Slipping in another review towards the end of the year, this month’s tropical expression finds its roots from the Indian subcontinent, from one of the country’s oldest distillery – Radico Kaitan and its wing, the Rampur distillery. Though relatively new to the international single malt arena, the distillery does have a fair bit of experience under their belt and aren’t shy to experiment with varied maturations, behold the Rampur PX Sherry Cask!
Being from the tropics while also comfortably nestled close to the Himalayan foothills, gifts the distillery with a good range of temperature variations that affects the wood-whisky aging, though coming at a price of a larger share being lost to evaporation.
The PX starts off with the distillers carefully selecting from existing batches that are being aged in ex-bourbon oak barrels; these are then finished for a few months in Spanish Pedro Xiemenes casks. Non-chill filtered and all natural colour, the bottle comes in the standard Rampur packaging but with a red wine shade and a lovely rich red wine pouch. If you were wondering, the ’48’ on the bottle labelling indicates this particular expression is a 48 barrel release.
ABV : 45%
Eye : Old Gold
Nose : Orange and vanilla biscuits with a hint of almonds and woody nuances. Quite tropical on the nose with floral rose petals in the midst of melons sprinkled with hints of brine and green pepper.
Taste : Thin on the palate with the sweetness of vanilla, some grain and bits of orange zest and green apples. Quite rich with flavours from raisins, red wine and stone fruits mixed with honeydew and the spice of crushed cardamom with the earthiness of freshly picked mushrooms.
Finish : Medium; Sweet tropical notes with vanilla and some earthiness.
Different though similar, the sherry maturation builds on the basic foundations of the Select. The effects of the PX cask lends a pleasing sweetness, some richness and complexity. It is a better toned version with the orange zest of the Select moulded to a more balanced, subtle expression – something that did put me off with the Select. It is however a bit thin and has a limited range on the palate but still enjoyable.
The Sherry PX is around AUD $100 and certainly a good “buy to try” whisky, a step above the standard Select. An ambitious attempt from the distillers with the outcome bringing a delightful tropical whisky with a spruce of PX, though just a bit off target.