Although I was born and raised in the very North of Germany, I have never been to Helgoland – Germany’s only island in the open sea – before last year. Yet, the long weekend I spent there in June of 2015 instantly turned the remote isle into one of my favorite places in the world. So when I learned a while later that there was an Indian whisky that was sent on a 5,000 miles journey from Bangalore to Helgoland for maturation, I knew I had to get it. On my next trip to Helgoland, I grabbed a bottle of the mythic Amrut Herald from Nils Pförtner, the chain of shops that also stores the casks. I got to try my first dram in the store and was instantly blown away. What a distinct, striking and downright incredible drop. Back on the mainland, I returned to my bottle repeatedly and every single time, the Amrut Herald amazed me anew. I can easily say that it has grown to become one of my most beloved whiskies, both for its overtopping quality and the fond memories I combine with it.
Eye: Rusty copper hinges on a weather-beaten oak door.
Nose: A sniff of sea air and drift wood. Underneath lingers a subtle sweetness.
Palate: Although it orginates from India, this malt is clearly a child of the North Sea. It is very salty at first, almost as if the waves would give you a kiss. Later, the maritime flavour is complemented by licorice, pepper, caramel and oak splinters. In the back, there is a nuance of smoke, like the last puff that escapes an old sailor’s pipe.
Finish: Powerful and long with an incredible spiciness and a vibrant burn.
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Region: India and Helgoland
Aged: 8 Years (5 Years in India and 3 Years on Helgoland)
Alc. volume: 53.3 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~100 Euro
More info: http://www.amrutwhisky.co.uk