Amrut Single Cask #2703 (PX Sherry)
One of three new European exclusive releases from Amrut. While I was hoping to nab at least one of each, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I s’pose I’ll have to drown my innumerable sorrows in drams of Intermediate Sherry and Portonova. ‘It’s a hard knock life’, and all that.
In a nifty move that I think others in the industry should follow, Amrut has put a clear and concise little ‘info table’ front and center on their packaging here. Many single cask releases share several of these details (albeit often spread out all over the label/packaging), but Amrut have gone a step further in a very forthright approach. Also…again in a step of innovation…they’ve offered up the stats on their maturation loss. Whisky nerds: delight! One more bit of trivia for us to engage in endless forum debate over. Honestly…I love this. It would be (and will be) a great point of discussion comparing these stats across ages, warehouses and continents.
In the case of this young (4 years, 2 months) Pedro Ximenez-matured Amrut, the total volume loss was 39% of the initial casking. Wow. Incredible that a sherry butt (give or take 500 litres) only nets 345 bottles a mere four years after hitting wood. While the loss of volume by the time of bottling is comparable to a well-matured Scotch whisky, fortunately for us so is the state of maturation. As is typical of Amrut, this is a whisky aged beyond its years.
Details aside, for those of you who just want to know if it’s good…the short answer is ‘yes’. Not my favorite Amrut, but a tasty addition to their expansive range. To be completely honest, however, this one feels just slightly ‘over’ to me. Like maybe it should have been bottled a few months earlier. Imagine…a whisky that is merely a toddler in terms of human years as being at the cusp of over-matured. Having said that…this one still stands tall enough to see over the heads of many others out there. A solid offering again.
Nose: Surprisingly, there is a little bit of tart red apple right up front. I’ve never picked that up on an Amrut before. Good strong cigar leaf and well-oiled leather. Sharp chocolate notes. It’s still easy to pick up malted barley here. A lot of spices, complexly married into a neat whole. Sort of reminds of an older Dalmore on the nose.
Palate: There is almost a meatiness here, met with malt. Coffee and over-roasted nuts. Dark toffee and even darker dried fruits. Burnt orange peelings. Very tannic. Very thick. Apple skins on the finish. This is heavy and oppressive sherry. Great late evening drink.
I’m not usually a water in whisky kinda guy, but this one swims very well. I’d actually recommend a few drops of water to cushion the more overt sherry notes and bring out more of those sublime sweet notes that PX is known for. A couple drops of water adds even more harmony and balance. A very different Amrut from what I’m used to. Neat to see another side.
(Thanks to Ashok Chokalingam, Amrut Brand Ambassador, for the opportunity to try these single casks)
– Reviewed by: Curt
LCBO had some single casks of these bottled exclusively as well. It was my second favourite at the Spirit of Toronto next to the Peated CS (about which I have gushed much – I opened one today at a meeting and it was a major hit). But it was priced out of reach when released. When they lowered the price to about $65 I managed to snag 2.
I remember liking it more than the bourbon SC but having opened one of the latter, it’s hard to get much better than that, so either I was wrong or when I open it there will be ecstasy…