By Debbie Shocair
The Amrut Naarangi (Naar-An-Ghee) is another experimental whisky from the fine folks at Amrut in Bangalore, and another laborious effort I must admire, though this time they fell short of the mark.
Oloroso Sherry casks, still containing some sherry, were seasoned further by the addition of orange peel. This combination was left to sit for about two years, before the casks were emptied and then re-filled with Amrut’s Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (already 3 to 4 years old). The single malt whisky matured for an additional three years in the specially-seasoned casks and was then bottled at a respectable 100 proof.
This rather ponderous-sounding and convoluted treatment of the whisky is something I’ve come to admire about Amrut, whose efforts in making a delightfully tasty and enjoyable product have gotten not only my attention, but also that of the whiskey-world in recent years. A certain confident complexity is what I’ve come to expect from their various expressions, but this particular effort seems misguided.
On the nose, Amrut Naarangi was at first acerbic, riddled with notes of raw wood, along with low citrus and caramel.
Breaking it with ½ teaspoon of water brought the citrus to the front, primarily (of course) orange.
The mouthfeel on Naarangi was at the tip of the tongue, but not as gentle as I had come to expect from Amrut, given my experience with their other expressions.
In the finish, the orange finally and definitely came through, but lacked the charm and gentle nature of the other various expressions from Amrut. It ended with orange and acerbic wood.
Retailing for around $125. I might use it in a cocktail, perhaps an Old Fashioned, but it’s a pricey product to mix in that way.