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Monday, October 29, 2018

Amrut Kadhambam, batch 05 (2017 bottling)

It's Amrut Time! Again. I knocked out nearly a dozen Amrut reviews in 2016 and 2017, but none in 2018. I'm remedying that with three consecutive Amrut posts this week, with each whisky enjoying a 2017 release. So exciting!

First up is Kadhambam, batch 5. As odd as Kadhambam's cask combo sounds, it seems like an inevitable experiment. Amrut makes brandy and rum, so they have those leftover casks. They've done sherried releases, so those casks are on hand as well. Just their luck, the mix works.

I thought Batch 3 was grand and strange. In my review, I was worried that Kadhambam had been retired. Batch 4 came out in 2013, and as of 2016 there was no sign of the next round. Alas, there was another.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: minimum 3 years
Batch: #05 (2017)
Maturation: ex-Oloroso sherry butts, then Indian brandy casks, then Indian rum casks
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? ???
(from a Columbus Scotch Club event)

It has a big bright nose with lots of dried fruits, especially apricots. There are green apples, lemons and barley. Hard toffee and earthy cocoa. It picks up a pineapple juice note after 10 minutes. The palate is warm but not hot. Tobacco, dried cherries, brown sugar and just a hint of plum wine. A tiny bit of tannin, along with cinnamon and nutmeg. It finishes with citrus, brown sugar and toffee. Mild tannins and mild pepper.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ½ teaspoon of water per 30mL whisky
The nose narrows, but also focuses intensely on toffee, cinnamon shisha and lime juice. Meanwhile, the palate shifts while keeping its breadth. It's creamy, fruity and spicy. Tropical fruit punch with cinnamon and chili oil. Brown sugar, oranges and cumin. The finish has oranges, honeydew and a little bit of salt, while holding onto its decent length.

Another great batch. While this one doesn't hit batch 3's heights, it is more stable and approachable, with the casks behaving more harmoniously. It also feels a little more mature than most of the other Amrut's I've tried, perhaps due to its calmness and lower heat level. It works with or without water, your choice.

On a side note, batch 5 seems to have had at least three bottlings: two in 2016 and one in 2017. This is the 2017 bottling, FWIW. The series does seem to have caught a second wind, and is now up to batch 8. I hope the batches maintain this quality because I look forward to owning a bottle, one of these years.

Availability - Many specialty European and American liquor retailers
Pricing - Europe: $70-$100 (ex-VAT); USA: $120-$160 (har har)
Rating - 87

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