Tasting: Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30 Indian Whisky

Amrut Intermediate Sherry NAS b.30Dram data:
Distillery: Amrut
Bottler: official bottling for Taiwan
Distilled: –
Bottled: May 2016
Age: NAS
Limitation: ? batch 30
Casks: Ex-bourbon – Oloroso – Ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 57,1%
uncoloured / unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Intermediate Sherry? Now what’s that supposed to mean? Easy! The whisky was first matured in Ex-bourbon casks, then transferred to Spanish oak Oloroso-seasoned casks for a year before a final maturation in ex-bourbon again. That’s a lot of cask-swapping! Let’s see if it was worth the effort!

Tasting notes:
 reddish amber
The nose is quite strong on the alcohol – no wonder, it is clocking in at 57% ABV! Behind the alcohol, there’s the first waft of slight, fragrant oak and a mixture of herbs and spices. Oriental cough medicine, perhaps? The European oak influence is noticeable! Let’s wait a few minutes! Zzzzzzzzzzz. It’s opened up a bit! Now traces of orange juice, chocolate-covered orange peel appear on a bed of sultanas and molasses. It’s been a while since I last spent such a long time just nosing a dram, if that means anything… The interplay of the freshness and the darker notes works rather well! On to the palate! 

Boom. A heavy hitter. Full-on alcohol and flavour! Mouth-coating and saliva-inducing with a good mix of oily and dry mouthfeel. The European oak has quite a lot to say on the palate as well. Let’s add a few drops of water to tame the Indian beast!  Ah, that’s better – and it didn’t harm the mouthfeel! The oriental sweet cough medicine is back with a mixture of spices and herbs and so are the chocolate-dipped orange peels. The background sweetness (just a touch!) is provided by sultanas with a dash of molasses. A still quite young, brash experience, not too complex, yet “fun”, but not as much fun as nosing it! The medium long finish is throat-coating upon swallowing, oily, sweet and dry at the same time, with Spanish oak spices and a touch of sweetness (sultanas and molasses).

Verdict: A very, very hard whisky to score, I’ll err on the conservative side! A young, brash Indian single malt, a heavy hitter with a lot of Spanish oak influence (but not overdone in any way). It’s not designed to be overly complex, it’s designed to be fun, engaging and providing a “WOW” effect – and it works! Looking at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2016 scorecard, I can see why some judges scored this in the 90s. I’m perfectly happy putting it in the mid-80s for the fun, young dram it is! Try it if you come across it!

Score: 85/100
(Nose: 86 Palate: 84 Finish: 83)

Sample provided by Keith’s dregs

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