Took a break from doing multi reviews of a whole bunch of Port Charlotte. And of course, by “took a break”, I mean I showed up to a tasting, where additional whisky was being served.
Amrut Spectrum 004 is the second Spectrum on the market, made by those wacky Indian whisky makers out in… well, India. Kinda wrote myself into a corner there.
But why do I call them wacky? Well mostly due to the fact that they seem to truly understand whisky, their location, and how the two mix together.
So think of India. It’s like thinking about Britain, except doesn’t imply marital rape. It’s warm, it’s not know as a whisky maker (historically), and it has a history of British colonialism. Add to that that it’s rapidly growing in terms of money and you have the perfect storm for whisky.
However the fact that it does not have a history of whisky is a plus, in some cases. Yes, there are some alcohols marked as “whisky” are actually closer to rums. However there is also no requirements, like the SWA, that can be stifling (at times). This means that they can take the staves from, let’s say, 4 different casks, put them together, and then aged it in them.
EDIT Due to what I have now been told, I have to say this now: I have no idea if the SWA would allow this cask, at all. I assume this based on what others have said, and the fact that the SWA comes off as people who will complain at the drop of a hat. So please don’t take my word on it, they may allow this in a second. They seemingly allowed master of Malt to do it.
And that’s what they did. They aged a whisky for an undetermined years in ex-bourbon, and then an additional undetermined years in a hybrid cask made of new charred American Oak, new lightly toasted French Oak, ex-Oloroso Sherry, and ex-Pedro Ximenez (PX) sherry staves.
Frantic insane people will note that this differs from Batch 1 in that it’s missing Spanish oak staves. From what I’ve read, Spanish oak is typically used in furniture… so maybe we won’t notice it.
Or maybe I just want to like your couch, if you know what I’m saying.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 10YR 6/10
Nose: Red raisins, hay, peach, lemon, butter tart, Tikka Masala
Initial nose is rich. Lots of raisin notes, butter and cream there. Which as a fat guy, makes me run. Well, not fast, but faster than normal.
Some cereal and stone fruit here. Not as complex as the first one in the amount of flavours, however each flavour is quite complex and distinct. No floral elements this time.
Taste: Raisin butter tarts, solvent, molasses, chocolate, oak
If you’ve never had a butter tart, imagine a pecan pie, with no pecans, and you eat it with your hand.
Yes, it gets cold and boring up here, why do you ask?
Again, quite rich flavour. The Oloroso was more dominant last time, with lighter sweet notes. This has less cherries, more molasses and rich. No spices this time compared to last time. Less complex, and there’s a solvent taste that’s off.
Finish: Dry peach, alcohol, cinnamon, cranberry, white raspberry, lime zest
Similar to the last one, however the alcohol is quite distinct, no caramel here, and again no floral elements.
Conclusion: Not as complex as the original Spectrum, I feel like these particular casks didn’t react as much as the last ones. 6.5 years is quite old for an Indian whisky, and they had to pull it.
I’m assuming that since the last one had more virgin oak, that’s where some of the flavours came from. It reacted better in that way. That’s not to say I’ll be pouring this out. If we ignore the first batch, this is still a really nice, dry, molasses dominant whisky. Lots of butter and cream here. Some spice, though could do with more. Wonderful dry finish with nice acidity.
So that’s where we end up. If you missed the first one, here’s your second chance. I’d buy it this time.
World Whisky review #278, India review #27, Whisky Network review #1216