...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Things I Really Drink: Glengoyne 12 year old

Unlike most of Glengoyne's standard releases, which tend to feature first fill European oak sherry casks, the 12 year old provides drinkers with a glimpse of the distillery's spirit. This makes the 12yo, with its 60% refill / 20% first fill bourbon cask / 20% first fill sherry cask mix, a perky sparring partner with Monday's and Wednesday's Glengoynes.

Upon Dr. Springbank's return from a Binny's trip in Chicago, he and I split the contents of 750mL bottles of both Glengoyne 12 and Compass Box Orchard House. We'd thought they'd be of similar quality, but they really weren't. The Orchard House was the most disappointing Compass Box expression I have tried so far. Meanwhile Glengoyne 12 year old...

Pic pilfered from Binny's

Distillery: Glengoyne
Owner: Ian MacLeod Distillers
Region: Highlands, but right on the border
Age: at least 12 years old
Maturation: 60% refill casks + 20% first fill bourbon casks + 20% first fill sherry casks
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? Probably
e150a? Possibly not
(from a 50/50 bottle split)


It's a little fruit basket. Pears, apples, pineapples, citrons and a hint of floral yeast appear in the nose first. Smaller notes of pine, brine, bubblegum and toasted oak float around the edges. Toasted barley, tart kiwis, tart cherries and jalapeños lead the palate. Raw walnuts, cloves, toasted shredded coconut and a good bitterness ease in later. It finishes with tart cherries, mint leaves, salted toasted mixed nuts and flash of lemony eau de vie.


With Glenlivet 12 going for $40, Glenfiddich 12 for $43, and Glengoyne 12 at $45 at the Illinois retailer, there's really no competition. Friendly but full of character, Glengoyne outclasses them from first sniff to last sip. It reads neither mass produced nor neutered, and its fruity youth works in its favor. Whether in a Glencairn or a tumbler, neat or on ice, it's a bright spring/summer daily drinker. I look forward to getting a whole bottle of my own, though not in my home state where the price is pushing $60.

Availability - many whisky retailers worldwide
Pricing - $45-$70 in the US, $40-$65 (w/VAT) in Europe
Rating - 84

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Glengoyne Teapot Dram, Batch 007

Glengoyne, gettin' employees shitty since 1833.

Sold exclusively through the distillery itself, the Teapot Dram series celebrates the distillery's practice of doling out three rounds of cask strength sherry cask whisky to each employee on a daily basis until (allegedly) "the 1970s". My liver just vurped in my mouth a little bit.

These Drams are made up of nothing but first fill European oak oloroso cask fluids, unlike the official standard Cask Strength batches which are fashioned from a mix of casks. Somehow I've made it this far into my life without having a tot from this teapot, and now I'm going try the heaviest (59.9%abv) of eight batches so far. I've elected not to sip it from a teacup, sorry.

Distillery: Glengoyne
Owner: Ian MacLeod Distillers
Region: Highlands, but right on the border
Range: Teapot Dram
Batch: 007
Age: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Maturation: first fill European oak sherry cask
Outturn: 3993 bottles
Release year: 2019
Alcohol by Volume: 59.9%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a? No
(from a bottle split)


Shoe polish, dried cherries and chile vapors start the nose off, followed by hot fudge, dried currants, vanilla bean and a hint of meatiness. The thick aggro palate goes heavy on the nuts and heat. It's slightly bitter with tart cranberries, and more figs than prunes. It finishes with mothballs, eucalyptus and Luxardo syrup, with a little bit of bitterness in the back.

DILUTED to ~43%abv, or >3/4 tbsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose gets closer to actual Oloroso here. No vanilla, less fruit, more nuts. Okay maybe some orange-coated dried cranberries. And cantaloupe. Oh but I think I killed the palate. It's vague, sweet, gingery and floral. Some of those orange-flavored dried cranberries show up too. It finishes peppery, tannic and sticky sweet.


