my hands on four samples. Like the others, this was a US exclusive and bottled at 56.5%. Like the two sherry casks, this one was made from unpeated barley. It was, however, matured in a port pipe (full-term maturation? I’m not sure). I’m usually wary of port cask whiskies when peat has not been involved. I’m hoping Amrut will raise my average with the genre.

Amrut “Aatma” 7, 2013, Ex-Port (56.5%; cask 4670; from a bottle split)

Nose: Slightly cough syrupy at first sniff and then there’s plum sauce and a bit of hoisin. A little bit of leather as well in there as it sits and some cherry jam. With more time the sweet notes get darker: caramel, brandied raisins. A few drops of water brighten it up: apricot and orange peel now.

Palate: As indicated by the nose. Comes in a bit hotter than the others, despite being at the same abv; good texture. Also has less oak impact off the top than the others. On the second sip there’s some citrus (dried orange peel) mixed in with the sweeter fruit and then there’s some oaky grip. The citrus expands as it sits as does the oak. Okay, let’s see what water does. It brings out more of the orange peel and pulls out apricot here as well; it also makes the oak dryer.

Finish: Long. The oak emerges as the fruit fades and then there’s a fair bit of salt. The citrus peel hangs out longer as it goes. As on the palate with water at first and then it gets more savoury (reduced beef stock); less salt now.

Comments: Aficionados of dark whiskies must love this: it looked like dark soy sauce in the glass. Looks apart, it’s pretty good whisky as well: not too cough syrupy or driven by red fruit, as port casks can often be. I will admit that I’m a little bit bored by this style of whisky these days, not least because the heavy port influence tends to drown everything else out. This is the least obviously Amrut of the four “Aatma” releases I reviewed this week: not much sign of the rosewood or powdered ginger that often marks Amrut; or of any tropical fruit. But, as I say, it is a pretty good whisky in its own right. I liked it better with water, which brought it closer to an oloroso cask-matured whisky.

Rating: 87 points.



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