Amrut Portonova Batch 17 Review


“Indian Summer”

Whisky Review # 872

Country: India
Region: Bangalore
Brand: Amrut Portonova - Batch # 17
Type: Indian Single Malt Whisky
Age: Around 5 Years - Bottled in June 2015
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 62.1%
Maturation: Ex-Bourbon and Virgin American Oak with Port Pipe Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Average Price: Around US$ 100 (May 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😐On the limit given its relative youth
Buying Advice: 😁Well made Port Finished Single Malt. Young but Good!

Colour: Copper/Dark Amber (Natural Colour)


The Alcohol is very strong so you need to wind your Nose around it. Take your time as there is enough to discover. The first impressions include lots of Dried Fruit and Nuts, Buttery Biscuits, Dark Red Fruit and Spices. Sweet and Sour go hand in hand here. The Port Pipes must have been still very active despite the fact that they are 3rd fill. This is a young Whisky of course but the hot climate during maturation and the intelligent use of casks go a long way in covering it up.

Main Aromas:

Malted Barley, German Butter Biscuits, Toffee, Honey, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Plums and Figs, Rump-Soaked Raisins, Peanut Butter, Red Berries, Orange and Lemon, Charred Oak, Dusty Casks, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg and Aniseed.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Roasted Nuts, Straw, Fresh and Dried Herbs, Fortified Wine, Banana Bread, Mandarin, Leather, Tobacco, Ashes, Milk Chocolate, Puff-Pastry filled with Stewed Apple and Wet Leaves.


(Fortified) Red Wine Finishing rarely works for me but this Amrut is not bad in this respect. The Port pipes clearly left their marks but they don't suffocate the other Flavours. The Alcohol is a bit of a problem though. An ABV of around 50% would have been quite sufficient. Adding Water is almost a must here although I'm usually not a big fan as I really prefer to judge the Whisky as presented by the makers. The palate is Medium-Sweet and Dry and presents a mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes in a reasonably balanced way.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Salted Caramel, Honey, Fortified Wine, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Figs and Plums, Orange, Red Berries, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves, Nutmeg, Aniseed, Soy Sauce and Ginger.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Toffee, Pancakes with Golden Syrup, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Banana Bread, Nuts, Grapefruit, Dark Chocolate, Tobacco, Leather & Menthol.


This is strong stuff of course. It reminds me a bit of Old Bourbon. The Finish is Middle/Long to Long as the Alcohol, Wood and Spices stay with you for a while. There's a slight artificial off-note that I can't quite pin down. Is it Soy Sauce Light perhaps? I don't like that at all! Other than that a mix of Bitter, Sweet and Sour notes with lots of Wood and Spices. Quite Dry towards the end. I find Malted Barley, Caramel, Toffee, Honey, Red Berries, Fortified Wine, Dried Fruit like Sultanas, Raisins, Figs and Plums, Orange, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate, Tobacco, Leather, Pepper, Aniseed, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Menthol and Ginger.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol. It also enhances the Fruit on the Nose and makes Palate and Finish more enjoyable. In this case I really must advise you to add quite a bit of Water.

Rating: 87.5

Nose: 22 - Taste: 22 - Finish: 21.5 - Overall: 22

Drinking Experience Neat: Good (Especially with added Water)


The Amrut distillery is located in Kumbalgodu, just outside Bangalore. It started producing Whisky in the Mid-80's but the first Amrut Single Malt was released in 2004.

Batch # 17 matured in a mix of 1st and 2nd Fill Ex-Bourbon casks before being finished in 3rd Fill Port Pipes that are said to have contained 80 Year old Port.

I must congratulate Amrut on this Portonova. It's a young Single Malt but the climate and the makers have done miracles to present it as being well-matured. The Port Finish definitively works here and that strongly indicates correct cask management. It's not perfect though. I simply believe the ABV is way out of line and unnecessarily high. Something in the range of 50% would have been quite alright. And there's a slight off-note that I could live without. It reminds me of artificially sweetened Soy-Sauce. Other than that the Portonova is absolutely okay though. 



Jan van den Ende                                                                       May 11, 2020

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