I can't imagine working the kilns or operating direct-fired runs after three sloshes of this stuff without accidentally distilling myself. The whisky is a (lowercase) fireball when neat, then swims like a cinder block. (Perhaps it would have worked better at 48% or 50%abv, but I dropped it to 43 to match it with Friday's whisky.) Other than the fig note, the palate doesn't really do much that other A'bunadh-style NASers don't also do regularly and (to me) unspectacularly. The burly nose provides the most entertainment, so this Dram probably works best as a sniffer in a snifter.

Availability - via the distillery, but they're now on batch 8
Pricing - ???
Rating - 83 (neat only)

Monday, July 25, 2022

Glengoyne 25 year old versus Glengoyne 25 year old The First Fill

Introduced in 2014, Glengoyne 25 year old has since found plenty of fans (including most well-known reviewers) among the sherry-cask-craving crowd. The enthusiasm (and its 48%abv) almost led me to buy a bottle blindly, five years ago, when the price tag was less than half of what it is now. Though I enjoyed Glengoyne's 21 year old (43%abv), I didn't love the 21 year old, so I passed up on the opportunity to buy the 25.

Also in 2014, Glengoyne dropped a 25 year old all-first-fill Spanish oak sherry cask release into Travel Retail stores. How the heck did they do that? They're not allowed to sling delicious-sounding age-stated whisky via Travel Retail. That was practice was banned by SWA Deep State agents more than a decade ago. Yet somehow Glengoyne, those crafty almost-Lowland Highlanders, got away with it. To note, that 25yo had a slightly lower, but still very nice, ABV of 46%.

Recently, I took part in a bottle split of both 25 year olds. It's time to taste them both.

Glengoyne 25 year old, all "hand-selected sherry casks", 48%abv

The nose develops steadily over an hour, adding new scents as it goes . First, it offers rope, dunnage, nocino and dried thyme. Then dark chocolate and old newspapers. Then walnut oil and iron. Finally, blueberry pie filling.

The palate elicits a "WOW" from the sort of drinker who has been reviewing five year old whiskies way too much recently. Raw walnuts and bitter chocolate up top; figs, kiwis, lemon and candied ginger underneath. A gorgeous tartness rises up, along with more walnuts, as time passes.

It finishes with raw walnuts, raw pecans, menthol and tar. Later sips include lemon candy and salted ume.


Glengoyne 25 year old The First Fill, "100% first fill sherry casks", 46%abv

Oh the nose. Old newspapers, fig jam, engine grease, dried oregano, almond cookies and cara cara orange peels. There's probably more, but I've been consumed.

This palate's chocolate tilts more towards the semi-sweet than the bitter stuff. There's more of a bite to this one, and more salt. Thai chiles in the background, gingery fizziness in the middle, date paste in the fore. Bits of raspberry jam and tangy limes around the edges.

It finishes gently bitter and tangy, slowly sweetening with time. Semi-sweet chocolate, mixed berries and mild unlit cigars linger longest.


I loved them both, and am awkwardly kicking myself in the ass for passing up the standard 25. The First Fill (TFF) may have the better nose, but both were very very very great. On the palates, TFF felt a little zippier, younger, with more wallop and slightly less grace, but I'm picking nits here. The standard 25 had a substantial finish, with the tar + menthol + salted ume combo greatly pleasing my senses.

I'm sorry if my writing is getting silly here. But it has been so long since I've had two classy, well-aged, old school-style, sherry cask whiskies like these in one sitting. I'm looking forward to many more weeks (or months) of fully aged single malts.

