Independent bottlers can be a great way to explore dimensions of distilleries that don’t necessarily follow their original bottling approach – those singular gems that stand out with the bottler. We’ve become huge fans of some terrific indie bottlers out of the UK and Europe however India? And some go a few steps further – buying the new make or younger whisky, taking on the responsibility for maturing the spirit.
Enter “Single Malts of India” by Amrut… maturing and bottling an undisclosed ‘coastal’ whisky… touted by Amrut’s head distiller Ashok Chokalingam as “the first independent bottling in India.”
“Neidhal” Peated Indian Single Malt (18 Sep 2021) Batch 1, 46%
- Nose – Hello peat! Loads of iodine… shifting to campfire and charcoal, heavy vegetal, smoked meats, salted black old fashioned licorice, becoming sweeter and sweeter the longer it remains in the glass
- Palate – Quite salty, toast with buttery salted caramel or perhaps even coconut kaya toast, clear peat stamp with pepper too
- Finish – Ash… and yet surprisingly light given the robust peat on the palate… fading into a hint of hickory smoke
- Water – Didn’t try
One of our tasting companions called this a “dirty” peat – heavy medicinal peat.
We all concluded this was clearly a ‘winter’ dram… something one would better enjoy coming in from the bracing cold. Whereas our sweltering April Mumbai heat didn’t quite match its personality.
Single Malts of India “Neidhal” Peated Indian Single Malt was matured and bottled by Amrut Distilleries, available only in Bangalore, retailing for INR 5,900.
What do the folks behind this bottle have to say?
Neidhal, presented by Amrut, is a single malt Eponymously sourced from a Neidhal or coastal region and exhibits traits that uniquely spring from the locale – notes of tropical fruits, vanilla, punctuated by soft phenols and above all sea salt on the nose. On the palate, it is fruit cocktail and mesmerising phenols with a touch of iodine. The middle ground is an essay in chewability and a finish that is phenolic with a touch of sweet vanilla.
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