Review 2017-011 «Specifics» Single malt • Bottled in 2013 • 62.3% Alcohol • Matured for unknown number of year in first-fill sherry cask (BA17/2013) • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Sourced from Amrut (Bangalore, India) • Bottled by Blackadder • Tunbridge Wells • England • Limited availability (236 bottles) • Not available anymore (price was ±€102) • Whiskybase #46292
STORY. The spirit from the Indian distillery of Amrut, the cask selected by the independent bottler Blackadder, both known for their quality. Well, if that ain’t enough to please this whisky writer… The man behind the Blackadder range is Robin Tuck, together with John Lamond author of The Malt Whisky File that sold more than 150.000 copies word-wide. All Blackadder whiskies are personally picked by him, and he particularly believes in bottling whiskies that are natural and relish the traditional ways of whisky making and cask maturation. Blackadder is particularly active in releasing single cask versions of the Indian distiller Amrut, makers of very innovative and quality-rich spirits, and I think Blackadder has even an almost exclusive right to do so.
APPEARANCE. Old English and classic design, colour of the contents is golden brown with a reddish hue and is slightly sherry coloured.
NOSE. The influence of the cask is directly noticeable with a lot of spices. However, these are clearly Indian, as if you are taking a stroll on an spice market in Bangalore. You can find curry powder, coriander, cinnamon, lemon grass. Especially the latter is nice as it gives a certain kind of freshness to the whole. The sherry influence is present, but it is nicely integrated. (water) Yes, swims well. No decrease noticeable in the fullness of the nose, which is now rounder and more fruity. There are lemon skin, mango, dried plums, green bananas, raisins. This could be a tropical sherry.
TASTE. It is warm and spicy, in particular with many Indian spices. There are golden raisins (drenched in rum), sweet dried plums and a mix of pure and milk chocolate. The sherry feels like an old one, and a really good one too. (water) It gets a bit more acidic, and goes towards Armagnac. Then the spices launch another attack on the tongue. Spicy rum? Add to that some lime skin. Well, if we go on we’ll have a cocktail. The finish is long and spicy with curry powder, sherry wood spices and raisins coated with chocolate. Who can be against that?
VERDICT. Although this is probably quite young (we don’t know of course as the age remains mysterious), the (quality) sherry cask has already given a great depth to the spirit. Must be the tropics then, which has infused it with a tropical Indian fruits and spices. I find it quite different from Scotch, and I like it the more for it. Not I do not like Scotch (I love it), but the feeling of terroir is refreshing (or is it my imagination?).
Recommended for a tropical night out from Scotland.
Thanks to Norbert for the sample!
What others say
- @Whiskybase: Mean score of 88.80 (52 votes)
- @Maltactivist.com: “Great little whisky this” Score: 8.6/10
- @Maltmaniacs.com: Silver medal in 2013, Score: 88/100
- @Freddeboos.se: “En mycket kraftfull, smakrik och sherrynyanserad whisky och som jag helt klart kan tänka mig att vilja smaka på igen. En av de bättre!” 16.75/20