Glengoyne 25 year old, 48%abv — 91
Glengoyne 25 year old The First Fill, 46%abv — 90

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Amrut 6 year old 2014, cask 3819 for Norfolk Wines

This is the sibling to Monday's peated single bourbon cask (#2126) for Norfolk Wine & Spirits. The spirit, from unpeated malted Indian barley this time, spent its life in an Oloroso sherry butt. It may also have been the next door neighbor of Whisky Neat's exclusive cask (#3820). I hope its quality tilts more towards 2126.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: 6 years (November 2014 - August 2021)
Maturation: Oloroso butt
Cask #: 3819
Outturn: 396 bottles
Exclusive to: Norfolk Wine & Spirits
Alcohol by Volume: 60%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off briny and nutty, with hints of tar and leather. The only sugary thing on the horizon is the mild cherry lolly note it develops after 20 minutes. Curiously, it also has the same rye bread note as #2126. The palate impressively avoids sweetness, focusing on roasted almonds and walnuts, rye bread, mint leaf and salt. After nearly 30 minutes it does pick up a hint of the nose's cherry candy, as well as a touch of bitterness. Though this is unpeated whisky, I do find a gentle smoke note in the finish, alongside pecans, figs, ginger and mint.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or nearly 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Farminess and a hint of seaweed joins dried cherries and toasted almonds in the nose. The palate shows dried cherries, dates, walnuts, earth and bitter coffee. The finish matches the palate, but with a whiff of mint leaf in the background.


With some curious phenolic notes, and without #3820's punishing heat, cask 3819 succeeds more than I expected it to. The oak doesn't overwhelm until dilution, so six years was probably the cask's max. This compressed aging time hinders further development of what could have been a fabulous cask, had it matured in a calmer environment for over a decade. Still, this is a very solid pour when neat, and may appeal to drinkers who prefer drier sherried whiskies.

Availability - Possibly still available at the retailer
Pricing - $123.99
Rating - 85 (neat only)

Monday, July 18, 2022

Amrut 6 year old 2015, cask 2126 for Norfolk Wines

This Amrut run concludes with a pair of single casks selected for Norfolk Wine & Spirits in Massachusetts. While the entire state of Ohio will likely never see an Amrut single cask, at least a couple of individual retailers in The Baked Bean State were awarded a few. All of these casks appear to have been reduced to 60%abv, as if they were Knob Creek bourbons. What interests me about this particular cask is that its spirit was distilled from, per the retailer's website, "malted Indian Peated Barley". So Amrut did not use imported peated barley from Scotland during this spirit run. I'm intrigued...

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: 6 years (June 2015 - August 2021)
Maturation: bourbon cask
Cask #: 2126
Outturn: 120 bottles
Exclusive to: Norfolk Wine & Spirits
Alcohol by Volume: 60%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a bottle split)


Woody smoke mixes with an industrial greasiness in the nose, then shifts into a hay bale fire after 20+ minutes. Honey, nectarines and ginger fill the middle, with rye bread in the background. Just the right amount of sweetness in the palate arrives in the form of clementines and black licorice. A mix of ocean-y peat, sea salt and cinnamon frame the sweetness rather than overwhelm it. Cayenne pepper colors the background. It finishes with salt, sweet, smoke and a squeeze of lemon.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or nearly 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose becomes simpler: smoky and briny, with a curious polyester note in the midground. The palate also narrows, featuring wood smoke, salt, cayenne and lime. It finishes with soot, lime and cayenne.


Unlike the 6 year old cask for Whisky Neat, this 6yo for Norfolk Wines actually performs best when neat. It dazzles with neither complexity nor fireworks, rather it hits each note well, feeling balanced and polished to the point that it is (SPOILER ALERT) my favorite of the single casks from this month's series, and it'll finish second among these ten Amruts. In fact it could compete well with most of Scotland's peaters. While its $200 price tag is a dealbreaker for me, I'd be willing to pony up $100-$125 for this 6 year old whisky. Yes, I just typed that.

Availability - Possibly still available at the retailer
Pricing - $199.99
Rating - 87

Friday, July 15, 2022

Amrut Aatma 7 year old 2013, cask 4670

Aatma can refer to "soul" or "spirit" (in Hindi), or it can be one of two Indian horror movies, or it'll be printed in white letters on a very red label on the front of an Amrut whisky bottle. I haven't seen either of those films, and this is the wrong Michael Kravitz Era for discussions about the soul. Instead, I regret to inform you that this is a whisky post.

