Friday, February 6, 2015

Amrut Cask Strength

Amrut week continues (you can refresh your memory and relive the good times here and here for the earlier installments) with a review of the Amrut Cask Strength.

Now, I'm afraid, ashamed and alliterated to say that I've not had the standard strength Amrut Single Malt and thus don't strictly have a reference point for this - beyond the Fusion and the aforementioned "wine sandwich" malts. But hey, who gives a fat rat's clacker? Ignorance and stupidity are the foundations upon which this blog are built.

Amrut Cask Strength 61.8% (2014 release?)

Nose: After first pouring there's butter, banana and honey. Some lighter malt aromas develop with time in the glass. With the addition of water some oak spice comes out. Even later something like peanuts with skins on emerges.

Palate: Big arrival, with a blast of heat and serious penetration. It becomes a little maltier after a while, in a brioche bun kinda way, followed by dry spices and tannin. With water, some mild bourbon fruits emerge - sweet citrus, white peach - followed by a green, grassy note which seems to sit slightly sublingual.

Finish: A shortish finish as the huge arrival ebbs as rapidly as it flowed. Water lengthens the finish a little as the oak spices begin to dominate. It becomes increasingly acrid as it fades.

It's a good drink - mature beyond it's years (whatever they are - 6 or 7 maybe? I don't know, I should look it up), very drinkable - but it's a touch too inoffensive. Lacking in complexity I guess, and the finish lets it down I reckon. Not bad, but, for me, not a patch on the Portonova.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Amrut Intermediate Sherry

A review of the Amrut Intermediate Sherry today, following on from yesterday's review of the Portonova, its "sandwich" sibling.

I'm knackered, and have nothing else to say, so here 'tis.

Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1% (2014 release?)

Nose: Straight out of the bottle there's clove studded oranges, and some mild varnish, but it's pretty low key. After some time in the glass these aromas build and swirl and are joined by something sweeter and biscuit-like. Water releases some sweet soy sauce and a hint of spice.

Palate: A sweetish, fruitcake entry rapidly transitions into dry sherry notes. Water expands the entry and makes the mouthfeel increasingly grippy. Sherry spices - cloves, cardamom - join the fray. A little lighter in feel and texture to the Portonova.

Finish: Long, flowing back and forth in in waves. Drying, but with ripples of fruit running through as well. Water increases the dried fruit presence as the grippiness from the palate continues and serves to even further lengthen the finish.

The finish here is epic, and the sherry notes pristine, but I think I prefer the slightly more hedonistic and mouth-filling Portonova.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Amrut Portonova

The Amrut Portonova and Amrut Intermediate Sherry are (I believe) both newly arrived in Australia. Having previously tried only the Fusion - it's great value, fantastic for the price, and I bought two bottles only the other week when on special and probably should have bought more - I was very keen to try both, so purchased some samples (from - they're selling samples, but not full bottles of this), along with a sample of the Amrut Cask Strength for good measure.

Today I review the Portonvova (with the Intermediate Sherry to soon follow), a whisky matured first in bourbon barrels, then in Port pipes, and then racked back into (the same? I don't know) bourbon barrels to make something that is now known, apparently, as a "port-pipe sandwich".
Mmmm, sandwich.

Amrut Portonova (NAS) 62.1% (2013, Batch 4)

Nose: Surprisingly, given the ABV, it's not super-aggressive first up out of the sample bottle - rather closed in fact and revealing only shortbread, vague malt aromas and a touch of butter. After fifteen minutes or so the wine has really come to the surface and begins to dominate - proper fortified fumes coming off it now. Water releases a bit of peat, as well as some spiced orange, dried apricot and sweet spices.

Palate: Powerful and invasive, clawing its way up the back of the throat. Hot and sweet on red fruits. Water expands and levels out the palate a fraction, bringing out spices, gentle peat, dried fruit, oranges and dark chocolate, while knocking back some of the fire. The port itself is now nowhere near as obvious as it was on the nose.

Finish: Emphatic, but short. Water both lengthens and broadens things, lengthening the dried fruit and spices from the palate while introducing some slightly drying cigar notes, which end up lingering longest and balancing out any residual sweetness.

I was a little late to the Amrut party, but now that I'm in I aint leaving anytime soon. This is an excellent (partially) Port-matured whisky. I'm buying.