Following my review of the Amrut CS, Batch 2, here is the Amrut Peated CS, Batch 4, which was also released in January 2010. It is an even higher octane whisky, coming in at a whopping 62.8% abv. I believe Indian barley is used in the regular Amruts (46% and CS) whereas peated Scottish barley is used in peated Amruts. I could well be wrong though so please do not take this as gospel. And if you know for sure one way or the other please chime in below.
Amrut Peated, CS, Batch 4 (62.8%; from a reference sample saved from my own bottle)
Nose: Mild, farmy peat and a big hit of brine too. Some milk chocolate and some malty sweetness below this as well. Just when I was about to say that this is reminiscent of this lightly peated Bladnoch the peat expands and becomes more phenolic. It also gets more farmy/”dirty”. With more time there’s a note somewhere between raisins and toffee. With a drop of water that toffee thing expands and there’s also a touch of lime now; and then there’s a lot of lime.
Palate: As on the nose the farmy peat and the brine hit first. There’s some sweetness too but I’m not getting the chocolate. Not getting very much of anything else, for that matter. Let’s take another sip and then add some water. Sweeter on the second sip, and there’s also a minerally component to go with the brine. Okay, let’s hold off on the water for a bit longer. With time the brine trumps the sweetness but there’s more ashiness now too. Water brings out a lot of lime on the palate as well, and integrates it with the brine and ash. Very nice. After even more time the minerally sweetness comes back as well.
Finish: Long. The minerally sweetness and the brine are the top notes at first, with a lingering ashiness after that. Mellower with water and also smokier.
Comments: So, the brine on the nose: a lot of Scottish distilleries will tell you the brine in their malts comes from the local climate by their warehouses–but where exactly is the sea near Bangalore? I’m beginning to think that it is peated barley that is the vehicle for briny aromas. Anyway: this is very nice peated whisky but it’s not so very different from similar fare available from Scottish distillers. I’m not going to penalize it for that, but if you’re looking for something a little more unusual the regular Amrut CS is the way to go. As with the regular CS this is remarkably drinkable for the strength (of course, as with the other sample, even though there’s been zero headspace in this 6 oz sample jar, the fact is the bottle was opened a long time ago).
Rating: 88 points.