Category Archives: Amrut

Amrut single cask bottled for WhiskyBase, first fill bourbon, cask # 3434


Amrut WhiskyBase ShopRegion – Bangalore, India – ABV – 62.8%

True story:

A handful of months back my company bottled a 5yo single cask of Amrut under our Single Cask Nation label (as of 4th Jan, 2016, we still have a handful bottles left, btw).

Around this time, a single cask of Amrut was bottled for the WhiskyBase shop out of the Netherlands.

Back in November 2015, Serge Valentin over at the wonderful reviewed 6 different Amruts. Both our bottling and the WhiskyBase bottling were amongst the reviews and we both captured the highest rating of 89 points!

As far as Serge’s reviews go, 89 points is pretty damn high. Not too often does Serge give a 90+ rating. We were chuffed and obviously the WhiskyBase chaps were, too.

If you’re new to, where have you been?! Go there now. Read, learn, have fun!

Anywho, just after Serge’s review, we and WhiskyBase chatted over the interwebs and agreed upon a bottle trade.

The end.

Review time — I hope they enjoyed the Single Cask Nation Amrut as much as I enjoyed theirs:

Amrut WhiskyBase ShopOn the nose — Loads of caramel and toffee. Quite nutty, too.  Caramel covered almonds. Yum!  Moscato soaked apricots.

This is quite heavy (and dark, too. Much darker than you would think for a 5yo ex-bourbon cask).  Boatloads of vanilla, Kahlua, and dulce de leche. Holy heck, this smells wonderful.

Water brings out some brighter elements such as pear and quince.

In the mouth — Much hotter in the mouth than it is on the nose. This needs a touch of water.

Just five drops of water tames this whisky.  Cheap Oolong tea (but in a great, familiar, and comforting way), big spice on the sides of the tongue. Great oily mouthfeel.

Amrut WhiskyBase ShopHints of chicory and cornus kousa fruit (I have a cornus kousa dogwood in my front yard).  More vanilla and a fair amount of roasted almond pieces.

Finish — An interesting turn of events with notes of mandarins and golden raisin. Long and spicy, too.

In sum — This is up there with some of my favorite Amruts. This one seems to be an atypical example of Amrut but it’s damn good. I will be nursing this bottle for years to come.

Amrut Kadhambam


India – 50%ABV – $80

I actually do not know a lot about this whisky.  I know that it was matured in three different types of wood:

  • Oloroso Sherry Casks
  • Indian Brandy Casks
  • Rum Casks

That’s about where my knowledge ends and, to be honest, I didn’t want to know much more.  I wanted to the whisky to speak for itself a bit.

Wait, I do know one more thing – this was bottled at 50% ABV which is such an odd ABV… it’s so exact that I want to say that it was reduced to 50%.  Especially given some of their cask strength whiskies have been at 60%ABV+

This is quite a limited release – I only found two stores that still have some (note the link above, or click on the picture of the bottle, for the lowest cost source).

Special thanks goes out to Raj and Purple Valley Imports for the sample!

On the nose  Peppery, yet sweet.

There’s something that is very “Amrut” about this Amrut.  My point is that the style and character of the spirit is unique unto itself.

Quite fruity – a mix of apples and persimmon come to mind.

There’s a deeper sweetness in here as well – some of the rum cask influence, mayhaps?

On the mouth A good and oily mouthfeel and very peppery toward the back of the mouth.

Light in flavor in the front of the mouth yet it seems as if this might be a peated whisky (I am reminded of Amrut’s peated offering).

An odd and interesting experience here… the flavors are massive toward the back of the mouth (Jack fruit and green peppercorns) but it’s so light in flavor in the front of the mouth.

I’ll need another sip here.

A good amount of spice and wood in the front of the mouth including floral teas.

Finish Quite a long and spicy finish.

In sum An enjoyable experience and perhaps that is the best way to explain this whisky – it’s an experience; one that requires the drinker to have time to his or herself and a friend or two to share and discuss.  Lovely, lovely stuff.

