Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt Whisky Cask Strength 62.8%
Taste Score: 94
Category: Indian Single Malt, Cask Strength, Peated
Whisky Cabinet Score: ★ ★ ★ ★
Amrut Distillery makes complex and punchy flavor-forward whisky. The grain of choice is malted barley, and the peated releases use smoked barley from Scotland. The key to Amrut, though, is the barrel maturation.
Most Amrut releases vaguely note the maturation time or the type of oak, and there are reasons. The science of aging in the hot Bangalore climate is more of an art in timing. At these hot climate temperatures, the evaporation rate and flavour extraction from the barrel is intense. It might only take a few years to achieve the same maturation as a decade in Scotland.
The thing is, though, while evaporation rate is hard science, the extraction of flavors is fuzzy math. Humid climates mean less water evaporates, and hot temperatures rapidly extract flavor from the barrel. It's not a simple case of math where one assumes the whisky maturation is four times faster. It's the understanding that at such rapid extraction of flavors means a different ratio of flavors end-up in the glass.
The people at Amrut understand the affects of this heat on their barrels, and they're making a new genre of whisky. Amrut Fusion placed Amrut on the map for whisky enthusiasts. This cask strength variety of Amrut Fusion is wonderfully potent, and likely intended for whisky enthusiasts looking for the next high-proof hit.
Nose: The nose is straight-forward. There's tempered smoke and some caramel, that later moves softer toward vanilla sweetness.
Palate: While the nose is surprisingly gentle, there's nothing gentle about this whisky on the palate. The smoky caramel hits hard. The whisky pulls you through heavier dark caramel, some orange zest, and into a mash of peppery spice. The whisky eventually tires to leave you sitting in caramel, pepper, dark chocolate, and a nice butter oil pool. You'll hang there for a bit, while the smokiness that hit originally hangs around. The peat on this leans toward a burnt simmering oak. The peppery spice doesn't overpower the palate. It's quite the ride.
Conclusion: When drinking cask strength whisky, you're not always going to get composure. This nose is deceptively quiet, and the palate is forceful with flavor. If you're looking for words like "smooth" or "composed" in your cask strength whisky (which some scotches do accomplish), this probably isn't for you. I like the challenge, though, and for me this wins high points for palate with the only negative being on the nose.
Whisky Cabinet Rating Explained:
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆ Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★ Extraordinary, memorable, and original