It's great to see US-exclusive single casks from Amrut, especially when they're in the 5-8 year range, especially especially when they cost a fraction of the Greedy Angels series. There appear to be six of such Amrut Aatmas thus far. Today's very dark whisky came from a port pipe filled with unpeated Indian malt spirit.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Range: Aatma
Age: 7 years (April 2013 - December 2020)
Maturation: Port pipe
Cask #: 4670
Outturn: 360 bottles
Exclusive to: USA
Alcohol by Volume: 56.5%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(sample pilfered from a recent whisky event)


Lots of hot fudge, golden raisins and prune juice in the nose, followed by lime candy, saline, cloves and tawny port. The palate shows tart cherries, sweeter dried cherries and dried currants first. Notes of root beer and cassia bark appear later on. It finishes with dried cranberries, cassis and cassia.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 1⅓ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Now I'm finding stewed and mulled fruit (with spices included) in the nose. The golden raisins return but with semi-sweet chocolate this time. The palate barely changes, perhaps gaining cloves and losing cassia. It finishes with dried cherries, dried cranberries and bitter cocoa.


Unlike Wednesday's 6 year old single cask, this 7yo works well both neat and diluted. The Aatma also, thankfully, lacks the 6yo's punishing heat. It's a very comfortable dessert pour that never gets too sweet, but it's all cask. This style negates the necessity of putting a distillery's name on the bottle, yet it is more impressive than most 7 year old Scottish single casks I've had. I would have enjoyed better balance between the vessel and the spirit (the Aatma, perhaps?), but those of you who like cask juice may adore this thing.

Availability - Possibly sold out
Pricing - $200 and up?
Rating - 85

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Amrut 6 year old 2014, cask 3820 for Whisky Neat

More and more single cask Amruts that list age statements and vintages are appearing in the United States. For a while, official single casks were rare so all we had were Blackadder casks missing both of those elements. But now the distillery is embracing a massive carbon footprint, flinging some of India's tempered poison across many thousands of miles over to us Yanks.

For instance, here's an Oloroso butt with six years on it, bottled for the Whisky Neat group. I have no idea how my buddy, Mr. NO, got his mitts on a bottle, but I don't ask questions. I just drink what people hand me.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: 6 years (July 2014 - September 2020)
Maturation: Oloroso sherry butt
Cask #: 3820
Outturn: 480 bottles
Exclusive to: Whisky Neat
Alcohol by Volume: 60%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(Thank you, Mr. NO!)


The nose starts with heat, VOCs and saline. Then some orange oil, dates and florals. Hints of maple syrup, mint leaf and dark chocolate color the edges. The palate is really really hot. After my feeling returns to my face, I find some black raisins and pumpernickel bread up front, tobacco and black coffee in the back. A bit of ash too, but maybe that's from my cooked taste buds. It finishes hot, salty and tangy with plenty of black raisins involved.

Please, water.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or nearly 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose gets slightly mustier, yeastier, with orange oil, raspberries, toffee and almonds. This is a completely different palate. Now there are lemons and dried apricots. Ginger and cloves. It's much sweeter, though a woody bitterness lurks in the background. It finishes with sweet and salt in tune. A little bit of pepper to go with the lemons and dried apricots too.


Even though this goes against the name on the bottle, I do not prefer to drink this neat, where it registers much hotter than its already sizable ABV. Water wakes it up, bringing out fruit and variety, properly burying all those black raisins. Can't say it's my favorite Amrut, but perhaps some dilution experiments could further lift up this whisky.

