Amrut Naarangi Batch 03 Review




“Orange Blossom Special”

Whisky Review # 817

Country: India
Region: Karnataka (Southern India)
Brand: Amrut Naarangi - Batch # 03 - Bottled: June 2017
Type: Single Malt Indian Whisky
Age: NAS (Around 6 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 50%
Maturation: Bourbon Casks w. Orange Flavoured Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 110-130 (May 2019)
Buying Advice: 😔Nice but weird experiment. Expensive given its Youth.

Colour:

Copper with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose:

The first impression is Virgin Oak and a little Varnish. This fades away somewhat with time and both the Sherry casks and the Orange Peel come to play. Please give this Amrut sufficient time in the glass. It smells Young and Mature at the same time funny enough. The Nose is Soft and Sweet with Spices & Dried Fruits.

Main Aromas:

Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits), Brown Sugar, Vanilla, Orange, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Sultanas and Plums, Pizza Dough, Dusty Track, Charred Wood, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Sweet Barley, Golden Syrup, Butterscotch, Fruit Cake, Mandarin, Lemon, Wet Paper, Pepper and hints of Tobacco, Chocolate, Leather and Rubber.

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Palate:

It's certainly different! A mix of Whisky, Bourbon and Orange Liqueur. It's not quite as soft as the Nose. The Alcohol is certainly noticeable at this point. On the Palate, the Amrut is Bitter-Sweet with a few Sour notes. Quite Dry. When you get used to the taste it's not too bad actually. Just a little bit Artificial and, well, ...different.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Caramel, Orange, Dusty Wood, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Plums, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Menthol and Espresso.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Butterscotch, Vanilla, Golden Syrup, Boiled Candies, Dark Chocolate, Leather, Tobacco, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Dried Herbs and a little Rubber.

Finish:

Middle Long, Bitter-Sweet, a bit Hot and quite Dry. The Alcohol is noticeable by now. I find Sweet Barley, Caramel, Golden Syrup, Orange, Dusty Oak, Forrest Floor, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cloves, Menthol, Cardamom and hints of Varnish, Leather, Tobacco and Hazelnut Chocolate.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water and that helps to balance the Nose. A very nice laid-back Orange Aroma. You would easily forget this is a Single Malt Whisky. A mix of Orange and Spices actually. On the Palate it looses a bit of the boldness and the Finish becomes a little Shorter. Still, in this case I prefer it with a little Water.

Rating: 81

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion:

The first Amrut Distillery was founded in 1948 in Bangalore, South India by the Jagdale family. They only started to distill Whisky for Blends in the 1980's. Their main products are Rum, Gin and Vodka. The first Single Malt was launched in 2004. As the climate in Southern India is very hot and humid, the spirit matures much faster than in Scotland. Most Amrut Malts are bottled after 4-6 Years. The oldest one is the recently released Greedy Angels 12 Years. The name of course refers to the high Angels Share that is lost each year to evaporation on account of the climatic conditions.

Naarangi is Hindi for Orange. Amrut bought Oloroso Sherry in Spain and infused the Sherry with fresh Orange Peels for over two years. Subsequently, the Sherry and Orange were removed and the casks were then filled with 3 Year Old Amrut Whisky that matured in Ex-Bourbon casks. This Whisky then matured in the Sherry/Orange casks for another 3 Years.

As you know I'm usually in favour of interesting experiments with Whisky. Sometimes it works and at times it doesn't but its always good to test the limits of maturing Whisky. The Naarangi is a bit of a puzzle to me. It's not bad as an Alcoholic beverage but it probably steers away a little too much from what is generally accepted to be a Single Malt Whisky. It smells very nice but Palate and Finish don't have the same quality. Nice to try as a sample but I would not go for a full bottle. It's quite expensive as well. Still, if you got an "Orange Crush" go for it!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                       May 13, 2019

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