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Mon, 17 Aug 2009

Amrut tasting notes

Despite the date on this journal entry, I'm actually writing it nearly a month later, because I'm a goddamned slacker. However, in the middle of August I went to an Amrut tasting. Amrut, as you will of course know, and so I don't really need to explain this to you, are a whisky distiller from India - Bangalore specifically. They make a damned fine dram, which I was introduced to in a pub in Northshire a few years ago. I was keen to try some of their other bottlings.

We had eight drams in a blind tasting, plus a sample of Amrut's new make spirit. Of the eight, only six were Amruts.

  1. Amrut new make spirit: this isn't something that you'll ever find in the shops, or even particularly want to drink, but it's interesting to compare it to the actual products that come from it. The nose was overwhelmingly acetone.
  2. Amrut single malt, 46%: the nose is lubricating oil, the taste reminded me of good cider brandy / calvados. A very short, almost non-existent finish. Benefits from adding a little water, and is very drinkable indeed but nothing special. 6/10. This is almost the same as that first Amrut I had Way Back, although they've tweaked the strength slightly which can make a difference.
  3. Glenfarclas 10yo: nothing really stood out in the nose, although with water there's some coal smoke. The taste included eucalyptus. The finish was salty, although not too much, and had something of a dentist's surgery about it. Only 4/10.
  4. Amrut cask strengh, 61.9%: the nose is honey, violets, perhaps some brandy. The taste, coal, salt, hot spices. The finish very long. Slightly meaty without water, but with water like a sweet n sour takeaway - from a good takeaway. 7/10.
  5. Amrut Fusion, 50%: this uses a mixture of Indian and a peated Scottish barley. The taste was of the sea and spice, the finish huge, with smoked eel. 8/10.
  6. Amrut peated, 46%: this is made with Scottish barley, in India. Their other expressions use Indian barley. The nose was currants and heather. The taste dry, with pervasive light smoke, and mint. With water the smoke became rather over-powering and slightly bitter - thankfully it's at a reasonable strength so there's no need to water it. 9/10.
  7. Bowmore Legend: carbolic soap and a slightly acrid nose. The taste smoke, bacon, cocoa nibs. 7/10.
  8. Amrut peated, cask strength 62.8%: great on the nose with rum and spice, but so strong it needs water. And unfortunately when you add water it just goes to shit. 5/10.
  9. Amrut Two Continents, 46%: this gimicky whisky is matured first in India, then shipped to "a secret location" in Europe for more maturing. The nose is floral, the taste fresh and summery, perhaps slightly barbecuey. Unfortunately only 4/10, and my notes have a gigantic "MEH" scribbled on them.

Those of you paying attention will have noticed that the one I rated the best was a peated Amrut, which I rated higher than the Bowmore. And I'm pleased to see that my original high regard for Amrut didn't subconsciously include marking it higher just because I wasn't expecting an Indian whisky to be any good.

Posted at 22:38 by David Cantrell
keywords: alcohol | whisky
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