Availability - ???
Pricing - $100+
Rating - 83 (diluted only, it loses 8-10 points when neat)

Monday, July 11, 2022

Luxury Product Report: Amrut Greedy Angels 10 year old, Unpeated

When Amrut dropped a trio of 10 year old Greedy Angels releases in 2019, I was able to take part in bottle splits of two of 'em. I reviewed the multi-cask peated GA10 almost exactly two years ago and loved it. So when the opportunity to take part in a split of another GA10, I leapt in for 2oz. This specific Greedy was nearly opposite in style from the other: unpeated and aged solely in ex-bourbon casks. Thanks to the Bangalore climate, the angels whisked away with almost two-thirds of the casks' contents across one decade of maturation. I hope they're good and drunk up there.

Here's a bottle pic from the distributor's site because I can't find my own photo, per usual:

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: minimum 10 years
Maturation: ex-bourbon casks
Outturn: 900 bottles, 300 of which went to the US
Alcohol by Volume: 55%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? No
(from a bottle split)


The nose takes time to open up. Dulce de leche, cornbread and cilantro arrive first. Subtler notes of yellow nectarines and ocean air stay in the back. Buttery American chardonnay and toasted oak arrive next, followed by orange blossoms. Hot and extractive, the palate is mostly vanilla bean with some flowers and citrons far behind. A mild peach note appears after a while. It finishes sweeter, with lots of vanilla and honey. A little bit of tart citrus and a lot of tannins.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or nearly 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Oak still, er, lumbers across the nose, but the fruit notes expand, with pineapple and grapefruit up front, and Kasugai kiwi gummies in the background. A bright fresh herbal grows with time as well. The palate has cooled off. Pineapple, guava, fruity cinnamon and ginger powder gradually push the vanilla into the midground. More citrus, less vanilla and fewer tannins invade the finish.


Though the Whiskybase community is enthralled by this release, I am not. I'll repeat my note from above: this reads hot and extractive when neat. Though one may think that result is to be expected from the warehouses' climate, the peated sherry finish Greedy one did not have that character.

This GA10 can be a good, warm drinker once diluted, but I'd be extremely peeved if I'd paid $750+ for it. Yes, the final rating doesn't look too ugly, but this may have the weakest QPR of any Amrut I've tried. I'd be much happier with the much cheaper 2021 Spectrum, or some of the Kadhambam, Portonova, or even Fusion batches.

Availability - ???
Pricing - $750 in the US in 2019
Rating - 84 (diluted only)

Friday, July 8, 2022

Amrut Spectrum 004, 2021 release

This post's entire introductory paragraph appeared in my head at once. I wrote it, then went back and looked at my review of the previous Amrut Spectrum release, and discovered that I essentially wrote the same exact thing three years ago. Oh well, here's an intro anyway, with new jokes.

Amrut Spectrum shouldn't appeal to my palate, but it does. It is indeed 100% cask hijinks, yet it works. How Amrut beat Lumsden, Reynier and Walker to the quadruple-stave vessel mystifies me. Where is Saucy Dr. Bill's Glenmorangie Ménage à Quatre? Perhaps I oughtn't encourage him.

If you haven't heard Amrut Spectrum's cask recipe yet, here it goes:

Maturation step 1 - ex-bourbon casks
Maturation step 2 - bespoke casks made of four different stave types: Level 3 charred American oak, toasted French oak, Oloroso-seasoned, and PX-seasoned.

This method worked for the 2017 release. Here's the 2021 release:

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Expression: Spectrum 004
Age: ???
Release year: 2021
Maturation: see above
Outturn: 6,000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? ???
(sample spirited away from an event)


The gigantic schnozz is back! Dessert begins with dried berries, milk chocolate, almond extract and toffee. Then a tiramisu fashioned with a large dose of espresso, and dried apricots on the side. There are also some staves with a really nice mustiness to 'em. The palate is its own crazy confection that shouldn't work but does. Imagine a rum cake made with honey and lemon zest, filled with blueberry jam and black walnuts, and topped with figs and yellow nectarines. Served at a shisha bar. The finish holds onto the figs and black walnuts, while introducing oranges and grapefruits. The tannins remain impressively mild throughout.


