We are all familiar with the great single malts from Scotland, but we’re much less familiar with the increasingly popular single malts produced outside of Scotland, so we decided to picked out a few special international single malts to taste, all of which have won various whiskeys awards over the years. Overall, the Hibiki Japanese Harmony was the crowd favorite. Despite the hype, the Amrut Fusion didn’t go over very well with our group, it was universally disliked by our members, and the bottle has lasted several subsequent meetings with very little interest. This really has us scratching our heads as to why the online reviews of this are so positive.
1. Amrut Fusion $65 – $70
Nose: Barley, peaches, mangos, apricots, plus spicy cinnamon and clove, joined by aromas of Earl Grey tea and just a touch of peaty smoke and sea spray.
Palate: A real hit of fresh fruit and citrus-orange notes, with black pepper and cinnamon adding a zingy layer of spice.
Finish: Lingering spice and fruit.
Note: Amrut Fusion gets its name from the fact that it uses two barleys: Indian and Scottish, with the latter being peated for good measure.
2. Kavalan Single Malt Whisky $60 – $85
Nose: Fragrant, floral, fruity, with hints of honey, mango, vanilla.
Palate: Sweet mango juice, citrus fruit, spicy barley, oak, honey and chocolate
Finish: Medium, oily and citrus finish, with a touch of allspice, vanilla and pear skin
Note: Named after the indigenous people who originally inhabited this northeastern corner of the island: the Kavalan
3. Hibiki Japanese Harmony $60 – $70
Casks: American white oak, sherry, and mizunara oak (Japanese oak)
Nose: Apricots, orange blossom, marmalade, rose, hints of rosemary and mature wood
Palate: Oranges, apricots, honey-like sweetness, white chocolate, with a peppery spice
Finish: The spiciness takes over from the fruit and lingers, along with a little barrel char and a hint of Mizunara (Japanese oak)