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Amrut distillery was founded in 1948 but it was not until the 1980ies that the company began to produce malt whisky. While the barley is grown in the foothills of the Himalaya the whisky is matured in Bangalore. Due to the tropical climatic conditions the whisky matures very quickly: three to five years in Bangalore are apparently considered to be the equivalent of ten years in Speyside. This peated, cask strength version has been distilled from Scottish peated barley with peat levels of 23 ppm and is part of Amrut’s core range.
The nose is astonishingly multifaceted: it starts with distinct grainy flavours, followed by vanilla ice cream, a healthy dose of caramel, hints of butter as well as of salt and seaweed. All in all this is a complex nose, very well balanced, but not easy to grasp.
The palate is full-bodied and spicy. While sweetness is present at first, it gets more oaky later on, accompanied by notes of nutmeg. Peat is present but not overwhelmingly so. With water the whole becomes astonishingly flat.
The finish is of medium length, warming, and spicy. Lovely bonfire smoke rounds the whole off.
This certainly was an unusual single malt, with flavours that were challenging to grasp but very well balanced overall. I greatly enjoyed this, much more so than the ‘Fusion’, to be honest. What is more, this is very drinkable at cask strength, and in fact I prefer it without adding water.