Five years on after my review of the Amrut Amalgam, I got the opportunity to get acquainted with the half brother, The Peated. This expression isn’t a new kid on the block but one who made the rounds towards the end of 2018, a short while after its older sibling.
This vatted malt has very similar origins – a blend of malts, those locally sourced from the distillery, malts from Scotland and selected malts from Asia with the only twist being the use of peated barley. These spirits are then vatted and married in casks at the cooperage before being diluted and bottled. Unfortunately there isn’t much details on the maturation, cask selection or the distilleries used to source their spirits, all of which remains to be dug deep in mystery.
Now the 750 ml bottling is plain, traditional Amrut and by definition very mediocre – nothing flamboyant or bold, but the 500 ml bottling is so the opposite. Reminds me of a cross between a “Nikka from the Barrel” and the “Hibiki Harmony”, the offspring being a smaller Octagonal shaped bottling that carries more oomph than the Nikka though not as exquisite and regal as the Hibiki but still carrying enough buzz and pizazz than the standard Amrut curves.
ABV : 42.8% | 75 proof
Eye : Deep copper | Artificial Colouring
Nose : Smoke layered with the sweetness of raisins and vanilla, cigarette ash with soft fruity nuances of plums and green apples. Cardboard and green pepper along with hints of cardamom that are accompanied by spiced notes that linger on the nose.
Taste : Peaty yet sweet, with vanilla and hints of honey. Dried fruits sprinkled with a whiff of brine, traces of charred melons and some earth. Dried ginger peels along with green pepper are layered with warm spiced notes.
Finish : Vanilla and oak interleaved with char and peat.
The Amalgam Peat checks all the boxes and does justice to its name – enveloping the nose and the palate with a good dose of peat! Quite an enjoyable dram with fairly decent complexity; i feel the use of peat and the selection of malts have done this one well, exceling its half brother by delivering a more rounded and balanced experience. On the flip, I found it lacking punch; losing on some much needed breadth. Something the Neidhal, an independent peated bottling from the distillery, grasped with ease!
The flavour profile does indicate the use of American ex-bourbon and some European sherry casks at the very least; however I wouldn’t be surprised if the former plays a larger role in the maturation process. At around INR 2.6k (AUD $50) it is a bit expensive for a 500ml bottling, but nothing out of sorts for an Indian whisky. All in all, you wont be making a mistake with this one, especially considering peat is a largely unchartered territory within the Indian market, giving an opportunity to dip your feat in!