The guys over at Amrut are not resting on their laurels and are producing some tasty and sometimes innovative drams: well, this is indeed one of them. The Spectrum is named after the unique spectrum of wood that was used to age it. We all know that the wood makes the whisky, and this time they have gone a bit further with whisky geekery and aging techniques : First, they aged the whisky for 3 years in ex-Bourbons cask (well, this is nothing new), then in a very unique experiment, Amrut has created 5 separate casks in which the whisky would be finished, each is composed of the following : new American oak, new Spanish oak, and new French oak, along with previously used Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso. How did they manage that? simply : Staves from each cask were removed and replaced with staves from each of the other four casks thus creating five complete casks with five different types of wood in each one… Nifty, right?
All that was done somewhere in EU, and then those casks were flown back to Bangalore where they would be used to age the liquid for another 3,5 years before the whisky was ready to be bottled. Quite the experiment. The whisky was then bottled at 50% . There are only 1,000 bottles of this, and it’s not cheap ( £100 / 150 Eur). I recently got some of that to try (a sample I bought, not the bottle which is a tad too expensive.)
Nose :this is rich stuff alright. Lots of sherry influence, sweet dried fruit, merino raisin and fig. Chocolate and spice, sour notes and wet cask. Toffeed apples and a wee hint of tobacco leaf.
Palate : big entry with lots of sherry here too rich comes add no surprise. Very sweet, fig jam, milk chocolate, a bit nutty at times, leather and muscovado sugar. Hints of old px. But also some new wood. Plums. And ripe orange.
Finish : some lovely dried fruit, spice and more orange and chocolate.
This is indeed an excellent whisky, rich, well composed, and feels much older than it’s 6.5 years in cask, which is what one expect when dealing with a malt aged in India. The funky cask experiment really works well here, with a lot of PX and Oloroso sherry influences, with additional depth from the other cask staves. However, 150 Eur for this whisky, is quite a lot of money, and as unique as it is, you can find comparable Scotch malts that offer the same quality at a much lower price point (1/2 – 1/3 the price). This is a really cool whisky, but I find it hard to justify paying the premium for the novelty. If you’re an Amrut fan or collector, this needs to be on your shelf. I would have loved to own a bottle, but not for that price.
Photo Credit : Whisky.fr