The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society’s favorite whiskies of 2010

This is quite possibly one of the toughest posts I’ll do this year.  Being that in 2010 alone I reviewed over 200 whiskies; I’d say the choosing of the 11 whiskies below was uber-hard.  Thankfully it’s the first post of the year so it’s nice to get the hard schtuff out of the way 😉

The following list is not meant to be a shopping guide for you though I highly suggest that you seek out the whiskies on this list – they really are the best of the best of all the whiskies I reviewed in 2010.  Just in case you do wish to use this list as a shopping guide, I’ve included links (where applicable) to online shops so you can purchase a bottle if you wish.

Being that I don’t currently use a rating system, you might wonder how I chose the whiskies below.  Good question.  I basically read through all of my reviews and scoured my memory banks to try and remember the experience.  Once I made my choices, if I still had some of the whisky left, I tasted it again just to make sure I’ve chosen well.

And just so you know, this is not a list of best whiskies released in 2010.  Rather, it’s a list of best whiskies I tasted in 2010.

So, what are the categories?  They are as follows:

  • Best Bourbon
  • Best Rye
  • Best American Single Malt
  • Best Scotch sherrybomb
  • Best Scotch peated whisky
  • Best Scotch Non, or lightly peated whisky
  • Best Scotch blend
  • Best Japanese blend
  • Best Japanese single malt
  • Best every (or any) day drinker
  • Best whisky of 2010 (taking ALL whisk(e)ys reviewed into consideration)

Best Bourbon – Angel’s Envy

Noses quite different than your standard bourbon.

This bourbon was extra matured in ex-port barrels.

While yet to be released, we should see this on the shelves in 2011 – expect to pay around $45 per bottle.

This was easily my favorite bourbon this year – kudos goes out to the Louisville Distilling Company for taking chances in making the first release an experimental one.

You can read the full review here.

Best Rye – Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof

I’m not sure what’s best about this rye…

Is it great because it’s always released at full proof (50% ABV)?

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that it’s less than $20 per bottle?

Could it be that, flavor-wise, it’s damned robust and lip-smacking?

At $20 a bottle (or £25 in the UK), go find out for yourself.

You can read my full review here.

Best American Single Malt – Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey

If you thought America was unable to produce a kick-ass single malt, think again.

While Hudson has a solid 2nd runner up, the Stranahan’s Single Malt Colorado Whiskey is, well, amazingly balanced and damned delicious!

You can read my full review here.

You can get a bottle for $57 in the USA here or a bottle for £64 in the UK here.

Best Scotch sherrybomb – Bruichladdich, 1986, “Blacker Still”

I never formally reviewed this whisky on the blog so I’m going to do that here and now (sans pictures – to save space).

On the nose Massive amounts of chocolate, prunes and dirty, dirty smoke.  Some soapiness and sea breeze.  Balsamic vinaigrette.  Pine wreathes (welcome to the Christmas aisle at your local department store).  Think pine embers from a recently dead fire.  Wet dog.  Fresh towels.

On the mouth This dram does not believe that size doesn’t matter.  Luizianne coffee.  Bitter cherries.  Generous amounts of rich sherry.  Raisins and more cherries (the dry type).  All of the pure licorice chews from the All Sorts bag (oh, I want some All Sorts now!).  Rubber fishing boots with sea salt on them.  Toffee, more coffee, more… simply more of everything I mentioned.  Like I said, this is massive!  Did I mention the mouth feel is oily and num-num-nummy?

FinishChocolate sauce and lasting notes of prunes and pines.

In sum Man, this whisky shines like a black star! Balanced – all the flavors are perfectly integrated.  If you’re not a sherry head, this would not be up your alley.  If you are into the sherried whiskies and have the cash for a bottle, welcome to yumsville!  For holidays and all things celebratory.  Good luck finding some of this whisky though… It’s been sold out for a good long while.  You may be able to find a bottle here on occasion.

Special thanks to Rick C for the sample (yes, THE Rick from the Blind Tasting series I did earlier this year)!!

Best Scotch peated whisky – Port Ellen 1978, 24yo, 2nd release

Sadly, most people will not have a chance to taste this whisky.  In fact, this release of Port Ellen is no longer available.  You may be able to find a bottle here on occasion but be prepared to spend a few hundred Euros.

Port Ellen is a distillery located on Islay that has been moth-balled (closed & not in operation) for decades now so any whisky you find from them is going to be old & expensive.

A big thanks to Keith of Whisky Emporium for the sample!

This whisky was a pure treat to taste – You can read my full review here.

