Tag Archives: Amrut Cask Strength

Life on the Other side of the table……

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The Big whisky event of the year in Newcastle is the Annual (6 so far) Whisky Lounge Newcastle Whisky Fest , This year i would be seeing it from a different perspective , from the other side of the table !

Ashok would be away ‘Down Under’ converting the Antipodeans to the Amrut Way and he asked me if i would step into his shoes and host the Amrut table at the Fest , how could i refuse !!! After the prep talk and collection of stock just before Ashoks departure , it was just a wait till the day of our ( i’d talked Melanie into helping out by now….) maiden appearance at a whisky show .

It was an early start on the morning  , after loading the car it and getting to the Civic Centre Car Park , it was time for a Hearty breakfast at the Five Swans ! got to get your priorities right…… On arriving in the Banqueting Hall we were greeted by Amanda (Eddies better half) and shown to our table  and down to the serious business of setting up our display……NWF2014_0

I think we made a pretty good effort for our first go !

NWF2014_1So it was just a case of waiting for the doors to open and the hordes to descend , say hello to a few fellow exhibitors (it was great to see Yolanda on this side of the country on the Bladnoch table) and pose for a piccy with our handy work……

NWF2014_2The Amruts we had on offer were -

  • Amrut Single Malt 46%
  • Amrut Peated Single Malt 46%
  • Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength 61.8%
  • Amrut Fusion 50%
  • Amrut Intermediate Sherry Matured 57.1%
  • Amrut Single Cask – Bourbon #3446 62.8% (White Token Dram)
  • Amrut Single Cask – Port Pipe Peated #2714 (Black Token Dram)

So at 12pm the doors opened and the first of the 700 punters enter and boy was it busy ! Right from the word go , there were lots of familiar faces and from the questions lots of new customers to the whisky experience . Quite a lot of the newbies were surprised there was a malt whisky from India and even more that there were 2 exhibiting here (Paul John was a couple of tables down from us ) , i’m glad to say all were highly surprised at how good the quality was of the Amrut product !!! After the initial shock of finding that Malt Whisky was produced in India the most commonest question was where is the distillery ? And how do they do the Peated one ? all of which we was willing to answer .

Melanie was well in the groove by now…… 

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The Intermediate Sherry was an early Favourite , infact it was the first to depart the table ! It was great to see people just not going for set ones but being willing to try their way through the range and the Peated one being very popular with Islay fans . At one point word seemed to get around that the Fusion was an excellent dram (what we and Jim Murray already knew !) and there was a hell of a rush on it ! Going off peoples comments it’ll be interesting to see how it done in the dram of the day Competition . During the afternoon there weren’t many lulls in the crowd but we did find time to pose again……

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The afternoon did fly over , it was great to spread the Amrut word and talk to fellow whisky drinkers about one of my passions , The Gorgeous Melanie was outstanding all afternoon – I was so proud of her !  The one thing that did come out of the afternoon was just how much Ashok will be missed when he returns to India , You are one popular man Ashok and lots of the visitors passed on their best wishes to you !

Some of the many visitors to the table , It was nice of Livvy to bring along her Grandad Bobby……. :-)

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We had an absolutely Wonderful day , thank you Ashok for the opportunity to do it ! We wrapped our gear away and headed into town for a well deserved drink and bite to eat with Livvy …….

Some Photos Courtesy of our Good Friend Bobby Banford…….

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Amrut Single Cask 3437 – Bourbon

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The end of 2013 saw the release of the Amrut Single Cask Series , it consisted of 3 types of cask – Bourbon , PX Sherry and Port Pipe – this one is the Bourbon……

amrut_bourbon_3437(click to see full size)

Amrut have provided a lot of information on the label for these releases……

  • Cask Type / Cask Number – Bourbon / 3437
  • Malt Type – Unpeated Indian Barley
  • Date of Filling – June 2009
  • Date of Bottling – August 2013
  • Total Maturation Loss – 42%
  • Bottle Number – 101 / 168
  • ABV – 62.8%

It also states that this one was an Exclusive Bottling for Europe .

I was originally given Cask #3441 to try so it’ll be interesting to see how Cask #3437 fairs up against it……..

Again a lovely ‘Golden Syrup’ colour in the glass (lovely oily legs as well) , for 62%+ the nose is quite relaxed , a really fresh feel to it , bags of vanilla , malt , spices , millionaires shortbread and the Amrut Liquorice . This is definitely one of them malts you could smell for a very long time……. But we won’t at the moment , so onto the palate , again liquorice of the Amrut variety  , spices including a huge wallop of cloves , chocolate , malt , digestive biscuits , a very complex malt ! The finish is superbly long , spices , vanilla , a great heat and incredibly chewy ! If you are a fan of Amrut seek this out ! If you’ve never tried Amrut , seek this out , if it doesn’t make you a fan i’ll be very surprised !

