*Thanks to the good folks at Impex Beverages for the sample.
In the 1530’s a fellow named Kempe Gowda I had the Bangalore Fort built to protect this growing city of the Vijaynagar Empire. Legend has it Ol’ Kempe named the city and fort Bengalooru, which was a marked improvement on the old name of Benda-kaal-ooru, which means “city of boiled beans”. No one wants to set up shop in a city named the city of boiled beans, unless of course you’re a boiled beans salesman, but it’s my guess that at that time, boiled bean salesmen were far and few between.
The Bangalore Fort had two main roads that divided it into sections which were called “petes”. Chickapete Street (nice alliteration) ran East to West and Dodapete Street, which ran North to South. Since the Amrut Distillery is located in Bangalore, it would be nice to think of one of these pete streets somehow contributing to the peat whisky, but alas, the British came in around 1790 and screwed everything up. Hell, they re-named Dodapete Street “Avenue Road”, which along with being a lot less fun to say, is just a little redundant.
Amrut’s peated malts are made with barley that has been malted in Scotland, but distilled in Bangalore and aged in a combination of new and old American oak barrels. Though the maturation takes place high up above the city, on the slopes of the surrounding mountains, the warmer, tropical climate matures Amrut spirits far more quickly than Scotland’s cooler climes. Most Amrut whiskies are less reportedly less than 6 years old. The non chill-filtered Amrut Peated Indian Single Malt Whisky is one of three peated Amruts along with a cask strength edition and the Amrut Fusion.
The Nose: Yep, it’s peated. Nice, slightly honeyed, slightly dusky solid peat, even that black rubber/band-aid quality seems to have a light dusting of sugar. There’s clear, mild, dry, wood smoke and faint hints of candied cinnamon apples. Behind it all are nice grain notes, chewy cookie oatmeal cookies with raisins
The Palate: Slightly syrupy mouthfeel, honeyed grain hits early and slowly grows increasingly spicy alongside the building smoke and peat fire. There’s a really nice warmth and increasing dryness on the palate with the grain and peat mingling well into the finish, balanced by an almost cinnamon-y sweetness.
The Finish: Some nice dry wood and dry leaf smoke, a little peat lurking behind and a faint hint of stale cigarette smoke/ash tray at the end.
Thoughts: I love non-Islay peated whiskies, there’s always something so drastically different from those benchmark island malts, it’s a refreshing change of pace. The Amrut Peated malt is reminiscent of Islay, for sure, but it’s missing that “coastal” quality, the briny funkiness. Instead, it focuses more on balanced, sweetened grain. I have to say, the somewhat dry, ashy catch right towards the end was not my favorite part of the dram, but overall, this is pretty delicious, unique stuff for a peat fan.
…more peated Amrut tomorrow!