Casks: Ex-bourbon BA24-2016
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Some bottlers bottle their whisky heavily filtered and heavily coloured, some don’t filter and don’t add colouring – and then there’s Blackadder. Their “raw cask” series even puts bits of charred oak (and, in this case, a string of hessian bung cloth(?) into the bottle. Let’s take a look at this example from the Indian Amrut distillery – if I can manage to pour a “not too crunchy” dram from the bottle, that is – I have misplaced my strainer…
Colour: dark copper red
The nose has quite a lot of alcohol up front – obviously. The nose needs a few seconds to adapt to that. Once we’ve cut through the alcohol layer, a spicy charred cask character awaits us. Burnt fudge, chocolate-covered vanilla caramel, allspice, turmeric and toasted cask. It feels “warm” and satisfying in a way. I have sniffed freshly delivered ex-bourbon barrels in Scotland, which didn’t nose too dissimilar. With water the alcoholic top note disappears into the background, revealing more of the aromas – let there be dried oranges and pickled ginger. On to the palate!
Crunchy, burnt cracker bits between the teeth (errr… just kidding). Surprisingly round and mellow on the arrival. Well, initially, that is, it takes a few seconds for the alcohol to kick in. Big, juicy, oily, mouth-coating. We’ve got cocoa, chocolate-covered toffee, charred oak, cold-brew coffee and a touch of oriental spices underneath. The whisky opens up wonderfully with a generous amount of water. Just like on the nose, water takes the edge off and reveals more aromas, while not taking away the oily, silky, thick texture. We now also have dried oranges, pickled ginger and more oriental spices, while the oak character fades into the background. Very moreish! The medium long finish (with water) is full and rich, oily upon swallowing and very much in style – chocolate-covered toffee, some fudge, oriental spices and fruity notes of orange and pickled ginger.
Verdict: It would be very interesting to know the age on this juicy, thick dram. Whisky matures quickly in Bangalore due to the climate conditions, I’m sure not even an age statement of three years would be detrimental to sales since it tastes like a good 12+ year-old Scotch. It’s a very dense, juicy, oily whisky, quite good neat but very good with a generous dose of water (improving the total score by about 3-4 points!). A whisky to prove that a good dram doesn’t necessarily have to be made in Scotland – even though it is very Scottish in style.
(Nose: 85 Palate: 86 Finish: 86)
Dregs bottle courtesy of Keith’s dregs