Spectrum batch 0001 is a dark, brooding, terrific hot mess. The best kind of hot mess. Later batch numbers are a little more settled, youthful, and zestier. Still, batch 0001 will likely be the collector’s favourite because you’re not going to get flavours like this anywhere else. The distillery (located in Bangalore) is the master of hot climate new world whiskies.
Spectrum is made from three-year old ex-bourbon aged single malt whisky, finished for over three years in a “mutant” barrel. I’ll just quote the marketing pitch on this one:
Amrut Spectrum was finished for a further three-and-a-half years in a unique cask. Made with staves from a combination of five different types of wood: new oak from America, France and Spain, along with ex-oloroso- and ex-Pedro-Ximenez sherry.
In the hot Bangalore climate, three years of aging is an intense whirlwind. Having a whisky aged for over six years is the spectacle unfound in Scotland, no matter the age-statement. The two climates simply don’t mature whisky the same way. Scotland’s maturation cycle is gentle, with the whisky taking a nap over the cold winter months. In Bangalore, the whisky never rests.
Amrut Spectrum, like all of the special releases from the distillery, are incredible. The tasting scores won’t do this whisky justice, because it’s not about the score. It’s about the experience.
Shoutout to Devoz for providing me with a sample.
Amrut Spectrum Batch 0001 (50% ABV)
Category: Single malt, Indian whisky, Mutant cask finish
Nose: Dark baking spices, black tea, melted butter stirred with brown sugar. A table freshly varnished a few days ago, settled in, and ready to go home to a new buyer. Hay. Hints of nuttiness. I thought it was caramel, but it’s more like the sweetness from coca-cola. Freshly chopped wood, sorta, but it’s a distant note. It is sharp on the nose.
Palate: Sharp on the palate, with thick toffee sweetness, blood orange zest, a ton of peppery spice notes from the barrels, and there’s a heaviness to this like you’d find in an aged rum. Nothing is simple, but it’s not complex either. These flavours pound at your palate, between the toffee sweetness, and the blood orange zest, and the peppery spice.
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original in any category
Burning with sweet flavours, slashing with spice, and pounding with buttery dough. This is an intense pour. You’ll buy a bottle, and let it sit for months on end, because for many nights it’s a little much. Yet, when you’re in the mood, it’ll hit you perfectly. I’ve tasted newer samples in a more casual setting, so I have no score for them. They’re brighter, younger, zestier, and more likely to be a fun drink. This is dark, brooding, and intense.