It is a very close thing between this and the Port one for which is my favourite , i think the Port one just shades it due to the fact that i was very surprised i liked it! These Single Cask Bottlings are Amrut at it’s best , they show that a great deal of time and thought has went into selecting the finest casks to put their spirit into , you also need an excellent spirit to start with and they’ve done both superbly ,  long may it continue !

Amrut Single Cask 2713 – Port Pipe

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The end of 2013 saw the release of the Amrut Single Cask Series , it consisted of 3 types of cask – Bourbon , PX Sherry and Port Pipe – this one is the Port Pipe……

amrut_portpipe_2713 (click to see full size)

Amrut have provided a lot of information on the label for these releases……

  • Cask Type / Cask Number – Portpipe / 2713
  • Malt Type – Peated Barley
  • Date of Filling – June 2009
  • Date of Bottling – August 2013
  • Total Maturation Loss – 45%
  • Bottle Number – 031 / 346
  • ABV – 59%

It also states that this one was an Exclusive Bottling for Europe .

This is the same Cask that i was kindly given a sample of by Ashok , so instead of reposting the old notes lets see what it’s like now that it’s been bottled !

A lovely Ruby Red Colour, Straight away the peatiness hits you accompanied by the fruitness of the port , there’s also chocolate and caramel lurking in there with Cherry liqueur and spices , i think the best way to describe the nose is a Spiced peaty fruitiness ! I love the nose but the Pièce de résistance is the palate , a multi layered sensory delight ! An incredible peatiness with dark fruit jam on top of Cherry liqueur sprinkled with a variety of spices . The Port Cask and the peated spirit are in perfect harmony , great balance , the finish to this is really long , peaty , sweet and spicy ! I was really surprised by this when i first tried it , i wasn’t a big fan of port , whether fully matured or finished , but this is exceptional , this works perfect with the peated spirit . it is a real palate pleaser !!!

3 Single Casks

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Seems ages since i last posted tasting notes for new Amrut releases but the wait is certainly worth it !

We have 3 New Single Cask releases , one from an Ex-Bourbon , One from an Ex-Port Pipe and One from an Ex-Pedro Ximinex Cask……. 

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Ex -Bourbon Cask No.3441

Dist June 2009

Bottled August 2013

A lovely Golden colour in the glass , The nose is classic Amrut , Malty , Digestive Biscuit , Caramel toffee , chocolate ( read Millionaires Shortbread for the last 3 ) and of course Liquorice . There’s also a hint of tropical fruits in the mix , delightful ! This one fair dances across the palate , loads of oak spices playing with the malt and liquorice , a stunning mouthfeel ! The finish is quite long again with spices and Millionaires shortbread and an incredible chewiness , This one does not disappoint !!!! Amrut at it’s finest !

Ex-Port Pipe Cask No.2713

Dist June 2009

Bottled August 2013

The odd one out of the 3 as it’s Peated . Ruby Red in colour , At first the peatiness is subdued by the fruitiness of the Port , A bag of mixed dark fruits , plums and blackberry jelly spring to mind , eventually there is a waft of peat and if you wait long enough (if you can!) the glass is eventually filled to the brim with a smoky peatiness . The palate is REALLY peaty and not as fruit filled as i was expecting , there is fruit there (again of the dark variety) but i think this is the peatiest Amrut i’ve ever had . The finish is long and peaty with plum jam , the cask and the peated spirit really go well together in this one , both interplay well with each other and neither dominate , very good balance , another ace bottling !

Ex-Pedro Ximinex Cask No.2702

Dist June 2009

Bottled August 2013

The colour of Golden Syrup, the Amrut Liquorice is the first thing that grabs your attention on the nose , then it intermixes with the dried fruits ( raisins and sultanas ) , glace cherries  and cake dough of your traditional Christmas cake ! The palate at first is dark chocolate and glace cherries  then the liquorice and shortbread biscuit come through . There is also a hint of cherry liqueur , The finish is very dry and long , and almost liquid christmas cake . Again incredible balance between the spirit and cask and another thoroughly enjoyable Amrut !

3 stunning casks , worthy of the Amrut name , many thanks to Ashok for the samples .

So is the Herald a Triumph…… (Part Two)

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A few years ago Amrut along with their German Importers Prineus decided to try something different (Some said innovative , some [Whisky Connoiseurs] said Gimmicky) , they put 4 casks on a small German archipelago in the North Sea called Heligoland. In 2011 Three of these of these casks were bottled . How good were the first bottlings ? Well the Cask I tried was soo good i ended up purchasing 3 bottles !

