Happy World Whisky Wednesday folks! Sooner or later, this whisky was bound to show up. Naarangi. A Hindi word meaning orange, there is little else to this whisky outside the citric tastes that it gives off, but I do love a grapefruit with breakfast each morning, and I do love this whisky. Truly a special expression, the Naarangi started its life as Amrut’s Cask Strength Single Malt, while at the same time Amrut was seasoning Olorosso Sherry Casks with Wine and orange peels. After the whisky had aged for roughly 3 years, and the Casks had seasoned for 2, the whisky was re-racked into the seasoned casks and left to mature for a further 3 years before being bottled at 50%. I first had this whisky three years ago, loved it then, and was lucky enough to see a bottle recently and have a dram.
So on the nose it picks up where those oranges left off, and blows away any cold you may have had with intense notes of grapefruit, orange rind and tannic wood before moving into more dried fruits of apricots, sultanas and dashes of white pepper. After that pleasant detour we move straight back to the citrus; orange marmalade, dried lemon peel, good key lime pie and hints of pepper. I find a little sherry in the background, but its muted by the citrus and more than happy to let those fruits run the show.
The palate is equally as amazing, and brings out tones of old wood, more roasted orange, cardamom spiced grapefruit, young pineapple and goes very old-fashioned like; touches of bitters and dashes of sugar. I feel as though if you threw this into either a Blood and Sand or a Boulevardier it would bust the cocktail into space, however you could just skip the middle man and have the whisky neat. After the cocktail experience there is more singed orange peel, with strip wood and some burning incense in the background. The finish is quite bitter but really brings together the qualities of a good citric salad, stretches nice and long and at the end showcases a good deal of dark chocolate with orange rind and apricot slices.
The Amrut Naarangi. I really do love this whisky, everything about it is exciting and different, showing that you can do more with sherry cask than just mature a whisky it (though I doubt we’ll see something like this from the long standing distilling nations). It ticks all my boxes for a whisky to have a bottle of on the shelf, interesting taste, interesting story, good as a nightcap, to start the night, as a morning whisky or as a shower whisky, and bottles are still available through some of the online whisky shops. I’d love to see what would happen if Amrut got their hands on some more fruits, and can’t wait to see their next special release.