Life on the Other Side of the Table – The Whisky Solstice

Standard

Another Whisky Lounge Festival , another City !

A new one for us , Edinburgh , a new type of venue , a tent ! This one was taking place in The Queen Street Gardens opposite the SMWS venue . 

Whisky Solstice 2015 2

The calm before the storm…… 

It turned out to be quite a nice day weather wise , sunny but not too hot , once again we had 5 Amruts on the table…….

  • Amrut Single Malt 46%
  • Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength
  • Amrut Fusion
  • Amrut Single Malt Peated 46%
  • Amrut Single Malt Peated Cask Strength 
Whisky Solstice 2015 1 Whisky Solstice 2015

We had a lot of visitors to the table , New partakers of the fine , Original Indian Single Malt Whisky and Old friends , we had lots of excellent feed back about the malts on offer and we thoroughly enjoyed our day in ‘Auld Reekie’ . The show was well attended by both exhibitors and customers , We weren’t the only one’s enjoying ourselves , everyone we talked to enjoyed the show , the venue seemed to go down a storm ! As ever it was a pleasure to represent the Distillery and spread the word on it’s fine products .

Our next festival adventure is a return to York , after a slight little diversion to Bangalore……. 

It’s been a long time since we Rock ‘n’ Rolled!

Standard

So said Led Zeppelin Many Moons ago , and it seems just as long ago we had a new batch of Amrut Peated Cask Strength in the UK ! Ok maybe not as long…… but was it 2009 ? While doing the Whisky Solstice show in Edinburgh i was very surprised to see the batch we had was a brand new one ( No.20) bottled in February of this very year .

Amrut Peated CS

 

Golden Syrup in colour and at the standard abv for the Peated CS of 62.8% , the nose is extremely complex , very malty with lots of smoke , a touch of Fishermans Friend , Mint , Chocolate , Caramel , Digestive Biscuits and the old Amrut Liquorice . For the strength it’s not at all harsh on the old nasal hairs ! The Strength tells on the palate but it is still extremely drinkable at full strength , it seems more medicinal than previously tried batches , again we have chocolate and liquorice with a colossally long finish of Mint Humbugs and lemon throat lozenges .  

With a touch of water  , it calms the beast down a touch , it seems to heighten the medicinalness , bringing forward the lemon but not killing anything at all .

I would  certainly put this up against any peated Islay , I thoroughly enjoyed previous batches but this one seems to have raised the bar (both the figurative and drinking one…..) . My good friend over on Twitter @AmrutMalt likes to listen to his music while enjoying a dram , definitely on the heavy Zep side this one , The aforementioned ‘Rock and Roll’ or even Kashmir….. 

Amrut Naarangi

Standard

This is the latest Amrut release , Naarangi is Hindi for Orange , to recap how the distillery produced this expression…..

They took some Oloroso sherry and put it in barrels along with Peel from Oranges from Madikeri located in the picturesque Western Ghats of India , they left this for 3 years to mature in the warehouses in Bangalore . The Sherry/Peel were then discarded and the barrels filled with 3yo Amrut Single Malt Whisky and left for a further 3 years for the spirit to absorb the Orange characteristics . Giving us the Naarangi !

Amrut_naarangi

Bottled at 50% , it has a beautiful Orange Marmalade going on light Amber colour , The Orange plays a big part in the initial nose , then more fruit appears – pineapple , banana and melon . There is very little of the Amrut ‘liquorice’ but there is the usual chocolate and shortbread . After a while the nose develops into an amazing Orange Millionaires Shortbread , Amazing ! The palate carries on the fruitiness , particularly the orange , but there is more of the traditional Amruts flavours here , notably the liquorice . There is a lovely spiciness to the palate , the finish is long smooth and spicy .

Probably the most relaxed Amrut ever , a pretty amazing dram keeping up the excellent reputation of this distilleries outturn !

 

IMG_0202     

New Releases – Greedy Angels 10yo and Naarangi

Standard

A Couple of Fantastic new releases from the Amrut Stable……

Greedy Angels Press Release

Amrut Indian Single Malt launches the collectible ‘Greedy Angels’ across the world

Amrut Distilleries, India, known for their popular range of Single Malt whiskies which include Amrut Fusion, Amrut Portonova & Amrut Peated have launched 320 bottles of ‘Greedy Angels – Chairman’s Reserve’10 years old. This whisky is the first 10 YO single malts to be produced from India and are priced at circa 500 Euros.
March 31, Bangalore, India.

Greedy_Angels_10
Amrut Distilleries Ltd., Bangalore is a boutique distillery known for their award winning single malt whiskies. Amrut recently concluded 10 years of presence in the international markets and have launched the Amrut Greedy Angels Single Malt Whisky – 10 years old to commemorate this occasion.The distillery had launched their malts in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland by N.R. Jagdale, the Managing Director through his son Rakshit & his friend Ashok and now the malts bear unmistakable shelf presence across 40 countries. The brand peaked in the limelight in 2010 when acclaimed whisky writer, Jim Murray rated the Amrut Fusion with 97/100 points voting it the ‘3rd finest whisky in the world’ putting behind over 4000 whiskies from brands across the world. Amrut is also the only Indian whisky to feature in Ian Buxton’s ‘101 whiskies to have before you die’.

