Review: Amrut Virgin Oak (Kensington Wine Market Exclusive)

Appearance: 1.8, Old Oakimg_3649-copy

Nose: Caramel, chocolate, grainy, malty, menthol, rich oak, leather, ginger, pepper steak, almost some red stone fruits here too. Normally with Amrut single casks, you get mostly the core Amrut profile with an accent of the cask type, not so here. The Amrut profile is there, but it is dominated by a rich spice and sweetness. This is not an out and out “bourbon nose”, but definitely bourbon heavy; big time on the toffee sweets, with a big depth of body.

Taste: Huge, intense, takes 10-15 seconds to really hit you full force. Wow, so sweet; confectionary sugar, caramels, vanilla custard, golden syrup, sultanas, also a huge backbone of spice; black pepper, cinnamon, clove, tannins. The Amrut profile is here, but again, there is a huge contribution from the cask in terms of the body, sweetness, and spiciness.

Finish: Drying, oak, pepper, some herbal notes, lingering toffee and caramel, vanilla, menthol. Long. I need a cigarette.

Notes: I have thus far been fairly unimpressed with Amrut single casks. I’ve had many variations, from oloroso, bourbon, PX, to spectrum. While they have all been good, I think there is a certain amount of expectation tempering, because Amrut never tends to be heavily impacted by the cask. Whether that is due to a very strong character of the base spirit or because of the accelerated aging conditions, I never get smashed in the face by the cask influence. That is, until now. The cask influence is hugely apparent here; the core Amrut profile has been infused with an amazing assortment of sweet notes, all backed up by a wonderful blast of spiciness. I’m almost tempted to call this Spicebomb, but worried I might infringe on Viktor & Rolf’s trademark. This is the first Amrut release that has legitimately blown me away. Get it while you can, because this is a gem.

Score: 93/100

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