This year Ashok returned to Heligoland and bottled the remaining cask of the original 4 , Cask 3030 , so what’s it like ? 2 years down the line the ABV has dropped a wee bit from in the 60’s to 58.4% , the Colour is pretty much the same , a lovely Golden Syrup . The nose is pretty powerful at first , nasal hair tingling , then we get oak spices , Liquorice , chocolate , shortbread , caramel toffee (yes the Millionaires Shortbread !) , there’s a hint of orange in the background .

Across the Palate it is very strong , Huge liquorice , very spicy , cloves and cinnamon . There is also a fruit jaminess to it , dark fruits like Blackberries . An incredible mouthfeel to it , The finish is very long , spicy and has that fruit jam to it . It is also very chewy (something i like in Amruts ) .

It s really different to Cask 2857 , for it’s lower ABV it does seem much more stronger , it’s certainly slightly more fruity . There are 219 bottles in this release . 

Many thanks to Ashok and Prineus for the sample .

The 5th Newcastle Whisky Lounge Whisky Fest

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Now into it’s 5th year (where has the time gone !) , i remember many moons ago when Eddie first mooted a festival in the Toon and i was a bit sceptical (would any exhibitors come , would people come ?) but over the moon that someone was going to do it . We may not get the numbers of exhibitors ‘other’ festivals get but we do get quality ! And i wasn’t the only person to notice this .

The Day started with Breakfast in the Five Swans with Livvy who’d travelled down from Cupar , always best to get a good fried breakfast on the stomach before an afternoon trying malts ! We headed across to the Civic Centre for the 12 o’clock opening , Eddies now got the opening off to a tee , liked the way we were through the registration before the official doors opened . After collecting the glass if was off to say hello to Ashok before heading off to the South West of Scotland and seeing our friends at Bladnoch and Whiskybroker.co.uk . It’s always good to catch up with Raymond Florence , Martin and Jane .

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Raymond in full Swing

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Martin on his Table

I must say a fair bit of the afternoon was spent in this area , not only talking to the Armstrongs but trying their products , At Bladnochs i tried the 10yo Bourbon , the 11yo Sherry and the 20yo – the latter was proving very popular ! On Martins i tried a fair few of his offerings including the Macallan Spirit , the 29yo Tormore and the Springbank , as usual all up to a very high standard .

A little while was spent over with Ashok at the Amrut Stall including giving Ashok a break at one point while Mr Banford wasn’t around with his Camera…….

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The Main Man !
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With his biggest fan !

Once again the Amrut selection (Amrut 46% , Amrut Cask Strength , Amrut Fusion and Amrut intermediate Sherry) provided very popular with the locals .

Something new introduced this festival was the ‘Under the table Dram tokens’ , you got one white and one black with each ticket and another two if you were a Whisky Lounge member . I used my white one on the Berrys Own 1989 Bunnahabhain (another good Bunna which seemed a little bit weak -sorry Rob !) , the Black tokens were used on The Berrys Own 1974 Glen Grant (probably the best dram of the day !) , The Kilchoman Sherry Cask (it was nice having a chat with Anthonys other Son James about our love of Islay) and the Talisker 25yo at the diageo table . I’ll now try and remember what else i had during the afternoon…… a bit hard , always forget to take notes…….

At Amruts table i had the Intermediate Sherry as it was from a later batch than what i have , At The Whisky Exchange table i tried the Bn4 (Peated Bunna – very nice ) , they also had one of my approved bottles on offer ! At the SMWS table i had the Clynelish which John happily pointed out wasn’t Sulphured ! Over at Diageo i tried the New Storm which i must say i wasn’t impressed with , the 25yo was much better ! Sure there were a few more but……..

It was a fantastic afternoon , good malt with good friends (old and some new ones!) , Livvy and Bobby were on fine form and the exhibitors were as always very friendly and knowledgable . Congratulations to Eddie and Amanda for once again giving us a great afternoon ! Till next year……..

Blackadder Peated Amrut

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Independently bottled Amruts are a bit thin on the ground so it’s a bit of a special occassion when one does come along (and there aren’t likely to be many more) . This one again is from the good people at Blackadder , this time it’s a Peated Amrut bottled at 62.7% in June 2012 from Cask Ref BA14/2012 .

Blackadder Peated Amrut 2012

This is Bottle No. 17 of 282 , it is a very dark marmalade going on light mahogany in colour . It is actually quite peaty on first nosing , quite a strong toffeeness mixing in with the Amrut liquorice , there is a hint of the Millionaires shortbread but not much .  It is very strong on the palate , one of the strongest Amruts i’ve had (though not the strongest proof wise) , again very peaty , strong liquorice and quite farmyardy and more of a peatiness in an Scottish sort of way . The finish is very long and of a peaty liquorice . Water takes the bite off the strength and mellows down the nose and palate .

A very unusual Peated Amrut , as i said a bit more akin to a peated Scotch but still with the Amrut traits , well worth a punt if you can find it  , i had to get this one from a Dutch shop Whiskybase.com .