For August, we try a cask strength bottling from India – the Amrut Intermediate Sherry.
According to Indian Mythology, when Gods and Rakshasas – the demons – churned the oceans using the mountain Meru as churner, a golden pot sprang out containing the Elixir of Life. The elixir was called the “Amrut” and this is where Amrut Distillery gets it’s name.
Amrut is 3,000 meters above sea level (Kosiosko is only 2,228m), so despite being equatorial is relatively cool. The company prides itself on its innovation, and the Amrut Intermediate Sherry is no exception. The pure spirit is initially aged in new american oak and ex bourbon barrels. It is then transferred to ex Sherry butts where it ages for at least a year, then is finally finished in ex bourbon barrels again.
The result is a whisky with characteristics of both Sherry and bourbon, bottled at full cask strength of 57.1%abv, with no chill filtering and according to Jim Murray scores 96.5.
Colour is driven by the bronzed Sherry butts, with some depth of colour attributable to the high alcohol content.
The nose is dominated by the Sherry, with rich prunes and dates.
There is sultanas and raisins, rich apricot and orange zest, from the Sherry, combined with vanilla, honey and caramel from the charry bourbon barrels with the flavour of the new oak underlining the primary flavours.
Despite the cask strength warmth, the Amrut Intermediate Sherry is remarkably balanced. The initial rich dried fruits are tempered by the honey and vanilla, all of which swirl around the palate long after.
I’d definitely recommend trying this whisky with a few drops of water to ‘open’ the whisky up. It really brings out the vanilla laden fruit and tempers the alcohol. Just a few drops [of water] – no more than a dribble. Watch the reaction as the water hits the whisky! Ahh.. magic! – Brad.