7 whiskies that you should have in your home bar

Whether you prefer a subtle hint of smoke or a powerful punch of flavour, we have selected 7 whiskies for you to try and explore that fiery side of yours:

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Must-try whiskies

As the world’s palates become more refined, there is a growing interest in acquired tastes. Peat, which is essentially partially decomposed plant material found in soil, gives whiskies a uniquely smoky flavour that can range from subtle to intense. This distinct and intense flavour profile in the world of whisky experiences can captivate our senses and is reminiscent of a crackling campfire on a chilly night.

If you think that peated whiskies aren’t for you, well, maybe you just haven’t had the right one. Whether you prefer a subtle hint of smoke or a powerful punch of flavour, Single Malt Amateurs Club has selected 7 whiskies for you to try and explore that fiery side of yours:

Paul John Peated Select Cask:

Hailing from the sunny shores of Goa, this delight from Paul John delivers a comprehensive flavour profile and is the only cask-strength whisky in the Indian whisky segment. You’ll be greeted with the aroma of roasted walnuts, barley sugar sweets, and earthy peat notes – all perfectly balanced with a hint of salt on the nose. As you take a sip, the rich and bold flavours of BBQ smoke and sugar surround your palate, accompanied by slightly damp earthy undertones with hints of tropical fruit and spice that just add a touch of complexity. The finish is equally impressive, with bitter orange peels providing a tangy aftertaste to balance the sweetness from the palate. All in all, this peated whisky is a must-try to walk down the memory lane from your Goa experience.     

Amrut Peated Malt:

This peated malt from Amrut is surely a sinfully sweet nectar for your soul. The nose begins with sweet cured bacon, peat, malt, and a touch of caramel for that extra kick. The palate takes you to a fruity paradise with malt and a tart background as the peat doesn’t even get a look-in! A medium finish lingers on your taste buds with the peat finally emerging in the end with fruit teas to top it off. However, this gem remains elusive with the supply and demand story – grab it if you happen to spot it!    

Bowmore 12-Year-Old:

The Bowmore 12-Year-Old is often touted to be one of the best standard ex-bourbons peated whiskies around. The coastal smoke and ash from the nose soon make way for bergamot, orange zest, lemon slices, and some hay before becoming floral and heather-smoked. Its honeyed palate welcomes you with vanilla, perfumed smoke, and coastal elements long before the dark peat and oily sweetness develop. A smoky, long finish is accompanied by hints of sea spray, dry grass, a touch of ash, and citrus.         

Laphroaig 10-Year-Old:

The Laphroaig 10-Year-Old from the region of Islay presents itself with a nose consisting of thick waves of iodine, followed by candied fruit and toffee notes to pack a punch of sweetness. Bold medicinal peat further engulfs the nose – you either love it or hate it. Its rich and earthy palate consists of abundant cloves, cardamoms, and chilli – for a spicy retreat. The finish is huge and drying with an intriguing aftertaste, perfect for someone on an adventurous lookout.    

Lagavulin 16-Year-Old:

Another one from Islay, the Lagavulin 16-Year-Old regularly tops the whisky score charts despite being a standard release. An opening nose captivates your tastebuds with extremely concentrated notes of iodine, proceeding with sweet spices, mature Sherry and creamy vanilla. A long aftertaste is reminiscent of leaves in the fall – with notes of figs, dates, peated smoke and just a hint of vanilla. Lagavulin isn’t for the faint-hearted but is an interesting dram for the champs.   

Caol Ila 12-Year-Old:

This peated single malt has been a mainstay of popular blends – from smoky and peaty to fresh and light fruity notes, making it an ideal combination. Its rich medicinal nose is herbal, slightly ashy, and coastal with undertones of sour lemons, white grapes, and a faint leathery note. The palate arrives bitter and citrusy, which turns sweeter with the lemons standing proud. The peat then follows a slight licorice taste, making the flavour delicious and worthwhile. Caol Ila is an easy-drinking whisky if there is one in the realm of peated whiskies.

Ardbeg 10-Year-Old:

Capping off our list is a special from Islay and an in-house favourite peated whisky. The nose consists of a vanilla ridge, leading to a smoky mountain of peat, and at its peak, you’ll find citrus fruits – surrounded by clouds of sea spray. Moving to a palate of sweet vanilla which is counterbalanced by lemon and lime and topped off with that surging Ardbeg smoke that we know and adore. The finish is long and glorious, abundant in sea-salted caramel alongside a whiff of beach bonfire smoke. This drink will make you a question: Are we at sea or are we at home? 

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First published on: 09-04-2023 at 10:40 IST