Amrut (see my other Amrut reviews here) continues to epitomize (and revolutionize) the category of world whisky. In fact, within only a few more years, they will warrant a category (Indian Whisky) all to themselves. A prolific library of single-malt releases, a reputation for experimentation and collaboration, and a very active promotion/marketing department are just some of the reasons that Amrut is becoming (or has become) a powerhouse in the industry.
All that said, I have to sheepishly admit what my long-time readers already know. I don’t like banana flavors, and Amrut is particularly heavy on them. For that reason, take my Amrut reviews with a grain of salt. Better yet, go out then and try some yourself. (Don’t miss Fusion though, arguably the best in their lineup).
Here are my notes for the baseline peated expression (peated around 24 ppm), “Amrut Peated”. The peated malt is flown in from Scotland (supposedly from Islay?) and distilled and aged in Bangalore, India. The company also bottles a cask-strength version.
Nose: Very peaty, with an earthy, clay-like scent. Not sweet, more umami – seaweed and soy. Deeper in there is a suggestion of kiwi, the everpresent Amrut banana, and black tea. A dash of water only draws out a note of cigarette smoke.
Hint: Let it breathe a little, initially there is a bit of a rotten banana peel smell that dissipates after a few minutes undisturbed in the glass.
Palate: Very nice full body, a blast of intense peat, and quite a lot of tongue burn, almost grain-like in its roughness. This fades quickly, leaving greenwood smoke, seaweed, tobacco, and more earthy clay. The water brings some acidity to the experience, but seems to thin the body. There is a nice additional lime flavor.
Finish: Expectedly long, a bit of dark chocolate creeps in, along with spent tea leaves, cigar or cigarette ash, and a little vegetal bitterness at the tail end.
Overall: Reminds me a bit of Finlaggan – where the youth of the malt means all of the complexity is in the peat, which delivers a lot of intense flavor, but not a lot of secondary notes. The alcohol burn is a bit rough – likely because of the quick maturation – but nevertheless, this is a powerful, peaty kick in the head that any true peat-head should take a look at. Preferably without paying the somewhat inflated price for a full bottle. I wouldn’t bother with the water, unless it tastes a little sluggish to you.