...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Single Malt Report: Amrut 100, batch 2

Ah, the Amrut gimmickry.  Though it seems to consume its entire range, in some cases their production choices aren't that unusual.  They have a peated and a non-peated release as well as cask strength versions of both.  That's doesn't seem too nutty.  Amrut Fusion is a blend of whiskies from two different countries, something that's been done by Canadian, Japanese, Scottish, Irish, and American companies.  Intermediate Sherry and Portonova are just whiskies with partial maturation in ex-sherry and ex-port casks, something that's prevalent in scotch.  Kadhambam is sort of a kitchen sink / garbage pail whisky with all sorts of casks involved.  Jim McEwan did the same with his execrable Black Art series and Longrow did so with their (more successful, in my opinion) old CV.  What really works for those Amruts is the resulting whisky.  It tastes good.

And then there is the Amrut 100.  Why is it called '100', you ask?  The whisky was finished in 100 liter virgin oak casks, it is bottled at 100 UK proof (57.1%abv) in 100cL (1 liter) bottles, and each country that carries it gets all of 100 of said glass vessels.  I would have loved to have seen them age it for 100 months as well, but apparently that didn't make it into the Grand Gimmick Budget.  To make matters even better, the General Manager of Amrut "is pretty sure this latest Amrut single malt will be another perfect collectors' item."  Oh geez.  How about we drink it instead?

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: minimum 3 years
Batch: #2
Maturation: first in ex-bourbon casks, then in 100 liter new oak casks
Limited release: 100 in the US, 600(?) worldwide
Bottle: 38 of 100
Alcohol by Volume: 57.1%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? ???
Sample obtained via a swap with My Annoying Opinions.  Thanks, MAO!

The nose is very buttery with large notes of caramel, mint extract, and wet cardboard.  It's grassy with hints of lavender and lemon peel.  The smoke is almost buried beneath the oak.  Ethyl.

It has a nice thick mouthfeel.  The hot palate holds notes of vanilla, black pepper, salt, and granulated sugar.  Smaller notes of tropical fruit punch and limes float about.

The finish is a little fruitier than the palate. It's sweet and peppery with a citric tartness. Moderate levels of vanilla and cardboard linger.

WITH WATER (~50%abv)
More smoke and more lavender on the nose.  It's still buttery and full of caramel.  Some pencil shavings and moss as well.

The palate picks up a metallic note and more limes.  Buttery chardonnay with black pepper and Red Hots candies underneath.  A little bit of malt shows through, countered by vanilla and notebook paper.

It finishes floral and peppery with mild cassia cinnamon notes.  Tree bark and pencil shavings in the background.

The oak mellows out in the nose, thank goodness.  All that's left are faint vanilla shadows.  Meanwhile grapefruit, fresh ginger, and menthol characteristics evolve.

Lots of ginger in the palate.  Then cinnamon, vanilla, notebook paper, and a light bitterness.

The finish is mildly sweet with a gingery tingle.

This one didn't do it for me, though it does improve considerably as more water is added.  The cardboard, paper, and butter notes intrude aggressively as the casks themselves sound off much too loud.  Half-sized new oak barrels in Bangalore must be very difficult to manage so I can imagine this was quite an undertaking but the end result isn't for me.  The peat reads best with a little bit of water, but then vanishes with more hydration.  More fruit (or something!) would have been appreciated.

MAO liked this one more than I did.  Sku and Serge also liked a version of the 100, but I think they reviewed the first batch.  I will say that we all agree 100 takes water well.

Okay, I'm burnt out on these multi-maturations.  The next three Amrut reviews will be all single casks.

Availability - Scarce
Pricing - two US stores have it for $170, European stores have it closer to $110
Rating - 79 (with water only, low-to-mid-70s when neat)


  1. Add Scotland as well. Bruichladdich produced a Scotch/Irish blend a long while back called Celtic Nations. Then the SWA (or their predecessor) came down on them and they were forced to pull the the product. I believe the blend that Cooley later bottled was the remaining whiskey from that product.

    1. Ah, I was trying to remember the name of that one. I knew it was Celtic something.