This 2021 version of Spectrum 004 has an outturn that is more than thrice the size of 2017's, at less than half the price per bottle, allowing more people access to this Technicolor whisky. As with the 2017, the "spirit was only present to deliver the product in a liquid medium", but what a product. Hopefully more batches will follow as Amrut tries out different time frames for each maturation. Or different cask sizes and oak types (and less virgin oak). Keep this going, Amrut!

Availability - USA and Europe
Pricing - $170-$210 in the US
Rating - 88

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Amrut Bagheera, batch 1

Next up, Black Panther and the Amrut Multiverse, or something. Amrut has framed Bagheera as a limited special edition, but I'm not sure what's so special about it. It's an NAS sherry-finished whisky packaged with two little glasses but without a clear reason for its existence. Wouldn't an NAS sherry-finished whisky would fit right into their core range? All I really know about Amrut Bagheera is that a bottle of it appeared at April's Columbus Scotch Night. And here's my review of the liquid.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Expression: Bagheera
Batch: 1, September 2020
Age: ???
Barley: allegedly 99% unpeated + 1% peated malt
Maturation: probably bourbon casks first, then sherry casks second
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? probably not
Color added? ???
(sample spirited away from an event)


The nutty and sulfurous start to the nose recedes into a mix of figs, baked apples, cloves and cassia bark. Notes of molasses chews and funky honey appear later. Black pepper, salt and clover honey cover the palate's foreground with bits of ginger and bitter citrus in the back. Earthy walnutty dry sherry gives way to something sweeter after 20+ minutes. It finishes with cinnamon red hots candies, raw walnuts, candied citrus peels and candied ginger. Like the palate, it gets sweeter with time.


It is drinkable, but its raison d'etre remains unclear. Seems like it could sit side-by-side with the standard Amrut Indian Single Malt and Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt bottles on mid-shelves, especially since it has the same 46%abv presentation, and is not an upgrade in quality. Serge thought it both weirder and better than I do, FWIW. If anyone knows more about this release, please let me know in the comment section below. Cheers.

Availability - North America, Western Europe and South Africa
Pricing - $85-$100 in The States
Rating - 81

Monday, July 4, 2022

Three batches of Amrut Fusion

Time to bring this unintentional Baby Whisky series to a close with Amrut. Ten samples of single malt from the Bangalore Bruiser are staring at me right now, daring me to figure out how to schedule them. I'll take them up on that challenge...

Amrut Fusion was my favorite non-Scottish peated whisky, ten years ago. It is possible that my opinion was influenced by influencers back then. Murray, The Maniacs, and Whisky Advocate all raved about Fusion between 2009 and 2011. Who was I, a mere neophyte whisky blogger, to disagree with their well-published palates?

After trying a number of Fusion batches in the decade since, I believe batches vary considerably, especially since the whisky is so young (3-4 years), but have never sat down to test that out. Until now.

For some unknown reason Because I can see into the future, I saved a sample from my bottle of batch 29 (March 2015), so that I could try it against batches 85 and 88, which were bottled in early 2020. Those two samples were sourced from a recent Columbus Scotch Night event during which two different drinkers independently said, "These don't taste like Fusion".

Karnataka Triplets

Amrut Fusion
Batch 29, March 2015
Amrut Fusion
Batch 85, January 2020
Amrut Fusion
Batch 88, March 2020
The peatiest of the trio. A mix of smoked paprika and wood smoke starts the nose, followed by cinnamon, cardamom, packaged cookie dough and 3 Musketeers. It gains vanilla bean and in-season plum notes with time.Wow, the nose is all over the place. Lemon, ham, nutritional yeast, Spam, cinnamon and a dash of peat create a sense of "WTF am I about to sip?" It gradually simplifies into barley, yeast, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a hint of florals.Peat, milk chocolate, basil and melted candle wax sit up front in the nose, with kiwi and pineapple in the background.
The palate leads with cinnamon, ginger powder, limes and heavy smoke. Milder notes of baklava and wormwood-esque bitterness arrive later.The palate begins sweet and tangy with a hint of smoke. Lots of raw heat, apple cider vinegar and cinnamon red hots. Ash ascends with time, as does a floral note.The palate is gingery and peppery, though less raw than batch 85. It's tangy and grainy with a grassy smoke in the background. Feels almost like a blend.
I wish I knew my limes because I'd love to detail the finish's vibrant lime notes. Instead all I can say is: salt, limes, good bitterness and a touch of sweetness.The harshest of the three Fusions, batch 85 finishes with heat, salt, pepper, ash and agave syrup.It's a bit edgier in the finish, with tangy citrus and ginger, bitterness and heat.


