I know more than a few out there have been waiting for me to get around to sharing some thoughts on Amrut Spectrum. I think, in fact, even one or two of the good folks behind the brand have been waiting. If you expected a bit of a hook or a slice on this one (i.e. veering away from known territory) you may as well move on. I’ll lay it on the line early here and you can read on or move on as you see fit. The simple fact of the matter is that this is another ruddy brilliant dram from our mates in India.
The story on this one has already made the rounds. Spectrum is a malt matured for three years in ex-bourbon barrels before being shunted for a further three and a half years into casks specially commissioned from alternating staves of five different barrel types: American, French and Spanish oak, as well as ex-PX and ex-Oloroso. Neat, and beyond innovative, really, in an industry heavily governed by tradition and a lack of forward thinking. The resulting profile is one rich in jammy fruit, almost molasses-thick sherried notes and rich, rich, rich helpings of dried fruits and coffee. A couple mates of mine thought sulphur, but I beg to differ. This is just heavily cooked whisky. It’s beyond big and borders on over-cooked. I like that though. I’m a sucker for big sherry, and this fits the bill.
I can’t prepare you for this one. Big, sub-tropical notes, dark fruits, cold coffee, bittersweet chocolate. All in harmony. Lovely and rich. This is a small sipper though. Meant to be enjoyed in wee sips over long hours of contemplation. Not a malt for overindulgence, as the malt itself is an indulgence.
Nose: Dark chocolate and jammy dark fruit. Orange zest. Slight smokiness. Gooey toffee. Furniture polish. Almost a cola note. Coffee. Nougat. Cherry, raspberry and even a hint of reduced blueberry. Or more simply… a mixed berry jam. Cinnamon, cardamom and burnt sugar. Coffee liquor. Candied orange peel. Can’t get over the depth of chewy chocolates, toffees and fruits. Great melange.
Palate: Whoa. Big, dark and bordering on bitter. In all the right ways, that is, being a beautiful balanced tannicity. Smalls savouring sips are the way to go with a malt this deep and immersive. Like an infused Kahlua of some sort. Oily dried fruits and gooey jams. More candied orange, but wrapped in chocolate (anyone tried the Bernard Callebaut chocolates like this?). Cough syrup. Nutty notes and hints of strong, rich rum. Gooey, sticky dessert.
Thoughts: Reminds a tick of some heavily sherries Kavalan, but has definite Amrut DNA. 50% abv is generous, but I want this even bigger…at least high 50s. What Amrut can do in a few short years is simply incredible.
– Images & Words: Curt