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Friday, March 4, 2016

Single Malt Report: Amrut 4 year old 2009 single ex-port pipe #2712

I never thought I'd type this, but I'm enjoying port cask aged whisky to the point where I'm actively seeking it out.  I have been rescued from the crippling Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Experience!  ANYWAY, I reviewed a 4yo 2009 ex-bourbon cask on Tuesday and a 4yo 2009 ex-PX cask on Thursday.  Today it's a single ex-port pipe Amrut, but this one is peated.  I adored the first batch of Portonova, now lemme see how this one fares.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: 4 years (June 2009 to August 2013)
Cask #: 2712
Maturation: ex-port pipe
Bottle count: 357
Alcohol by Volume: 59%
Sample obtained via a swap with My Annoying Opinions.  Thanks, MAO!

For those interested in color, this one is by far the darkest of the three single casks.

The nose is malty with a side of lemons and limes.  Mellow peat and hay meet milk chocolate, caramel, and buttery oak.  After 15 minutes of air, it opens up further.  Seaweed, band aids, and pencil shavings.  Geraniums, lemons, and honey.

The palate is hotter than the PX cask's.  At first the peat arrives as ash and cinders, alongside a light raspberry and strawberry jam note.  It grows port-ier with time, and really improves.  It's earthier and picks up some cigar tobacco.  But then the dark berry notes arrive alongside a little bit of hot fudge.  It feels dark, if that makes any sense.

The biggest notes in the finish are the cigar tobacco, ash, and dark berries.  Small notes of fudge and herbal bitterness float behind.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
Now the nose starts off with maple syrup and a chunk of American oak.  More limes than lemons.  The peat has become farmier, and there's now a hint of bacon.  Lemon pepper and dried berries in the waaaaaay back.  Kind of Springbankish at times (vague!).

The palate gets earthier and leaner.  Maybe silkier in texture.  Mild sweetness, mild woodspice.  Molasses, malt, and a hint of red bell pepper.

The finish is spicy and peppery.  Mild malt, sweets, and earth.  Peat cinders linger.

This one needs some air, but it's my favorite of the three single casks.  The palate and nose are true pleasures once they open up.  The port character doesn't ring out very loudly and there are a lot of US oak notes in the nose, so I wonder if (like yesterday's PX cask) this was also a finish.  The combination of the oak(s), wine, grain, and peat work very well together no matter what the story is.  I prefer it neat; it holds up with some water though it becomes a different whisky.

Again, of the three, this one would be the bottle I'd buy, but......it is the most expensive, despite being the same exact age as the others and having the highest bottle count.  I'll pass it up at this price, but had it gone for the same price as the ex-bourbon cask I'd have happily bitten.

Availability - Europe only, and it's getting tough to find
Pricing - 80-100 euros
Rating - 88