Indian Whisky Review: Amrut Portonova B. No. 19

Elliott
2 min readOct 16, 2021
The purple label with mythical/real birds in shadow, and accents in silver, is stunning

Amrut Portonova Batch 19 / 62.1% ABV

Tasted neat and with a nip of bottled water

This Amrut Portonova is a NAS/cask-strength whisky distilled in Bengaluru, India, and matured in ex-bourbon American oak and port pipes. My bottle in particular is Batch #19, from February 2017.

The back box describes the whisky and its heritage:

AMRUT Portonova is an un-peated single malt whisky
matured initially in a combination of new American Oak and
ex-bourbon barrels then transferred to once-used port pipes
imports from Portugal, and finally back to ex-bourbon casks.
It is aptly named as Portonova as there is a town called
Parangipettai (Portonovo) on the east coast of India, in
the southern state of Tamil Nadu, a territory that was under
Portuguese control from the 16th to the 18th century.
This single malt is exotic and vibrant on both nose and the
palate and it delivers plentiful of raisins, vanilla, cherry
liqueur and spices. The effect is the extraordinary smoothness
on the palate even at full cask strength.
  • Color: burnt umber (1.8)
  • Nose: molasses, charred wood, some spice, dry and fruity wine
  • Taste: sulphur, malt, dark chocolate, fennel, raisins; leather, oak
  • Finish: long, oily; molten brown sugar and vanilla

An intriguing experiment, I think Portonova (at least the 19th such batch) falls short on the port-finished aspect; marrying it with Amrut’s already super-heavy spirit and aging climate doesn’t bring out enough of the port-wood aspects for me to strongly recommend this. Also, with all that cask switching going on, this does lean quite a bit to the woody side.

Rating: 82/100

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Elliott

Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade