Amrut’s 88th batch of their NAS cask strength series hits hard at 61.8% ABV and, at first, it is not all that pleasant. It shows up like some friend’s uninvited acquaintance, loud, obnoxious and abrasive. But, given enough time, it relaxes significantly and turns into a welcome addition to the party.
Nose: Vanilla infused wood decaying in a damp forest. Some burnt toasted rye bread. Later a bowl of translucent chocolate pudding rises from the depths. It really is oddly dry for something birthed in such a moist arboreal environment. (8.1/10)
Palate: Musty tree bark, lichen-infused coffee grounds and some dog hair stuck to a dried up old chocolate bar that got lost under the sofa somehow. (8.9/10)
Finish: A deep, comforting warmth unfolds and spreads quite quickly until it fills out the entire chest cavity. Remnants of old bits of wood and bark and chocolate dust remain on the desiccated palate, slowly adding up to hints of dried shiitake and porcini mushrooms. (8.6/10)
Balance: This really, seriously, not kidding, requires a good amount of time in the glass. Give it an hour or so to relax and air out its grievances. It’s a bit rough and bumpy right out of the bottle but, if you have the patience to wait, it’ll slowly evolve into a glorious old mess of decay and natural flavors and scents as if your are digging with bare hands through the wet leaf-covered floor of an autumnal forest foraging for wild mushrooms. (8.7/10)