Tasting the Amrut Herald–A spicy Indo-German

Amrut distilleries are known for their affection of experimenting with whisky. I’ve written before about those experiments, mainly the “Two continents”, Khadambam, and the intermediate sherry, all very unique combination of cask types, cask origins, and location where the spirit is matured.  herald

This time Amrut has decided to experiment with double maturation , where the casks themselves are maturing in two different locations. The first stage, takes place in India, where they are aged for five years, then they are shipped to a tiny German Island by the name of “Helgoland”  (Helgoland is an unspoiled unique environment with dramatic red sandstone cliffs and sensuous sand dunes. Not only is it free of traffic and low in pollution, but it also enjoys a gentle climate thanks to the Gulf Stream which allows exotic plants and wildlife to thrive at its relatively high latitude) ,where they are stored for an additional 18 months.An interesting idea, you must admit. I am not sure how the atmosphere of Helgoland would affect the whisky, and why this specific Island was chosen, but surely maturation will slow down , since the climate there is not as hot as the climate in Bangalore, home of Amrut distilleries.

Ashok of Amrut speaks: “Making this malt whisky was a real adventure,It travelled 5,000 miles to the edge of mainland Europe. Then we were able to mature and bottle whisky on Helgoland, for the first time in the island’s history. And in Amrut Herald we have created another unique malt whisky which will satisfy the connoisseurs who have come to expect the best from us.” Interesting enough. But is it good? How did the extra maturation affect the liquid? Let’s find out. shall we?

Amrut Herald, 60.8%, ABV, (sold out)

Nose: starts rather spicy-sweet with a lot of vanilla , baklava and honey. Some Ginger and a dusty bookshelf.
Palate: wow. The high ABV really strikes you it needs toning down with some water. With water it’s fruity with the vanilla and spices. Cloves , licorice, and a bit of bitter oak butterscotch and burnt sugar.

Finish: long spicy , woody with bitter sweet ending.

This is a very good dram, and very spicy if I might add. I would have liked to sample the original whisky pre the aging on Helgoland, and then this to actually tell how the extra maturation on European ground affected it, and to what extent.

Score: 84/100

Many thanks to Ashok for allowing me to taste this unique dram

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