Their latest and most expensive whisky so far, the ‘Greedy Angels – Chairman’s Reserve 10 years old’ is the first 10 year old single malt to ever come out of India and is also India’s most expensive whisky so far. Given the high temperatures and humidity in India the loss of whisky during maturation is close to 10-12% in comparison to Scotland’s 1-2%. This makes ageing of these malts a very tricky affair and the quantity left for bottling quite meagre compared to what was started off with. A total of 320 bottles of these exquisite bottles are available with 284 bottles sailing to Europe & 36 to the United States of America. The specially designed package consists of a 700/750 ml crystal decanter bottled at 46% ABV and a 50 ml miniature decanter bottled at full cask strength of 71% ABV.

Industry Observers note that almost all of the bottles have been pre-sold or reserved and most of the units will end up as collectibles in shelves of aficionados. “The profile can be compared to some of the very old & rare Scottish single malts”, notes Ashok Chokalingam, GM – International Markets (Amrut), you will spot a lot of tropical fruits, orangy citrus & a lingering finish”. Consumers will have to wait for quite some time before the next batch is released”, Ashok adds. “We are not sure when the next release of this ten years old malt from the Amrut stable will emanate as keeping the balance profile of the whisky is questionable given the conditions under which it matures”.

I’ve had a try of this , both the 46% and 71% and these were my notes…..

10yo Greedy Angels 46%

 Light Orange Marmalade in colour , very relaxed on the nose , the usual Amrut traits are there , liquorice , spices , Millionaires shortbread but well laid back ! It is silky smooth across the palate but incredibly spicy , wow really spicy ! It really hits you at the back of the mouth , the finish is long and again spicy , it just goes on and on and on……

 It tastes like an old , well aged malt to start with ends up like young spicy beast , Brilliant ! 

 10yo Greedy Angels 71%

Whereas the 46% is so laid back it’s horizontal , this is a smack across the nose with a large malt shovel ! Everything is more intense , it’s all in there as stated in the 46% just more condensed ! Highly drinkable at the high ABV and thoroughly enjoyable , It’s great to see an ‘aged’ Amrut just a shame about the maturation losses .

Amrut Naarangi Press Release

Amrut Naarangi: World’s first single malt whisky with Orange

Amrut Distilleries, India, known for their popular range of Single Malt whiskies, which include Amrut Fusion, Amrut Portonova & Amrut Peated, have launched Amrut Naarangi, the first ever whisky in the world with Orange notes.

Naarangi

March 31, Bangalore, India.

Amrut Distilleries, based in Bangalore, India is a boutique distillery known for their award winning single malt whiskies. Amrut recently concluded 10 years of presence in the international markets and have launched the Amrut Naarangi Single Malt Whisky. The distillery had launched their malts in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland by N.R. Jagdale, the Managing Director through his son Rakshit & his friend Ashok and now bears unmistakable shelf presence across 40 countries. The brand peaked in the limelight in 2010 when acclaimed whisky writer, Jim Murray rated the Amrut Fusion with 97/100 points voting it the ‘3rd finest whisky in the world’ putting behind over 4000 whiskies from brands across the world. Amrut is also the only Indian whisky to feature in Ian Buxton’s ‘101 whiskies to have before you die’.

The latest offering from Amrut, the ‘Naarangi’ derives its name from the Hindi word, Naarangi which means Orange. It is the only single malt whisky ever produced in the world to have expressions of Orange, which brings forth a new level of experimentation to the malt world. EU regulations for malt whiskies state that adding anything to a whisky disqualifies it from being called a whisky, however, Amrut who had been contemplating adding Orange notes to whisky have developed a novel solution to create Naarangi which meets all EU guidelines. To produce this whisky, Amrut procured Olorosso Sherry from Spain and matured wine along with Orange peel in it for a period of three years. The oranges for this were sourced from the tourist haven, Madikeri located in the picturesque Western Ghats of India. The wine and orange peel concoction was let to mature for 3 years in Bangalore, lending the barrel a unique Orange essence. The wine and peels were then spilled and the barrels were filled with 3-­‐year-­‐old matured single malt whisky and allowed to mature for 3 more years. In this period the barrels have lent the Orange characteristics to the  whisky  creating  pioneering single  malt.

“The whisky is not dominated by the Orange but remarkably  balanced  out”, notes Ashok Chokalingam, GM -­‐ International Markets, Amrut. “The finish is of subtle orange notes while in the middle ground you can find the traditional Amrut signature.” 900 bottles have been shipped in the first release to Europe, Asia Pacific and Canada with all bottles at 50% ABV. Reviewers and connoisseurs are waiting keenly to get their hands on this whisky. Single malt whiskies, which were for long the domain of the Scots, are now seeing increasing innovative work from boutique brands such as Amrut amongst others.

