Amrut Single Cask #3436 (Bourbon Cask)
The last, and quite frankly the best (at least in my humble opinion), of Amrut’s lastest spate of single cask releases bound for the European market. This is a four year old malt matured in an ex-bourbon barrel.
With bourbon barrels only being a couple hundred litres in capacity, and Amrut’s incredibly high angel’s share, what the distillery was left with at the time of decanting was a mere 174 bottles at a massive bottling strength of 60% abv. The sad reality is that this whisky is simply too damn good to be released in a batch so small.
Here’s hoping Amrut either a) floods the global market with scores of blindingly brilliant single cask releases (like this one), or b) opts to send all of these limited expressions to Calgary.
I jest. Sort of.
Amrut’s single malt whisky is one which has shown itself to be highly malleable. We’ve seen beautiful symbiosis between the spirit and peat, port, sherry, rum and combinations thereof. But the true austere beauty of the malt is best shown in all its naked glory when it’s simply left to slumber in an ex-bourbon barrel. The singular character of Amrut coming of age in the tight-grained spicy ex-bourbon barrels from the US results in an end product so beautifully balanced and clean, I’m left humbled and awed.
There’s not a lot more to say really. The whisky does the talking for me, and I’m just glad to have tasted it.
Nose: Creamy chocolate. Almond and nutmeg. A little bit of orange. A fine dusting of cinnamon. Very high quality hardwood (like you’d smell in a great wood-working shop). Toasted marshmallow and vanilla. Quite creamy and ‘doughy’. Very much in the vein of the Herald or Two Continents. Beautifully balanced nose.
Palate: A huge delivery of pure Amrut familiarity. By now, this is an unmistakable profile. Warm melting Swiss chocolate. Cinnamon-spiced cocoa. Orange zest, mint and ginger. Nice blend of dried spices. Stunningly vibrant and tangy on the tongue.
In short: Absolutely beautiful. I adore Amrut matured in ex-bourbon. You can see the purity of the exotic spirit shining through. While I am a sucker for all of Amrut’s innovative and quirky limited releases, this simplicity is Amrut at its best.
(Thanks to Ashok Chokalingam, Amrut Brand Ambassador, for the opportunity to try these single casks)
– Reviewed by: Curt
Hmm, no comments? I guess everyone is speechless.
Three interesting drams from a great distillery and most of us will never taste them.
So speechless and bland….
Or at least, tasteless
Hmmmmm. Scarce but sounds good. I enjoy drinking vicariously through you Curt. Though I envy your access, I acknowledge I’d never be able to get through as many of these special ones as you can.
Here’s hoping Amrut is able to eventually increase the volume while maintaining the quality. I think I have a few more good years left, so I’ll be patient…
I think they will increase the amount they release as single malt. This is a relatively fledgling endeavour for them, though they’ve been putting out lower end product for years.
Your comment about the ‘special ones’ is very topical. I am actually hunting for some of the more entry-level / readily-available / easily-affordable drams as we speak. They’re actually harder to come by, believe it or not. I don’t generally want to buy a bottle of cheap blended whisky or 10 year old single malt. The fact is…I simply don’t really ever drink it. To drop the money on it just for the sake of a 400 word review seems silly.
It’s kinda fun hunting again though. 🙂
You have a same problem that I do. There are so many I want to try but once tasted, what then? What to do with the remaining 700 cc (or 650 if it’s a70 cl bottle)? I agree. Why buy something to try that you’ll likely not want to drink when there’s always going to be a “better” bottle calling to you?
I’ve only opened one bottle since April, because I’m determined to lower the number of open bottles I have (I have bottles or decanted quantities of bottles of at least 9 different whiskies AFTER this half year effort).
I have a dozen A’Bunadh’s I’ve wanted to try, several Islays, Bladnochs, essentially up to 30 bottles on my to-open list. I calculated recently, because my rate is low and my drams are small (except the ones I pour for guests) that I could probably go 20 years without depleting the supply. And I always find something I want to buy and try.
The only time I open anything new now, with a rare exception, is during a whisky club tasting.
If we have more than 3-4 meetings a year my “open” shelf gets overwhelmed.
I would welcome more standard 200 cc bottlings (thank you Diageo…did I really thank Diageo?). Even if the per cc price is higher, it would be worth it from a through-put perspective.
Recently on another discussion website, I’ve linked up with a couple of people who may help me out in drinking some of the excess, and let me taste some of their stock without having to buy a whole bottle. I consider this the next “step” in the journey.
I think you’ve tried samples. I guess you would only take them from people you know. As a kid I was always taught never to take candy from strangers….
Hi There Curt/ Speechless/ David,
I understand the frustration of buying or getting access to these. I have to say it is not Amrut’s mistake in terms of making it available in Alberta. You have to blame some one else and I can not put this in an open forum like this. Nevertheless, I just want to make few points clear here. Me meeting Curt was an accident a couple of years ago. I was attracted by his writing skills rather. When I went to Calgary at that time the sample was available so I took three 100 ml samples to him. That is what has happened. What I am going to try and do is that will try to send a whole bottle of a new expression that we will release to Curt. In turn Curt can pass on the samples to you guys who are interested to review it. Only thing that I have to work out is how to get the bottle across to you considering the fact how EASY IT WILL BE TO SHIP A BOTTLE TO CANADA!
Thanks and Regards
Amrut Distilleries Ltd
While Amrut certainly isn’t responsible for the difficulties in importing whisky into Canada by mail, I’m not sure where the blame truly rests in terms of non-availability to Canadians, given that these are “three new European exclusive releases from Amrut”, never intended to be marketed here.
