Thanks to /u/devoz for pouring me a sample of this.
It’s weird being a reviewer. You end up going with what you can get, as I’m not charismatic enough to sell out my morals and make this something where I can get free things from what I like.
Enter Amrut Single Cask ex-Jaggery Rum Cask, a single cask that only came into Kensington Wine Market. I’ve reviewed a good amount of Amruts, and that comes from both enjoying them a lot and knowing Devoz.
I’d drink Amrut all the time if they made enough to satisfy that need. As I’ve had a ton of them, to the point where I think I’ve done two full multi-reviews of Amrut by itself, it’s harder.
Luckily they release single casks. And this one is quite special. First off, Jaggery rum cask. Rum casks are a thing that I love to chase, even though typically the background on the type of rum isn’t given, the cask quality is questionable, and honestly, I’ve had bad rum casks more often than good ones.
Jaggery though. That was a new one. Turns out its cane sugar, but non-centrifugal, which I honestly had to look up. From what I can understand is it’s a lighter version of molasses, and from what I’ve read, it’s used in rum made in Asia. Some of it. Frankly, the main place I was finding it was hipster at home rum making websites, so perhaps civilization is doomed as we know it.
So a full 8-year rum matured Indian whisky (which is old for Indian whisky) single cask. A lot could go weird. A lot could go well. Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask # 317
Cask Type: Ex-Jaggery Rum Cask
Distilled: October 2009
Bottled: July 2018
Total number of bottles: 180
Colour: 7.5YR 5/8
Nose: Brown sugar, ginger tea, butter, tropical fruit funk, marshmallow
Starts out, well, with sugar. Yes, I get it, it’s Jaggery and it’s used in cooking like brown sugar, but here it is. A tannic, spice-forward brown sugar.
Eventually, you get some of that Amrut funk, more tropical fruit. I’m loving the sweets balanced with the tannic elements on the nose.
Taste: Grapefruit funk, papaya, mineral, brown sugar, cinnamon
More funk, more acidity, more tropical. It’s a bit less complex than the nose was. Getting more simpler things, but I’m still liking it. Wish there was a bit of that tannic element or some of the more developed sugar on the nose.
Finish: Yeast, heat, nectarine, cereal, brown sugar
We’re down to the basics here people. Simpler here. I’m looking around for those interesting tropical elements, or anything else… It’s nice, don’t get me wrong. It’s just. Well, it’s having a store cake after you’ve had a nice homemade meal.
Conclusion: Huge start with complexity that peters out by the end. I really do like brown sugar. I’m still looking for a great rum cask. I’m starting to think they aren’t working. Nah, it’s the experiences that are wrong.
The nose runs the show here. If you’re a normal fan of Amrut, this continues that idea. It certainly is a less expensive method of trying an older Amrut. It’s also less of a failure on the whole rum cask front. It doesn’t suffer from the typical lack of cask influence they have.
Look, I’m torn here. It wasn’t complex, but it does do the whole cask strength Amrut nicely. I’m a fanboy, so I enjoyed it. I don’t know if others will, but at the very least it’s a better rum cask than normal.
World Whisky review #368, India review #32, Whisky review #1728