*Thanks to the good folks at Impex Beverages for the sample.
The penultimate Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky in my review queue. Word is these Amruts mature much, much more quickly than their aged-in-Scotland counterparts due to their luxurious tropical vacation homes. How tropical, you ask? Well, Bangalore’s average Winter temperature is a smirk inducing 59°f (15°c). I mean, really, that’s not “Winter”, that’s just “on the cool side”, though it does get colder higher up in the mountains. Compared to Scotland’s Winter average of 42°f (6°c)…it’s positively balmy. In the Summer, Scotland’s average temp is a scorching 65°f (18°)…much like San Francisco’s (those damn off-shore breezes really screw with our tan-lines, don’t they?). Bangalore’s average Summer temperature is the main reason these whiskies mature so quickly… 92°f (33°c), that’s nearly 30 degrees warmer than Scotland on average. Due to this extreme heat, Amrut’s Angels’ Share is approximately 12%, about 10% higher than most Scotch whiskies. It’s not hard to believe that there’s not much in the warehouses there over 6 years old, 10 years in that heat and you’d be left with single malt syrup. With such drastic terroir differences from British Isle booze, it’s easy to see why these are such unique and innovative whiskies.
The Amrut Indian Single Malts, both cask strength and 46%ABV, are distilled from barley grown at the foot of the mountains in the North of India and matured in a mix of new and old bourbon casks.
The Nose: Man, oh man…grain and citrus, citrus and grain…delicious balance between the two. A bright and zippy nose to be sure. Really nice malty, maple sugar notes along with, honey, vanilla pudding, zesty lemon curd, juicy tangerines and those sugared candied orange slices. The grain also provides a nice hint of cocoa powder.
The Palate: Great creamy mouthfeel. Initially, there’s a surprise of unsweetened chocolate and oak, followed by more honeyed grain and a bit of apple cider. It quickly grows hot and spicy as the alcohol almost seems to re-emphasize the grain. The cask strength version also seems a bit less “youthful” than the lower alcohol single malt.
The Finish: Flames out a little quickly and has that extreme Amrut dryness at the end. Nicely balanced fruit and grain notes linger
Thoughts: An excellent malt . This was somewhat reminiscent to me of the Caol Ila Unpeated 10yo…well made, nicely balanced stuff. The nose is just damn delicious, and the palate develops in an interesting way. I’m not the biggest fan of the ultra-dry Amrut finish, but that’s just me, if you like that sort of thing, you’ll love this malt.
A bit of water brings out even more sweetness, smoothness and balance. It doesn’t necessarily need the water, but the addition calms things down a bit, softens it and brings out more subtle tones
Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky, Cask Strength