I was fortunate enough to host Ashok at an Amrut event we did recently here in Dubai and, bless his heart, he decided to share these three single cask expressions with us. It was incredibly generous on his part not to mention the exclusive bottling for UAE he organized for the Amrut 100.
In Amruts’ defense I can only say that they must base their decisions on commercial viability and accessibility when it comes to selecting markets for distribution. As much as we’d like them to make decisions based on our loyalty they simply cannot do that.
I am for one happy to call Ashok a friend and shamelessly keep asking him for favors which he more or less always obliges. I, in turn, am it’s biggest ambassador in his absence.
As far as these three single casks are concerned hats off on a sterling performance. And Curt your reviews blow me away every time!
Well put, Tab.
I think it would serve everyone well (myself included) to occasionally remind themselves that Amrut, like anything else out there, is a business. And while they have made very smart business decisions, they have also done so with grace and humility. Good people.
Further…thanks for the kind words, mate. Tried commenting on TMA site yesterday for your review of Corry, but my password wasn’t working for some reason. Will try again today.
Thanks to your reviews I decided to sit down with the same three single casks. I managed to pilfer away a dram each for The Malt Activist. Sampling the bourbon cask as I write.
Do let me know about the Corry review.
I don’t want Amrut to base its decisions on loyalty, only to own up to the fact that its marketing strategy IS its decision and, as such, is both its call and its responsibility. If a company holds a whisky too long and loses too much of it in the process, that’s on them, not the angels (and its disingenuous to both cry the blues for your “loss” AND pass the cost of it, plus premium, along to the consumer – you can’t be both a victim and a profit maker). On the same note, if a company chooses to market a product to one place and not another, that’s fine, but, in so doing, IT makes the primary decision as to where said product will be readily available – not customs officials or anyone else. That’s business.
And on Ashok, (and I tread carefully here, given the number of defenders he has against attacks that no one actually makes – somehow reasonable questioning of what Amrut does gets transformed into attacking poor Ashok) isn’t it his job to get Amrut’s whisky into the public conversation through samples? The two points I’d make on this is that any generosity involved is largely Amrut’s, not Ashok’s (it’s their whisky, not his, though he might well be very generous with their whisky) and, as Curt points out – it’s a business and, given promotion’s the name of the game, maybe that’s what it is and not really generosity, personal or corporate, at all. There is a doublethink going on here that can only work in Amrut’s favour – anything that the company does that’s lauded is attributed to the personal generosity and qualities of its personnel (they’re “good people” – and they might well be, but what happened to them being motivated by private enterprise?), while anything that can be criticised is just chalked up to “it’s a business” (and who’s confused about that at these prices?), and so nobody’s (or somebody else’s) responsibility.
I have no doubt that, given the testimonials, Ashok’s a nice man who’s very good at his job, and that he goes the extra mile in doing it (which is a large part of being very good at it), but there might be some confusion here between doing someone a favour and doing their job to achieve business goals – and, in the larger sense, that might be applicable to Amrut as well.
Ok. I love a good debate as much as the next guy, but I don’t enjoy beating a dead horse. There are those for, and those against. So be it. That’s what makes the world go ’round. This conversation (or variants thereof) have now taken place in three separate threads.
Let’s call it a draw and move on.
So…who likes the latest Glenwhatthefuck?
Three threads or not, I just respond to the ideas presented, where and when this occurs (I thought that was the point of them). I think the problem might be that Amrut seems to be placed on a bit of pedestal by some of those assembled and, unfortunately, it’s the generally unwanted critical commentary which actually makes it a debate. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of guys sitting around saying how great Amrut is, how great Ashok is, how great their samples are, and how grateful they are for those samples – and yet people somehow never seem to tire of that – no dead horses there. But I’ll take the draw offered as there’s unlikely be any other resolution. With little fear of contradiction, I’d have to say you’re as generous as Ashok.
Anyway, your reviews do continue to be very well done, although I sometimes wish they actually focused as much on the whisky as your great photos do, although both are very artfully rendered.
And Happy New Year!
Thanks, Jeff. Appreciate the kind words and gentle criticism. Both taken to heart.
Happy New Year to you as well, good sir.
Amazingly enough this was discontinued at the LCBO and sells for $75. Picked up 1 and will get another shortly as it may never return.
Fantastic Whiskey and review.
Ashok presented single bourbon and sherry casks at a Spirit of Toronto Masterclass in 2014. A few months later the bottles finally made it to LCBO shelves (I believe it was a series of single casks all at the same ABV (60% for the bourbon) as the number of bottles available was too high given Angels’ shares.
I tasted them at SOT and liked the bourbon and REALLY liked the sherry (or the other way around). Sadly… they were each priced about $140. No way! So I forgot about them. In December I realized the peated CS (my favourite of the class) was not a single cask which I was waiting to appear, and I managed to secure an order for a few(which, as you recall sparked serious controversy on this site as they were NAS and the boycott was rearing up).
A few weeks ago I got a message from a fellow Connosr.com member that they had dropped in price. The bourbon casks for $76 and the Sherry for under $70. I literally dropped everything and drove to the nearest store that showed 5 of each (and still only managed to get 2 of each). A couple hours later I got to a store that had 9 of the bourbon and I picked up one for a friend, one for an in-law, and one to open to celebrate.
I’ve never seen prices so discounted at the LCBO before. I may try to hunt down another bottle of this. I suspect all the casks have a similar profile.
This is good malt, and it tastes years older than its age.
Sadly, one that did not makes its way to Alberta.
Well, you can’t have them all. I could try to squirrel away a bottle of one of the LCBO releases if you like, and maybe bring it to Calgary in December…
LCBO dropped the last few bottles to just over $40……that’s about $80 off the original price..Sadly, the only bottles showing online are ghost bottles…