Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Spicy, Thick & Oily - Amrut Peated Single Malt

Amrut Peated Single Malt Cask Strength
Amrut is by far the most well know of the whisky brands coming out of India. It is not the only one but certainly the most well know here in Australia at this time.  This post also announces my first Dramcember post for 2015 as I have been totally slack this year.

Initially our clubs attention was drawn to this brand back in 2010 when Jim Murray's Whisky Bible nominated the Fusion Single Malt, Liquid Gold and 3rd Finest Whisky In The World, while the independent Malt Maniacs were dishing out awards for such an impressive performance. Around this time at the Whisky Live Sydney we had opportunities to taste the Amrut Fusion and it can be agreed it was not impressive in any way leading to a lot of criticism about what all the huff was about. The fact is what has been coming into Australia, and I am sure many will agree, that Amrut for some time has been a  bit of a hit and miss affair in maintaining quality. Luckily now I  am happy to say I have seen consistency for a couple of years with some cracker drams being released.

A few basics to consider when appreciating this New World Distillery from India. Amrut is an equatorial distillery. This means big juicy flavours combined with fast maturation. Tropical environments deliver monsoonal weather patterns as the year swings from humid to dry constantly. These climates influence heavy expansion and contraction of casks. Too much breathing will eventually create a very tannic over oaked spirit. This equatorial effect determines an average age of Amrut whiskies to be around 4 to 5 years. In short Amrut is designed to be young. Accept this and you will be happy to love what the distillery is giving.

Amrut do a range of whiskies from the now famous Fusion Single Malt which is a combination of both Indian and Scottish malted barley, peated whiskies to sherry finishes like the explosive Portnova and various cask strengths. For me Amrut excels at cask strength but you will find most Amruts are sitting towards the 50% ABV mark.

Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt, Cask Strength
Distiller: Amrut Distilleries
Location / Region: Bangalore, India
ABV: 62.8%
Wood: New American Oak & Ex-Bourbon Barrels

Nose: Thick with rich dark spicy raisins, floral and buttery with notable smoked oysters accompanied by a glass of Dr Pepper cola on the side.

Taste: Large thick oily malt characteristics, ripe fruit with wafts of smoke and dry wood

Finish: A smoky cole oven stokes the chest while the spice lingers on the lips and tongue topped with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Not so much ash but gritty coal dust mingles with the sweetness. Where many whiskies highlight the taste, this whisky displays a finish to savour. This whisky has a booty finish no doubt.

Overall the experience is thick and oily, intense and sweet, sugar and spice all wrapped together. Not a whisky to be just consumed on a whim but rather to be appreciated and respected for what it will deliver. a dram at a time There are assertive notes all over the place yet I am happy to say balanced. A excitable dram which I would be happy to give a good 6 out of 7. At around $140AU a bottle this is very good value as are most of the Amrut expressions.

If you are interested in another accessible quality Indian whisky be fire to look up Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky as it becomes more available in Australia.

The Baron