Review: Amrut Spectrum Indian Single Malt Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

3 yrs ex-bourbon; 3.5 years in hybrid cask (described below)
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Amrut (Bangalore, India)

This whisky, it would seem, was a really wild late night idea. The whisky is a limited release of 1000 bottles, and is made from a single malt that was first matured in ex-bourbon barrels for 3 years before being further matured for 3.5 years in a barrel consisting of a hybrid barrel made from 5 different types of wood - new American oak, new Spanish oak, new French oak, ex-Pedro Ximinez sherry and ex-oloroso sherry. Not really a "finish", more of a maturation as it was quite a long period - hence, we expect lots of wood(s) influence here.

Thanks to Eric at Whisky Analysis for the sample.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

A gorgeous nose that you don’t have to work hard for. The complexity of the charred oak, dried fruit, maple, rancio from the sherry, creamy light bourbon notes alongside light vegetal notes, bean sprouts, celery seed, caramel truffles, and some rich grape notes that remind me of moderately aged Armagnac. Some nice spices, as Amrut seems to produce – that I don’t find elsewhere often – toasted citrusy ones like cumin and coriander. Caraway, too. The nose, also, smells lightly tart. Very complex, and layered with all of the oak and the finishing – not, however, very grain driven.

The palate, indeed, is a bit sour, and our malt finally takes hold. On top, rich rum cake, candied fruits, currants, prunes, figs – and underneath some beautiful rancio and clove. The finish is very full of sherry, brown sugar, molasses, and toffee. There is some fruit hidden in behind it all – pear and dried mango. Though it’s a very nice whisky, my question is - where’s the middle? All of the rich rummy and toffee notes on top, the dried fruit, nutty, and spicy finish – but the middle is a bit blank except for a bit of fruit that I need to go looking for. So, incredible complexity, but not intricate movement of the best of the best. But don't get me wrong – this is still terrific.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. $250 is a pretty hefty price tag for me!