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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Single Malt Report: Amrut 4 year old 2009 ex-bourbon single cask #3445

After reviewing the '100', I'm going to move away from the gimmicky Amrut releases and focus on a few official single casks.  Today's is a unpeated single malt pulled from an ex-bourbon cask, so it's pretty straightforward.  The regular unpeated cask strength release is hot but quite decent, so I do have my hopes high-ish for this one, even though the whisky is all of four and one-third years old.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: 4 years (June 2009 to September 2013)
Cask #: 3445
Maturation: ex-bourbon barrel
Bottle count: 172
Alcohol by Volume: 60%
Sample obtained via a swap with My Annoying Opinions.  Thanks, MAO!

Lots of fruits and florals in the bright nose -- mangos, oranges, peach skin, and honey.  There's also some cinnamon bread, halvah, and crystallized ginger candy.  It's hot, but not as much as I expected from the high ABV.  Sometimes it noses much older, like a good 12yo bourbon cask of single malt Scotch.  Other times it feels young especially with the cinnamon and ginger.

The palate is hotter than the nose and feels younger as well.  There are notes of honey, almonds, and brown sugar, as well as hints of bread yeast and cayenne pepper.  Some salt around the edges.  Cinnamon and grain notes in the middle.

The finish is never overly sweet, though does have a pleasant tingly heat.  It's a bit tannic at times.  Nutty and slightly savoury with salt and cherry syrup.

WITH WATER (~46%abv)
The nose seems to get more candied.  Cherry lollipops with honey and flowers.  Starts to feel a little newmakey with cinnamon, ginger, and grain notes.

The palate gets blander, tighter, sweeter, and more tannic, the main notes being honey, nuts, barley, and cinnamon.  A small spicy bite shows up here and there.

Lots of honey in the finish, as well as ginger and peppercorns.

This is best served neatly.  Though the palate doesn't live up to the perky complex nose, it doesn't really fail in any way either.  It's still better than the majority (or all?) of the four year old unpeated single malt scotch out there.  As has been mentioned before, it's a heck of a balancing act aging spirits in the Bangalore heat, so there's a good reason they bottle stuff young.  This cask lost 42% of its contents in just over four years.  So yeah, they can age it for a couple more years, but what would remain?  Literally, what the heck would be left?  Something rich or an empty barrel?  In any case the price on this single cask isn't terrible compared to a certain Taiwanese distillery, so the quality-price-ratio isn't bad.  I look forward to more of their single casks...

Availability - Europe only, and it's getting tough to find
Pricing - 60-ish euros
Rating - 84 (neat rating only)

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