My Notes…..

Naarangi (Hindu for Orange?)

 A beautiful Golden Syrup colour , Incredibly fruity on the nose initially , Pineapple , melon , banana and orange . Then a lovely chocolate and shortbread note . Interestingly there is very little , if none , of the usual Amrut signature liquorice until it stands for a while . An intriguing and very complex nose ! The palate carries on with the fruitiness , Orange is very prominent here , there’s a slightly bigger hint of the Liquorice on the palate along with spices (cloves amongst others ) . The finish is long and spicy but it is really smooth . I would say that this is the smoothest Amrut to date and a bit different to previous releases ,  yet another quality spirit but I wouldn’t expect anything else ! 

Newcastle Whisky Festival 2015

Standard

The 7th of March was a very long day ! Once again we were representing Amrut Distilleries at The Whisky Lounges Newcastle Festival , There were to be two sessions , 11am – 3pm and 4pm – 8pm , After a stout breakfast at The Five Swans , we were all set up by 10.30am awaiting the first punters……

NWF2015_1

 

NWF2015_4

Photo Courtesy of Joe @ The Whisky Lounge

The Drams available were……

  • The Amrut 46%
  • The Amrut Cask Strength 61.8%
  • The Amrut Peated 46%
  • The Amrut Peated Cask Strength 62.8%
  • The Amrut Fusion 50%
  • The Amrut Single Cask Peated Port Pipe 59%

It was great to have the Peated Cask Strength back in the fold , it went down really well , as one Scottish visitor said “That is Insane!”

NWF2015_2

Photo courtesy of Eddie @TheWhiskyLounge

 

We had lots of visitors over the two sessions amongst whom were some familiar faces , Robin from Fenwicks Wine Department and Eric Winter formerly of Gordon and MacPhail , Ross Dargan and Chris and his mates to name a few . Lots of people were very impressed by the Single Cask , just hope they all voted for it in “Dram of the Day” !

NWF2015_3

Photo courtesy of Eric Winter

Once again we had a great day meeting people and talking Amrut , you can catch us at the following events waving the Amrut Colours….. 

20th June – The Whisky Lounge Edinburgh Whisky Festival

31st August – Bangalore , Amrut Distillery Visit

12th September – The Whisky Lounge Yorkshire Whisky Festival , York ( Details )

3rd / 4th October – The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show , London (Details

24th October – The Whisky Lounge Manchester Whisky Festival  

Once more into the Drammers Den….

Standard

After the disappointing end to 2014 and start of 2015 of having to cancel out trip to Islay , the 2015 Whisky Festival Season is nearly upon us . Once again Melanie and Myself shall be representing Amrut on behalf of Ashok at a few festivals over the coming months , the first being our home town festival , The Newcastle Whisky Festival 2015 , on the 7th March at the Civic Centre Banqueting Hall . Further Dates will be posted when confirmed……

It looks like being an exciting year on the Amrut front , We’re certainly looking forward to kicking it off in Newcastle at Eddies Whisky Lounge festival and meeting fellow Amrut Fans !

Details of the Newcastle Festival can be found at  http://www.thewhiskylounge.com/event/newcastle-whisky-festival-2015/

Life on the Other side of the Table – Blue Moon…… Pt.4

Standard

Our Fourth  and final festival of the year took us to Manchester , The venue was the Bridgewater Hall in the Centre of town , quite a modern venue and the area was quite spacious . By now we were getting the hang of setting up the table…..

(Click on the photos to see full size)

Amrut table

We had the same offerings as the previous festivals ( Amrut 46% , Amrut Cask Strength , Amrut Peated 46% , Fusion and Intermediate Sherry Matured along with the two token drams , Single Cask Bourbon and Peated Port Pipe) .

Our Location in the Hall .

Our Location in the Hall .

This was to be the busiest festival of the four , 750 punters expected through the door !

MWF2014_3

The Gorgeous Melanie waiting for the Hordes……

Once again the day flew over and once again there were lots of new people to introduce to the delights of India’s finest Single Malt Whisky and i have to say most were quite impressed and very surprised by the quality of the product ! By the end of the day i think the ISM had just pipped the Fusion for the most popular Amrut .

Other Whiskies were available…….

The 2nd best Table at the Show , after ours..... the Berry Bros stall manned by my friend Rob Whitehead , all round good guy and purveyor of Fine Drams !

The 2nd best Table at the Show , after ours….. the Berry Bros stall manned by my good friend Rob Whitehead , all round good guy and purveyor of Fine Drams !

So that’s it for this year , Hopefully we’ve done a good job for Amut over these Festivals , we’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had a great time , Cheers for now !