Monthly Archives: July 2011

So Is the Herald a Triumph ?

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Recently Amrut announced the release of a New Expression the ‘Amrut Herald’ ,  with their German Distributor Prineus they moved some casks from Bangalore to the Island of Helgoland just off the coast of Germany for a further period of maturation . Hand filled on the island , literally straight from the cask , this is a limited edition release .

The Amrut Herald

While other “Whisky Experts” chew the fat over the small print of the press release , lets get down to the thing that really matters , what’s in the Bottle and not the nautical distance from mainland Germany or who’s cellar it’s been sitting in !

From Cask #2857 , producing 231 bottles and bottled at 60.8% , it’s a lovely Golden Syrup colour in the glass . At first  a fairly closed nose , then the Amrut liquorice blasts through followed by a lot of fruit , Apples , pear drops , bananas and then Chocolate , shortbread and toffee . The palate is huge ! Again liquorice at first , then chocolate , pepper , condensed apple and cream and what seems like peat ! Very spicy in fact almost Talisker like , Wow , wow and thrice wow ! The finish is Long , spicy and a touch of sweetened fruit .

This is a hot little number , different to the 3 bottlings from the end of last year  , just when you think you’ve found your favourite Amrut along comes another stunning bottle to put into the mix , Amazing !

Edit – Now on my second dram , there are times when you think does whisky get any better than this……. like now………   

Lets do the Timewarp again !

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I’ve tried most of the Amruts releases but the one that has evaded me so far has been the Original 40%er ………. Until now………..

Bottled many moons ago when Amrut first launched into the competitive world of Single malts (around about 2004) , Jim Murray described it as “A very decent quality Single Malt easily mistaken for a speysider at about 35 or 36yo that , usually isn’t always good .However the sweet richness of the malt on the palate is a joy , with a boundless energy that pushes through to the prickly oaky finish . ” He gave it a score of 82 , so what is it like ?

Pale gold in colour and very oily in the glass , the initial nose has a hint of the Amrut Liquorice but with a strong maltiness leading the way , there is also a large citrus hit – orange and lemon – and shortbread biscuit . A very relaxed interesting nose . Still can’t get over how oily it is in the glass , reminds me of the way Bunnahabhain used to be at 40% . I find it very malty on the palate but also oaky , definitely vanilla in there and a touch bitter (the oak ?) . The finish isn’t as long as the stronger ABV ones but is , as Jim said , oaky , actually fades away quite fast . It’s interesting to see where the later bottles have come from , it does taste a lot older than it’s age . Need to find out it’s actual bottling age , I can say i’ve had a lot worse whisky (including a lot of scotch) but i’ve definitely had a lot better Amruts , this one is not bad , just not as good as the others !

Jim Murrays Web Site – http://www.whiskybible.com/

Voyage of discovery for Amrut Herald

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After what seems like an eternity news of an up and coming Amrut Release……

Amrut Distilleries is once again pushing back boundaries in the whisky world. For its latest offering it has chosen a beautiful, but remote, island as the place to mature four barrels of its Bangalore-distilled single malt whisky. For a project like this, one might have expected Amrut to pick an island in the whisky heartlands, but the Indian distillery has once again opted for the unconventional and chosen an island 45 miles off the north German coast.
Helgoland is an unspoiled unique environment with dramatic red sandstone cliffs and sensuous sand dunes. Not only is it free of traffic and low in pollution, but it also enjoys a gentle climate thanks to the Gulf Stream which allows exotic plants and wildlife to thrive at its relatively high latitude.From Bangalore, itself known as India’s “garden city” due to its lush tropical environment, the casks of malt whisky were shipped to Germany before being transferred to a boat for the two-and-a-half-hour crossing from Cuxhaven to the northern island idyll.
There, Amrut’s German importer, Prineus, had arranged for the barrels of the malt to mature further. Not only was the Helgoland climate a big contrast to tropical India, but the barrels were stored close to sea level. In Bangalore the Amrut distillery is at an altitude of 3,000 feet. The outcome is the stunning new Amrut Herald.
Keeping in tune with the pure unspoilt atmosphere of Helgoland, the whisky was bottled in as simple a way as possible. It was not filtered or diluted and in fact you will notice sediments in the hand-filled bottles. This is the first time that any whisky has been matured and bottled on Helgoland and the bottles from one of the casks will be retained on the island, which is a duty free haven. Like Amrut’s previous limited edition malts, Amrut Herald will only be available in small quantities in certain locations and it is sure to become a popular bottling.
Gerd Schmerschneider of Prineus is delighted with the collaboration. “The result is a fantastic whisky, one of the finest examples you can get out of a Bourbon cask. It is clean, powerful and holds loads of vanilla and sweetness. It was a great honour for me, on behalf of Prineus, to work with Amrut. Neither maturation nor bottling of whisky has been done on the island of Helgoland before, but millions of litres of alcohol have been sold there. The environment is perfect for maturing whisky as it is 70km away from the mainland, no pollution is evident and cars aren’t allowed on the island.” “Making this malt whisky was a real adventure,” said Ashok Chokalingam of Amrut Distilleries. “It travelled 5,000 miles to the edge of mainland Europe. Then we were able to mature and bottle whisky on Helgoland, for the first time in the island’s history. And in Amrut Herald we have created another unique malt whisky which will satisfy the connoisseurs who have come to expect the best from us.”