Tasting Amrut Kadhambam
India is the world’s biggest whisky market (yes, you heard me right). It’s dominated by Indian made whiskies, and Amrut is one of the big players in that market (but certainly not the biggest). As most of Indian whiskies do not meet the EU regulation for being sold as whiskies, only a fraction of them do get sold outside India.
Amrut has been exporting it’s single malt whiskies since 2004 and many of us have heard about it first, when J.Murray named it as #3 best whisky in his 2010 bible. The ‘Fusion’ was indeed a great whisky, and is a favourite of mine.
Recently Amrut have released to new and very interesting Expressions : The Kadambham (which i will review now) and the ‘Sherry Intermediate ‘ which i will review next week. Both whiskies use a unique combination of Casks maturation and finishes, which makes it even more interesting.
The name ‘Kadhambam’ means means ‘mixture’ in Tamil (a language used in the south of India) . This whisky is a unique experiment by the Amrut distillery with several cask types all pre-used by the Amrut company (who also makes brandy, rum etc.)
How it’s made:
We start with an Amrut Peated Single Malt Whisky:
- Age it in ex-Sherry (Oloroso) butts – then>
- Age it in ex-Bangalore Blue Brandy casks – then >
- Age it ex-rum casks and matured for a further period
You must agree this is quite a unique wood profile for such a single malt…
Now let’s put this to the test, and see if and how this combination of aging types affected the spirit.
Amrut Kadhambam NAS , 50% ABV , £67
Nose: Quite unique : Sugar. Pepper. Some peat. Traces of Gin (juniper?) The nose is Quite alcoholic. On second whiff i am getting some chocolate and Damp wood. quite complex, and interesting.
Palate: Oily. Spice and pepper. Bitter chocolate. Kellogg’s cereal. Wee smoke. Fruity, but Not as fruity as the fusion in my opinion.
Finish : Vanilla and spice, with traced of peat smoke.
All in all this is a very good and complex dram. When compared to the ‘Fusion’ It’s less fruity, and lacks the ‘Turkish Delight’ and ‘Rose Water’ and some of that big vanilla and exotic fruit. But, it does compensate in other places. Those Amrut guys never cease to experiment and this is indeed very refreshing. Price wise, it’s not very cheap for almost 70 Pounds , but it’s a rather limited edition with only about 250 bottles. If you’re an Amrut fan, grab this one.
Sincere thanks to Ashok of Amrut Ltd for the official sample.