Next up in our Sherry Elements evening was a complete surprise – An Amrut Intermediate Sherry, part of their core line-up purchased by our host around 7 years earlier.
We sampled it completely blind, with the reveal shared only after sampling all whiskies in the evening.
Amrut Intermediate Sherry 57.1%
- Colour – It initially struck us incredible – a deep ruby, exceptionally dark. Could it be real? It seemed impossible, til we started to really get into the whisky and then it didn’t seem so improbable after all
- Nose – Initial sniff was sharp, medicinal dispensary, came across as having high alcohol, homeopathic sulfur, then began to open up… banana, tropical fruits, caramel, a children’s sweet chewable multi-vitamin, lemon hint, the aromas just kept dancing around… needing time to settle…. then prunes, gave a sense of being oily, perhaps some spice… going through several cycles, including tobacco, burnt matches, cocoa, juicy plums, opening up more to reveal different dimensions. After sipping, the aromas revealed clear sherry, peppers
- Palate – At first quite intense, bitter, sour then Wow! Raisins, cocoa, a clear stamp of “Now this is a whisky!” Sharp, bitter but balanced. Then shifted into orange and chilli chocolate. With a lovely mouthfeel, fabulous balance.
- Finish – Long, starts like bitter chocolate and ends with sweet
- Water – We decided this one could have a few generous drops of water…So smooth! The Diwali explosion of flavours were softened yet retained its full character. Became even sweeter, almost floral, a crisp dosa smell, then more like crepes with the orange really popping out.
It was in many ways a complete chameleon… Hard to pin down, needed time to open up. We thought it could make a marvellous cigar malt – holding its own and pairing well. The nose and palate were beautifully matched. It was clearly an interesting whisky, complex, the kind where a little goes a long way. A few in the room pronounced it “Stunning.”
And when it was revealed? Amazement. To put it mildly, what we had otherwise sampled of its core line available in India… let’s just say we’d be underwhelmed. Whereas this was a fabulous dram. Leading talk to frustration with the inconsistency of our Amrut experiences. This one was without a doubt a ‘keeper’…
What do the folks over at Amrut have to say?
- Nose : Instead of the usual biscuit aroma, we now get moist cake. And my word: is it fruity and spicy!! Love the freshly waxed oak floor, too. Brain-explodingly complex and multi-layered with one of the most intriguing sherry-style-bourbon-style marriages on the market
- Taste : Cracking delivery and entirely unique in form. The structure is decidedly oak-based, but acts as no more than a skeleton from which the juicy sultana and spices drape. Salivating, too, as the barley kicks in powerfully. But the liquorice-orangey-honeycomb bourbon theme quietly shapes the flavour profile; the spices pulse and glow
- Finish : Quite a chunk of natural caramel quietens the more exuberant characteristics; long and elegant
What did we sample in our “Sherry Elements” evening?