Batch 29 (Mar 2015) - No competition here. This batch exists on a different plane than the more recent two. There's more cohesion and depth, and it's a joy to drink. It may not be the best thing Amrut has ever produced, but it reads like a complete whisky, something I'd be happy to buy again.

Batch 85 (Jan 2020) - The vast contrast between this one and #29 made for a jarring transition as I went from one to the other. This batch did not absorb any of the benefits of the Bangalore seasons, reading like a three-year-old whisky. And there was clearly a different blending staff on hand for this one, compared to the 2015 bottling. It may be my least favorite Amrut bottling thus far.

Batch 88 (Mar 2020) - Though more closely related to #85 than #29, batch 88 does feel more pulled together and better assembled than its 2020 cousin. Still, the palate's a bit thin and forgettable, almost begging for some ice and/or club soda, which, while not a tragedy, seems beneath Amrut Fusions of the past. I don't know. Do you want to pay $70 for highball whisky?

Amrut Fusion, Batch 29, March 2015 - 85
Amrut Fusion, Batch 85, January 2020 - 78
Amrut Fusion, Batch 88, March 2020 - 81

Friday, July 1, 2022

Kilkerran Work In Progress, Sixth Release (Sherry Wood)

Of the ten standard Kilkerran Works in Progress, there is only one I have yet to review, until now. For some reason, it took a loooooong time to source a sample for Work in Progress, Sixth Release (Sherry Wood). But now it's here in front of me. Let's close this up. Thank you, Gridley's Redemption!

The WIP List with review links:
WIP 1: White label
WIP 2: Gray label
WIP 3: Light green label
WIP 4: Beige label
WIP 5: Blue label (Bourbon Wood & Sherry Wood)
WIP 6: Pink label (Bourbon Wood & Sherry Wood)
WIP 7: Dark green label (Bourbon Wood CS & Sherry Wood)

Distillery: Glengyle
Owner: Mitchell's Glengyle Limited
Brand: Kilkerran
Region: Campbeltown
Age: ~10 years (2004 - 2014)
Maturation: sherry casks
Label color: Pink
Limited release: 9,000 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
e150a added? No


I'm getting "clean" sherry casks on the nose. Lots of dried fruits, but no raisins. More like dried apple and dried pineapple. Roasted almonds. Dark chocolate with dried raspberries. That midpoint between white peaches and roses. Subtle peat notes don't arrive until much later on.

The palate has the nose's dried fruits (especially dried pineapples), but with dried currants added to the mix. Raw walnuts, mulling spices, tart limes and herbal bitterness fill the midground. It gets tarter with time, but no sign of peat to be found.

Dried cherries, dried currants and raw walnuts show up in the early sips' finishes. Later sips pick up distant moments of smoke, hay and herbal bitterness.


This feels cask-forward, but never sweet, gooey, nor oaky. Perhaps a mix of refills and dry casks seasoned with dry sherry were used. Not many refills, though, because this is one of the least peaty Kilkerrans I've ever had. If memory (and my notes) serve me right, this fits into the WIP Sherry Wood family, but is still its own whisky. Thank you, Glengyle, for this series! It was terrifically nerdy, and also delicious. New distilleries, take note, if you dare!

Availability - Secondary market
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87