Way back in mid September, I went back and forth with Raj Sabharwal (Managing Director of Purple Valley Imports) via Twitter and email about two whisky events that he would be hosting in Philadelphia during the week of October 22nd. One event would be for Sullivans Cove Tasmanian Whisky and the other would be for Amrut Distillery of India.
During this exchange, Raj asked if we would like some samples from Purple Valley Import’s product line up. Since I had heard so much about Amrut and Sullivans Cove over the past year, but had yet to try any of their expressions, this was an offer that I couldn’t pass up!
Believe it or not, we do occasionally turn companies down when they offer to send us samples. Here is one such product that you will NOT see reviewed on this blog (though I guess it COULD have been a funny post):
Anyway! This will be the first in a series of posts featuring whiskies brought to the United States by Purple Valley Imports. Let’s get this series started with reviews of three very different whisky expressions from the Amrut Distillery of India…
Here is what Purple Valley Imports (their US importer) has to say about the Amrut Fusion:
This rare combination of Indian and Scottish elements means Fusion has a really excellent mouthfeel and palate, combining oak, a hint of vanilla, fruit and the sublime peat.
And here are our impressions…
G-LO’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Golden amber.
- Aroma: Light and fruity on the nose with hints of vanilla, dried apricot, and cane sugar. Also getting some faint peppermint and cigar ash.
- Taste: Very peppery at the onset with a tingly sensation from the middle to the tip of my tongue. At mid palate, the heat intensifies a bit, and those fruity notes start to come through as well. Ends on a lightly smoky and herbal note. Long, soothing finish.
- ABV: 50%
Conclusion: There are many things going on in Amrut’s Fusion. The light and fruity nose doesn’t prepare you for the multi layered flavors that you will experience once you take that first sip. Although I am not experienced enough to tell where the Scottish barley influence begins and where the Indian barley influence ends (or vice versa), I do know that this is a very enjoyable and flavorful whisky.
Limpd’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Light honey color.
- Aroma: Alcohol and oak, with hints of vanilla, honey and ash.
- Taste: Hot and spicy (pepper, cinnamon) upfront followed by some of the sweetness, and then a mild, long-lasting burn at the back.
Conclusion: This was a very nice whisky. It had just the right balance of spice, sweetness and heat.
Amrut Peated Single Malt Whisky
Here is what the distillery says about their Peated Single Malt Whisky:
On the nose, there is unusually dry peat, not dissimilar to peat reek absorbed by an old leather armchair (a hint of citrus too).
Despite the nose, the immediate sensation is one of being caressed by molassed sugar and then a ratching up of the peat notes. As they get more forceful, so the experience becomes that little bit drier and spicier, though not without the molasses refusing to give way.
You can tell the quality of the distillate and the barrels it has been matured in by the crystalline depth to the finish. Everything is clear on the palate and the butterscotch vanillas wrap the phenols for a comfortable and clean finale.
And here are my impressions…
G-LO’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Pale copper color.
- Aroma: Subtle hints of smoldering coal followed immediately by caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, and dried fruit.
- Taste: Not your usual peat flavors in this one, i.e. it’s more along the lines of a cigar wrapper. Lots of baking spice heat at the onset with that cigar smokiness way off in the distance. The spices tingle the middle and tip of my tongue. Salted caramel notes appear at mid palate and lead you to a sweet, spicy, lightly smoked, and long lasting finish.
- ABV: 46%
Conclusion: I had no idea what to expect from the Amrut Peated Single Malt Whisky. When I see the word peated, I think band aids, iodine, and a strong maritime influence, like the kind found in your typical Islay whisky, but that’s not what I got from the Amrut Peated. Sweet smoke is how I would describe it. Overall, a very enjoyable whisky that I would love to explore further.
Amrut Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
Here is what the distillery says about their Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky:
The nose is the classic house style with glorious bourbon notes fused with the richest of barley statements; not entirely unlike caramelised biscuit dunked in coffee; oh, and a bit of spicy attitude, too
The taste is that unique bitter-sweet overture where the oaks and barley appear joined at the hip; lovely soft oils and then a sharp jolt of blood orange citrus, which is removed by something more buttery and delicate
The finish is long, elegant with the most intricate of fades with the oaks showing various bourbon then buttery characteristics; there is a trace of dark sugar and cocoa to help it along its way
And here are Limpd’s Impressions…
Limpd’s Tasting Notes
- Appearance: Golden honey
- Aroma: Alcohol, dried fruit, and toffee
- Taste: Very powerful with a lot of spice (peppery) and sweetness (think Werther’s and dried fruits, i.e. raisins and apricots) with a long finish.
- ABV: 61.8%
Conclusion: Another fine whiskey! At cask strength, this is not for the feign of heart. I needed to give this some time to open up and a little water to really enjoy it.
Thank you again to Raj Sabharwal of Purple Valley Imports for the very generous samples! Stay tuned for more reviews over the next several weeks…