The classic question of peated versus unpeated whiskies has been answered! Beginners lean towards unpeated malts which tend to offer notes of orchard fruits, dark sugars, honey, and florals. These whiskies lend themselves for ‘easy drinking’ or for the sweet tooths out there. However, peated malts follow a theme of smoky, medicinal and ashtray notes from the peat used during malting. Experienced palates hold a place for peated whiskies as they are extremely bold in flavour and may require an acquired taste (even after years of drinking).
Today, we’re highlighting 7 unpeated single malt whiskies that might pique your interest. Here’s a list suggested by Single Malt Amateurs Club – India’s first whisky appreciation club. Take a look:
Bushmills 12 Years Single Malt
This Irish whiskey begins with a polite nose but proceeds with a reasonably robust affair with savoury wafts of dried fruit, spices, and apple. The palate is initially soft and restrained, but after a few beats, there is a nice ramp-up to a lingering warm spice (imagine a fireplace in the background). The end leans back into that creamy start from the nose with a highlighted sense of beautifully caramelised sugar. Reasonably priced at INR 7400, this single malt is for the charts.
Amrut Intermediate Sherry Single Malt Whisky
Amrut Intermediate Sherry begins with a nose of a fruity and spicy moist cake with hints of a waxed oak floor. An oak-based flavour hits as soon as you take a sip, your palate lingering with juicy sultanas and spices as the barley kicks in. The finish moves towards a liquoricey-orangey honeycomb bourbon theme. A dessert-like feeling is induced with a chunk of natural caramel that quietens the more exuberant characteristics with a long and royal feeling. This dreamy whisky is priced at INR 5420.
Glen Grant 12-Year-Old Scotch
Glen Grant’s middle-of-the-pack offering is their 12-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, priced at INR 6800. It opens with a nose of orchard fruits, oranges, and apples with a touch of pastry and icing sugar. More richness follows into the palate with sweet red apple notes plus golden barley in the background. Finishing subtly with a hint of almond, this is a perfect selection for those special occasions and everything in between.
Glenfiddich 15-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The 15-year-old mighty Glenfiddich, priced at INR 9900, has a nose of an intriguingly complex aroma of sweet heather honey and vanilla fudge topped off with rich dark fruits! The palate proceeds with an odd but harmonious combination of Sherry oak, marzipan, cinnamon, and ginger – as it has been barrelled in an ex-sherry, ex-bourbon, and new oak casket. This unpeated malt satisfyingly finishes with a rich, lingering sweetness.
Glenmorangie Original 10-Year-Old
The Glenmorangie 10-Year-Old is a smooth whisky priced at INR 7420. The whisky welcomes you with a very fruity and thick nose, then holds your attention with rich notes of lemon, nectarine and apple with spicy undertones present. On the palate, the whisky is fresh and balanced – with hints of vanilla, boiled sweets, creamy tiramisu, and succulent toffee. The fruity finish is quite long – it is both gentle and malty. This delicious and complex whisky offers an extremely satisfying drinking affair for the receiver.
Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie
Experience the sunny beach with wafts of the sea air with The Classic Laddie’s elegantly sweet aroma of barley infused with honey, boiled sweets, and orange petals. Its crisp palate features red apples, white grapes, and notes of sweet cinnamon and brown sugar – all complemented by soft coastal notes. The finish brings depth with mineral-rich malt, toffee, and more honey. At INR 8800, every sip of this Scottish magic is a remarkable adventure.
The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old
The Glenlivet 12-Year-Old is a smooth, fruity whisky which opens with juicy notes of apricot, pineapple, greengages, citrus blossom, and toasted teacake. Moving on to the palate, we get a buttery and vanilla-rich taste that’s simply heavenly – and still packs a punch with all the bright fruit notes from the nose. The finish is a soft crackle of oaky spice and malt, with just a hint of red apple juiciness to top it all off. At INR 7400, it’s a steal for the experience it offers.