By Debbie Shocair
Once again, Indian whisky-makers Amrut are impressing me, this time with their single malt, cask strength expression, a non-chill filtered whisky bottled at a whopping 123.6 proof (61.8% ABV).
Another NAS whisky, this one again proves the point that what ends up inside the bottle supersedes any seemingly ethereal number. While I think age statements, where provided, are of great value in assessing and discussing any whisky, I am also of the strong opinion that what is in the bottle is what matters most. Amrut keeps proving my point.
Though I seldom take much note of the color of a whisky, I continue to find it interesting that so pale a whisky, golden yellow like chamomile tea, has such rich depth and complexity, the result of maturing in an unusual climate of Bangalore, at about 3000 feet and very high humidity.
On the nose, this brute (123.6 proof) at first struck hard with charred wood, and then lesser notes of cotton candy and orange. As it sat, for perhaps a minute or so, the orange became more prominent, along with honey and grain.
Breaking the whisky with a ½ teaspoon of water softened the sensory picture overall, and honey jumped to the front, followed by the orange, a very distinct and pleasant orange.
The mouthfeel on this cask strength single malt was under the tongue, even a little gentle swirl in the mouth (I only ever do this with caution, as it can ruin the effect if done too enthusiastically) kept the tingle under the tongue, which was surprising for a spirit of such high proof.
The finish was delightfully long and interesting, a moment of bitter toasted oak and grain cascading into orange, cinnamon, leather, and then bitter chocolate as it faded.
Another perfect whisky for gift-giving to that whisky-lover you know. And lovers of whisky. Yep. I meant it that way. While Amrut suggests the whisky is “best enjoyed both as an aperitif and as a digestive,” I would like to suggest otherwise, that it is best enjoyed whenever and wherever you like.
It comes in a nifty tin which makes it extra-special at around $70.