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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Amrut Two Continents, batch 03 (2017 bottling)

In contrast to the mix mastery of Kadhambam, Amrut Two Continents is aged solely in refill ex-bourbon barrels. The hook for this release is its maturation in two climates. It first percolates in India, then waltzes(?) in Europe. They don't say where in Europe, just "Europe". Northern Finland's climate is slightly different than the South of France, so it kinda matters.

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Age: minimum 3 years
Batch: #03 (2017)
Maturation: refill bourbon casks
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Color added? ???
(from a Columbus Scotch Club event)

Timber! It's actually not that oaky on the nose, but there is an early note of freshly split logs. After that, the nose stays simple. There's hay, anise, apple and butter. It's kinda blendy. The perkier palate leads with simple syrup, pear juice, ginger and hazelnuts. Black peppercorns help things from getting too sweet. It gets smokier with time, though also picks up a notebook paper note. The moderate length finish is big on ginger and chiles, with smaller notes of acidic citrus and bitter smoke.

DILUTED TO ~40%abv, or <1 teaspoon of water per 30mL whisky
Less oak on the nose. Smokey ham, grass, apples and cardamom. Yet the palate gets woodier and more tannic. Papery and peppery. Smoked nuts and lemons. The finish is much quieter. It's tangy and tannic with acidic citrus and black pepper.

Batch 3 came out in 2017 with, curiously, a lower abv (46% versus 50%) than batch 2, and has more muted reviews online. I did not know this when I tried it head-to-head with yesterday's Kadhambam. But the Kadhambam really is in a different league.

This batch of Two Continents has that rawness and oakiness found in many/most American "craft" whiskies, though it pulls it off better than the Yanks. I do think the oak holds it back or at least removes something vital and lively found in most of Amrut's releases. It's still a reasonable whisky, but the regular CS, the peated CS and Fusion are all more enjoyable at much lower prices.

Availability - Many specialty European and American liquor retailers
Pricing - Europe: $80-$110 (ex-VAT); USA: $110-$140 (har har)
Rating - 81 (neat only)

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