What the hell are they doing in Bangalore? Really? This whisky is simply stunning. So good, in fact, I question whether there may be something dark and clandestine at work. Something akin to that crossroads meet where Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil.
Here we have another young(ish) Amrut (but fear not…they all are), strutting its coat of many colors, and once more…dazzling the senses of everyone I know that has tried it. Possibly none moreso than yours truly.
What I wouldn’t give to taste the Amrut New Make spirit. The skeleton of this distillery’s whisky shows through in every expression they release. That tells me that the spirit itself, irrespective of any cask/maturation influence, is where the heart of Amrut lies. If anyone can get a bit of this newborn liquid into my hands, I will be infinitely grateful.
Now…at an average of six years (according to the international face of Amrut, Ashok Chokalingam, as mentioned on Scotchnoob), the Portonova is again smashing preconceptions in the ‘older is better’ debate. This is mature sooooooo far beyond its years. Having said that, the temperate Indian environment certainly forces a new philosophy on aging. I’m pretty sure anything left in situ in the Amrut warehouse would be nothing but cask dust by the time it reached the dozen or so years that generally characterizes a ‘young’ Scottish malt.
The nose boasts the most spectacular melange of spices. Truly this is a flavor profile unlike anything I have ever encountered. The closest to this deep dark mysterious note I’ve ever found (excepting other Amrut’s) would be in the Yamazaki 18. Orange and a complex figginess (not quite) meets the richest of Swiss milk chocolate. Dark over-ripe fruits, juicy and foreign. Sweet soft crumbly sugar cookies and something infinitely creamy. Yes…even at 62.1%. Port? Ummm…ok. I’ll take your work for it, though this is not truly port-ish. A few others have mentioned raspberries. Hmmm…I can see it.
A delivery of pure warm melted chocolate and foreign spice. freshly shaved orange zest. Biscuity (or raisin scone perhaps). Perfect balance and a marvelous explosion on the tongue.
These guys simply play at another level. I find myself nearly tongue-tied by this distillery, and have since the first time I tasted the Fusion. Never have I had such trouble wrapping my head around whisky. What comes out of India leaves me as flabbergasted as the folks outside of Wonka’s great factory. Delights not found from any other producer.
Barring possibly Ardbeg, there is not a better distillery on earth.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt