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Friday, January 3, 2020

Bottle Review: Amrut Naarangi, batch 05

Yes, this is my bottle. Ta da!

This batch of Amrut Naraangi was on the table at five recent local events, and it proved to be a hit every time. Drinkers seem to like the whisky as much as its story.

Amrut deposits a few pounds of small local oranges into each of a number of sherry-filled casks, then lets them macerate, integrate, infiltrate, disseminate, inculcate, annunciate, inseminate and disintegrate in the Bangalore heat for three years before the casks are emptied. Amrut's unpeated spirit is then added to the casks to mature for an unknown amount of time (my guess is 3-6 years).

Distillery: Amrut
Region: Bangalore, India
Expression: Naarangi
Age: ???
Maturation: see notes above
Batch: 05, August 2018
Alcohol by Volume: 50%
Chillfiltered? probably not
Color added? ???
(approximately the midway point on my bottle)

NOTES
Citrus does feature in the nose, but it's much milder than a liqueur. It's also zippier than navel orange zest, smelling of kabosu, yuzu and citron. This blends with notes of chocolate, toffee, rosemary, fruity cinnamon, malt and brown rice. It even picks up a musty old sherry cask note after 30 minutes. The palate has more classic sherry cask notes of nuts and dried fruit. The midground citrons and limes mix with subtler notes of sweet paprika, serrano pepper and pineapple. A happy lack of sweetness in the finish makes way for tangy citrus and chiles, some paprika and a salty pickled bite.

WORDS WORDS WORDS
I'm going to pour myself another glass of this very satisfying batch of Naarangi right now. There isn't much complexity in the palate, instead one finds the fireworks in the nose. But the palate is not syrupy sweet, it is spicy and tangy and — exotic is too loaded of a word — enthusiastically not scotch.

I wish Amrut could find a way to price this in the $60-$70 range. Its current price keeps me from running after a second bottle. $$$ aside, this is a fun whisky experience, and I look forward to other international producers giving an experiment like Amrut Naraangi a try.

Availability - Specialty retailers in the US and Europe
Pricing - $120-$160 in the US, €90-€140 in Europe
Rating - 86

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