Best Scotch Single Malt  – Non or lightly peated – Glenmorangie Quarter Century

Glenmorangie Quarter Century can easily be an over looked and understated whisky.  I think the biggest issue is, because it costs so damn much($559 – $799 in the US or £190 in the UK), people will save this whisky until the end of an evening or served as the last whisky in a tasting.  That’s a BIG no-no.  The Quarter Century is way too delicate for that.  I would lead off with this whisky in a tasting or have it before dinner.  It’s a total power house in a settings such as those.

Liquid gold.

You can read my full review here.

Best Scotch blend – Compass Box Hedonism

Sadly, I did not taste or review enough blends this year.  Luckily for me, I got the chance to taste & review a few Compass Box whiskies.

Hedonism is a blend of premium grain whiskies – no malted barley whatsoever.

Complex as all heck – a joy to nose.  Buttery smooth mouth feel with notes of gingerbread and an interesting nuttiness to it.  A wonderful whisky that would also go brilliantly in a mint julep.  But, unless you’ve got money to burn, you’d be dumb to do so.  Expect to pay $89 in the US or £47 in the UK.

You can read my full review here.

Best Japanese blend – Suntory Hibiki 21yo

I was, to put it lightly, blown away by this Japanese blend.

You can read my full review here but I’ll tell you right here and now – this is an expertly crafted whisky.

A whisky that’s VERY hard to come by, the Suntory Hibiki 21 has won three gold metals, three years in a row and has just won the title of “World’s Best Blended Whisky” in 2010 by the WWA.

This is not available in the US, expect to pay £103.40 | ¥13,700 for a bottle.

Big thanks, again, goes out to Yoshi at Suntory for the sample!

Best Japanese single malt – Nikka Yoichi, 20yo, 1988 vintage

A massive, big, huge, immense THANK YOU goes out to Christopher Jew of  The Whisky Wall for a sample of this nectar.

I’ve enjoyed Japanese whiskies for a while now but it was this particular whisky that sort of stopped me in my tracks and told me that Japan is capable of pure genius when it comes to the craft of whisky making (among other things).

While this 1988 vintage is no longer available, you can get the standard 20yo Nikka Yoichi for £185 here and the 1989 vintage for £180 here.

You can read my full review here.


Best every (or any) day drinker – Glenmorangie Original 10yo

You’d think choosing THE BEST every day whisky would be easy to do but no, it isn’t.

Lot’s of factors to consider – taste, complexity, ease of drinking, ease of getting your non-whisky drinkers to appreciate it (without adding a shit ton of ice or just knocking it back) and, of course, price.

For me, my favorite every day drinker is the Glenmorangie Original 10yo.

For just under $40 in the US or £25 in the UK you can’t go wrong.

There were a few runners up, however.  All of them could have fit the bill of “Best every (or any) day drinker” but, I had to choose only one.

The runners up are:

You can read the full Glenmorangie review here (though please know that this review is a combined review of me and a few members of my society)

Best whisky of 2010 (taking ALL whisk(e)ys reviewed into consideration) – Suntory Hibiki 21yo

A lot of hemming and hawing on my part but after much consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that this whisky, the Suntory Hibiki 21yo, is the best whisky I tasted in 2010.

It truly is brilliance in a glass!  So well composed, perfectly balanced and perfectly delicious.

As mentioned above, you can read my full review here.

This is not available in the US, expect to pay £103.40 | ¥13,700 for a bottle.

Amrut Fusion

India – 50%ABV – $60 | £34 | €39

A mixture of non-peated Indian barley and peated Scottish barley.  Bottled at 50% ABV, this is some smokin’ hot stuff.

I would have written something super fun and funny as a lead up to my review of this whisky but, Peter from The Casks beat me to it – a must read!

Perhaps what I can offer are some alternate fusions that are just plain silly: Christmukkah, George Lucas and Star Wars Ep 1, 2 & 3, L. Ron Hubbard & religion…

Can you think of anymore silly fusions?  My favorite one will win you a 5cl sample of Eades Islay Double Malt.  Leave your ideas in the comments section of this post.

OK.  Onto a fusion that I think may have actually worked out pretty darned well:

On the nose Damp leaves of both the autumnal variety and teas (think Sencha green tea or perhaps Gyokuro).

Smouldering logs in the distance.

Also, very barn-yardy to me.

