Innovation is not limited to technology in Bangalor, the heart of India’s silicon valley. Amrut has positioned itself at the cutting edge of whisky innovation.
The distillery was founded in 1948 by JN Radhakrishna Rao Jagdale. India is the world’s biggest whisky market, but most of it isn’t what you and I would consider whisky, as it’s not properly a grain distillate. However, Jagdale’s grandson, Rakshit took the business in another direction, starting to make real single malt, with sourcing of great casks and taking advantage of the quick maturation afforded by the Indian weather.
This expression is one of the most fascinating whiskies to hit the market, as it was finished (for 3 years, which is as long as it spent in bourbon casks before being transferred into these special casks) in a singular type of cask. After spending three years in ex bourbon casks, then transferred to specially made casks comprised of staves from five individual wooden barrels – new American Oak, new French Oak, new Spanish Oak, Pedro Ximenez cask sherry cask and Oloroso sherry cask staves.
Amrut Spectrum (50% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Mahogany, initially quick legs, then a persistent necklace.
Nose: Bag of pretzels, sour cherry brandy (vishniak), chocolate and leather with a hint of saltiness and a lot of dryness on the nose. A drop of water brings out chai masala.
Palate: Oriental spices in a sherry sauce, this would make a killer base for a sauce for a butcher’s cut steak. There’s cardamom, star anise, cinnamon and a dryness. The PX is assertive, but gives room for the Oloroso to contribute. A drop of water brings out loads of chocolate.
Linger: Dry and sweet, with an initially stinging spiciness that gives way to an older and gentler sherry. Very warming, the whole gullet is aglow in a warm spicy feel. After a few minutes, sultanas take over on the linger and just stays on and on.
Wow, this is a very impressive dram. Well done Amrut!
I got to this whisky too late to get a bottle of this batch. I really hope that Amrut makes batches of this fine whisky on a regular basis, because 1000 bottles is just not enough.