Believe it or not, this was my very first Indian single malt whisky. Coming courtesy of Travis Watt (@edmontonscotclub), today’s sample is the Amrut Spectrum 004 Single Malt Whisky. The casking on this one is pretty unique. Starting off in ex-Bourbon, this was then transferred to custom barrels made with four different stave types: new American oak (#3 char), toasted French oak, ex-Oloroso and ex-PX. It’s non-age stated and bottled at 50% ABV. About 6000 bottles were released worldwide.
Nose: Dark dried fruits. And by that I mean lots of dark dried fruits. I literally feel like I am opening a bag of pitted prunes and just huffing in the smell. Lots of raisins are in here too. As this sits in the glass, I get bright and dark berries. The French oak has something to do with that. Dried strawberries and fresh blackberries mostly. The new American oak is contributing a little bit of dark, ripe cherry. Some tropical notes are coming up now. Grilled pineapple and orange slices. It’s ever so slightly smoky. Not peated. Just smoky. This is very rich in dark baking spices. Toasted cinnamon, earthy nutmeg and allspice. I’ll probably pick up clove on the palate.
Palate: Literally all the non-tropical fruits I described when nosing are on the entry. It’s almost too much to concentrate on. A ton of orange comes in on the development. Zest, flesh, peel, some of it grilled. The lot. The French oak really kicks in during the second half of the development, drying the experience out a little. The tartness of the dried red fruits also point in that direction. Clove joins the rest of the baking spices, as expected. At the very end of the development, I’m getting that good old fruit and nut bar vibe. It’s alternating between dark and milk chocolate, depending on the sip.
Finish: The orange that I got on the development is quite peel-heavy now. The fruit and nut bar, is more nuts than fruit. The drying sensation I got on the development continues, but does not overly dominate. This finish is pretty long.
This is one of the most dense flavour experiences I have ever had in a whisky. Young whisky matured in the tropics/sub-tropics has astounded me over the last year. Even at three years, you can get notes that are usually found in 20+ year old Scotch. This is a clear testament to how effective high temperatures are in turbo-charging the maturation process. This was my very first experience with Indian single malt whisky and it shan’t be the last.