Beyond this we find a mixed fruit tin filled, mostly, with pineapple.

Butterfingers candy bar.

With water: Slight nuttiness and something creamy or, better yet, soft – like sniffing marshmallows with nutmeg on them.

On the mouth Hotter than I expected!

Yes, it’s at 50% but I’ve had no issues sipping on cask strength whiskies (SMWS expressions come to mind) without this complaint.

Increasingly peppery.

Fruits are back.

With water: Still a bit hot on the edges of the tongue but down the center I get a creaminess.

Oranges & apricot jam (reminiscent of Sauternes wine).

Still very pepper-ladden.

Finish Long, burnt, peppery, fruit.

Hints of dark chocolates.

In sum A very nice dram that is well balanced and fairly exciting.  I’d love to taste this as part of a blind tasting.  Complex, no doubt.  I do have to say though, that of the five Amruts I’ve had their standard, unpeated 46% ABV whisky is my fave.

Special thanks goes out to Raj at Purple Valley Imports for the sample (also, thanks to Gal of Whisky Israel who sent me a sample.  Lucky me, I got to review and dissect this whisky as well as just sit back and enjoy a nice dram of it).

Amrut Peated Single Malt Whisky 46%ABV & Cask Strength – head to head

India – 46%ABV – $62 | £34 | €39

Moving forward with my reviews of the Amrut standard line — let’s jump now to their peated expression(s).

Now, being peated versions of the standard Amrut expressions, these whiskies should prove to have an even more complex and deep profile over the Amrut whiskies reviewed yesterday.  How peated are these?  Well, more so than say a Bunnahabhain or Benromach but nowhere near as peaty/smoky as, perhaps, a Laphroaig, Ardbeg or Longrow.

Let just go onto tasting these whiskies and see what we get…

On the nose Fried pancetta (ah, more memories from my carnivorous, uber-tref youth).

Caramel chews and tinder sticks (the fire starters, not the band).

Buttered hot bread (just like with the standard NAS 46% from yesterday).

Something immensely sweet about this nose that reminds me of grapefruit jelly beans.

On the mouth Big oak notes – very much like a humidor with half smoked cigars in it (there’s that peat).

Coconut and lime leaf, a touch of curry.

Gingery mango chutney (again, similar to yesterday’s Amrut).

Grilled cauliflower.

Finish Oak and vanilla, long and pleasing.

In sum The peat here is lighter than expected.  While normally a bit of peat will add an extra dimension, I think the addition of peated barley in the expression takes away from their standard NAS, non-peated whisky (which was a cracker, straight up!).

Truth be told, if I’d not have had the standard NAS yesterday, the previous statement might not ring true.  This being said, I did enjoy this whisky and the peat warmed my insides in the ways in which is needed for this time of year.  Oh yes, the heat is on in my house.  I am donning a sweater and all I want to do is snuggle up with the wife.  Tis the season!

And now onto the cask strength version which has nearly 17% more alcohol by volume…

India – 62.8%ABV – $78 | £40 | €46

On the nose Stuffy nose?

A cold got you down?

Nose some of this whisky and you won’t be complaining of what ails ye any longer.

A big sock to the nose with spirit and lots of it!

If you could turn crispy bacon into a powdered sugar candy for kids, this is what you’d be smelling, just that.

Burnt toast and melted butter.

A Lime Ricky, extra lime.

On the mouth Great mouth feel.

Yes, this stuff is strong as all hell but it is approachable (more so than yesterday’s Cask Strength though still not for the casual whisk(e)y drinker!).

Orange butter sauce.

A bit briny.

Some seaweed.

Juicy and chewy.

Damp wood.

I’m a fan.

Finish Smooth and oaky with hints of vanilla extract.

In sum for the Cask Strength and the overall experience between the two While I thought the added peat to the 46% expression was not up to par with the unpeated version of the Amrut, I found the brashness of this cask strength whisky, combined with the added element of peat, to be a terrific combination.

Many people out there my have a tough time sipping on a whisky that is over 60% and I can appreciate that.  As a note to those people…  Please send your cask strength whisky bottles to my house.  I will ensure the fluid contained within will go to good use 😉

For either of these whiskies, I really do suggest you enjoy there in the cooler months (or, go inside your house during the summer time, crank the A/C unit — pour, sniff, sip, swallow, repeat).