Showing posts with label Indian Whisky Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Whisky Review. Show all posts

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

Image result for amrut distillery

Amrut Intermediate Sherry Review


“Red Red Wine”

Country: India
Region: Southern Part
Brand: Amrut Intermediate Sherry
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Probably Around 5 Years)
ABV: 57.1% 
Chill-Filtration: No
Whisky Review # 605
Buying Advice: 😀  Positive if you like Sherry - and Port finished Whisky.

Colour: Deep Gold with a hint of Copper (Natural Colour)

Nose: I immediately sense the Virgin Oak Casks. It's a sort of Varnish Aroma that I always find when nosing Whisky that (partially) matured in this type of Wood. The Ex-Sherry - and Ex-Port casks influences are there as well. Despite the high ABV, the Alcohol is reasonably well-integrated. On the Nose, this Amrut reminds me of the Asian cuisine. A combination of Sweet and Sour with some Spices. I find Toasted Malt, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Blueberry Muffins, Unripe Banana, Pineapple, slightly Sour Grapes, Raisins, Tutti Frutti Bubblegum, Plum Jam, Citrus, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon, light Menthol, Oak and hints of Damp Leafs, Tobacco, Espresso and Leather. The Amrut Intermediate Sherry is not a classic Sherry Bomb but it does have strong Fortified Wine influences.

Palate: Strong delivery thanks to the high ABV. It's impossible to ignore the Alcohol by now. On the Palate, this Amrut is rather Dry and Bitter-Sweet with some Sour and Spicy Flavours in the mix as well. I find Toasted  Barley, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Banana, Grapes, Plum Jam, Dark Red Fruits, Honey, Nuts, Chocolate, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, light Menthol, Licorice, Aniseed, Grapefruit, Orange, Bourbon and hints of Tobacco, Leather and Espresso.

Finish: Quite Long, Fruity and Spicy. Again this combination of Sweet, Sour, Oak and Spices. The Alcohol is even more noticeable at this point. I find Sweet Malt, Toffee, Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit and Nuts, Orange - and Lemon Zest, Dark Red Fruit (Berries), Banana, Red Wine, Honey, Coconut, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, light Aniseed, Nutmeg and hints of Bourbon, Dark Chocolate and Espresso.

I added a little Water and I found some extra Citrus on the Nose. On the Palate and in the Finish the Alcohol becomes less strong of course and Bananas invade your mouth. This Amrut certainly accepts some Water.

Rating: 87

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


General Remarks:

The first Amrut Distillery was founded in 1948 in Bangalore 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.

The Intermediate Sherry that I'm reviewing today is an annual limited edition. The sample I'm using was part of a batch bottled in 2014. The Spirit for this Malt firstly matures in a mix of Ex-Bourbon and virgin Oak casks. Subsequently it is transferred for 1 year to Ex-Oloroso casks from the South of Spain and probably Port Pipes from Portugal. Finally the Spirit returns to Ex-Bourbon casks for the final maturation before being bottled at- or near Cask Strength. The Amrut Intermediate is not cheap and usually sells at around 100 US Dollars (March 2017).    

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: The Amrut Intermediate Sherry is a well-crafted Single Malt. I must admit though that I would probably recognise it as a Port Finished Whisky in a Blind Tasting. The Fortified Red Wine influence seems to overpower the Sherry casks. Still there's enough to discover, both on the Nose and on the Palate. I do wonder how this Single Malt would taste without using Virgin Oak casks. To be honest, I'm not too fond of that characteristic Varnish Aroma. But all in all the Amrut distillery shows (like Kavalan from Taiwan) that it's quite possible to fully mature a Whisky in a relatively short period of time if your distillery is built in a region with a hot and humid climate. If you like Fortified Wine finished Whisky you should give the Amrut Intermediate a try. Unfortunately, this Single Malt can't be cheap considering the high Angel's Share. 

Jan van den Ende                                                                    March 27, 2017

Amrut Peated Blackadder Raw Cask Review



“I am the God of Hell-Fire and I Bring You....”

Country: India 
Brand: Amrut Peated - Blackadder Raw Cask Series - Cask # BA 14/2012
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age:  NAS
ABV:  62.7 % 
Date: 07/05/2014

Colour: Difficult. Deep Golden with shades of Brown and Orange.

Nose: The Alcohol is very strong as could be expected. It's quite similar to a relatively young (8-10 Years) old Islay. Ardbeg and Bowmore come to mind. The strong Peat in the Amrut however is less Maritime and more Earthy. I find Smoke, Dirt, Tar, a little Shell-Fish, Barley, Straw, Oak, Vanilla, Toffee, Toast and Salted Butter, some Fruity Notes (Citrus, Caramelised Apple perhaps) and a hint of Milk Chocolate. It's strong, rough, simple yet very much to the point. I like it!

Palate: Quite a Strong and Fiery delivery thanks to the high ABV. I find lots of Spices like Black Pepper and Cardamom. I also get Straw, Peat, light Vanilla, Barley, Toast and Salted Butter, Dried Herbs, light Fruit and a hint of lightly burned Bacon. This shouldn't be your first Whisky for sure. It might scare you off for ever. I normally prefer to drink my Single Malt neat but in this case I suggest to add a little Water. 

Finish: Long and Strong with Peat, Campfire Smoke from the day after, Ashes, Sweet Barley, Strong Espresso, Licorice, Black Pepper, Cardamom and a hand full of Toasted Dried Herbs.

I added a bit of Water and it doesn't change a lot. It becomes more easily drinkable. Some more Sweet Peat and Malt on the Nose and extra Peat, Dried Herbs and Cardamom on the Palate. Try it out both neat and with a drop of Water.

Rating: 88

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21.5  - Finish: 22 - Overall: 22


General Remarks: Amrut Distillery Ltd. has three own distilleries, one in Kerala and two in Karnataka. Its main products are Brandy, Vodka, Gin, Rum and Blended Whisky. Only a small part of their turnover is realised with Single Malts, that are mainly exported a.o. to Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Western Europe. Amrut became famous after having been scored rather high in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, for the first time in 2005 and later again in 2010. The Peated Raw Cask I'm tasting today is an award winning Malt. Cask # BA 14/2012 delivered 282 bottles. I'm not sure of the price since it varies a lot but an average 100 US Dollars seems to be a fair estimate.

Blackadder is an Indie Bottler that was founded in 1995 by Robin Tucek and John Lamond. Their bottlings are usually Single Casks, are not Chill-Filtered and not artificially coloured. In 2000 they introduced the Raw Cask Series with  Whisky that is directly bottled from the Cask without any filtration.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: Drinking this Amrut neat is like riding on a Highway to Hell. It's Strong, it's Edgy, it's Raw and it Burns. Yet it manages to avoid going over the top. It's dominated by Sweet Peat, Spices and Herbs but has just enough Fruit and Toffee to keep it tasty. On the Palate it's really too strong to drink neat although you should try at least a few sips. But a lower ABV of around 50% would have most probably benefited the drinking experience of this Peated Amrut. But then it wouldn't have been part of the Raw Cask series of course. I loved the tasting experiment and the Blackadder Peated Amrut is a well-crafted Single Malt. I can imagine sipping a dram after a long Winter Walk. It's just a tad too strong however to consider drinking it on a regular basis.

Jan van den Ende                                                                   May 2014


“And now: Scotland here I come! Next Tasting Notes only around the 4th of June”