Origin: Bangalore (India)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Sherry, ex-Brandy, ex-Rum
Added coloring: No
Owner: Amrut Distillery
Average price: € 85.00
Official website: www.amrutdistilleries.com
It’s with some pleasure that I introduce the first Indian whisky on this blog today.
Founded in 1948 in Bangalore, this historic Indian distillery has been well known and appreciated in India for about a dozen years. Amrut is currently one of the largest whisky producers in India with 4 million cases per year, of which about 120,000 bottles of single malt, and one of the few available outside the Indian sub-continent.
Kadhambam means ‘combination’ in Tamil and is here to underline the way Amrut has crafted this spirit: a vatting of their classic single malt (90%) with a small percentage of their peaty single malt (10%) then aged in three different casks (ex-Sherry, ex-Brandy, and ex-Rum – where the brandy and rum are also produced by Amrut). As always, Amrut doesn’t disclose the final amount of ageing because it believes that consumers have not yet fully understood the different influence of the Indian climate on the length of maturation.
The combined effect of the elevation of the storage warehouse to around 1000 metres above sea level and the area’s very high temperatures and humidity levels is said to triple the rate of ageing (and bring the angel’s share to around 10% per annum): the unofficial Amrut average of around 4 years would therefore correspond to the 12 years of a Scotch.
This whisky is unfiltered and uncoloured before being bottled at 50% proof.
Gorgeous natural amber colour.
Initially delicate nose with floral hints that settle on a bed of honeyed nuts, cinnamon, and some citrus zest. In the background you can perceive the sherried ageing with a vinous memory of oak and cloves.
In the mouth it enters with elegance and lightness: orange peel, nutmeg and light sea peat open up to a warmer, savoury sip that brings with it a robust dose of dried fruit and milk chocolate, with a few grains of salt.
The finish is precise and well-structured, recalling the scents highlighted so far: citrus, saltiness, nutmeg, dried fruit, chocolate, cinnamon.
In some ways this is a surprising product: the idea of triple maturation is certainly not new (after all, this is the third edition to be tasted), but it’s often daring or exaggeratedly expensive, whereas in this case the result is exquisite elegance at a more affordable price.
It’s reminiscent of some of Campbeltown’s much older and more renowned whiskies (such as the Springbank 18), but with a unique and personal profile that doesn’t even stand out against the much more expensive Macallan 18 Triple Cask.
In short, this is an excellent bottle that will particularly satisfy fans of citrus notes and gentle (indeed, very gentle) peat. Those looking for a stronger character (peat or otherwise) should consider other bottles from the Indian producer.