[Review] Amrut Spectrum 004 (2021 Release)

This is the most recent batch of Amrut Spectrum, bottled in 2021. I’m extremely excited to try this whisky – Amrut is one of my favourite distilleries (without any “not located in Scotland” qualifier!), and the original Spectrum from 2015 remains one of my top whiskies of all time. Confusingly, both that release and this new one are numbered “004”, as are a number of other batches. This refers not to the batch number, but to the number of different types of oak staves used in the custom-coopered Frankencasks that the whisky is matured in.

  • 50% ABV
  • No age statement
  • Initially matured in ex-bourbon barrels, finished in custom casks made from staves of American oak with level 3 char, French oak with light toast, Oloroso sherry casks, and PX sherry casks

Colour: Mahogany – extremely dark.

Nose: Very dark and sweet. Rich holiday-spiced fruitcake, black cherries, dark brown sugar, and graham crackers. French vanilla and toasted hazelnuts.

Palate: Thick texture. Arrives sweet and heavy with Swedish Berries, dried orange peel, brown sugar, and woody spice notes of clove and star anise. Flavour develops to thick and sweet coconut cream, then strong oak, milky coffee, and sweetened fragrant Earl Grey tea.

Finish: Long and sweet. Candied pineapple, black plums, maraschinos, dark rum, and balsamic reduction.

Thoughts: A superlatively rich and decadent whisky. As with some other heavily-sherried Amruts, this is nearly Kavalan-like with its level of cask dominance, but there’s just enough of that tropical spirit character coming through to keep things from getting too one-note. This doesn’t quite have the same balance and insane rich fruit character of the original Spectrum, but what does? This is excellent in its own right.

Final score: 87/100

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