If you love whisky and are looking for something soothing to keep you warm this season, look no further. When it comes to whisky, what imparts that warming, smoky flavour is peat. And Scotland—arguably the motherland of the whisky spirit—has deep reserves of it across the region. This is used in the process of whisky making, imparting a smoky and robust profile to the whisky, and is preferred by many in cold climates. Here are a few recommendations for those whiskies by the Single Malt Amateur Club.
10 peated whiskies to enjoy this winter
Ardbeg Beastie 5 YO
We have been tutored to appreciate the age statement on the bottle, and unfortunately, that has skewed our preferences and choices. The wild card may set that perception right. A young whisky aptly named will unleash the raw and wild peat character to the fore that some absolutely love. Rs7,100
Caol Ila 12 YO
A balanced, peated dram that is intense and rich with floral touches. It is embellished with notes of toffee and vanilla. It won first place for the Best Single Malt Scotch 12 Years in 2015 and at the International Whisky Competition, it won a gold for the Islay up to 12 years old category in the same year. Rs8,650
Ardbeg 10 YO
This is one of the best entry-level whiskies offering plenty of delicious peat. It generally packs a punch and is a favourite of many whisky lovers. One sip and you’ll get plenty of smoke, notes of coastal air and complex flavours. It has also won several awards, such as gold at the Islay Single Malt 12 Years and Under in 2016, and first place at the World Whiskies Awards for Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Years in 2015. Rs9,950
Laphroaig 10 YO
An iodine-rich and smoky whisky, it has plenty of character and a medicinal profile. It is matured in ex-bourbon barrels and has been a popular expression of the Laphroaig whisky brand since 2002. The Laphroaig 10 YO is the winner of many awards, including a gold medal at The International Spirits Challenge in 2010. Rs9,900.
Bowmore 15 YO
This one comes with a twist; this whisky spends three years in oloroso sherry casks, offering a graceful balance between sherry and the distillery’s peat characteristics. With raisins and dark chocolate on the nose, you will not miss the floral touches, liquorice, and menthol on the palate. It won gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2018 and International Spirits Challenge Gold in 2017. Rs12,210
Lagavulin 16 YO
This is one of the most intense and rich whiskies in the world of whisky, often topping the list even for peat heads. It is pungent and dark, and the unhurried process ensures that the Lagavulin 16 develops all of its long, rich, peaty characteristics. A few drops of water to this ‘releases the serpents’, and you’ll know what that means when you try it. It won first place as the Best Single Malt Scotch 13-17 Yearsin 2015 at the International Whisky Competition and first Place as the best Peated Whisky in 2015 at the International Whisky Competition. Rs16,000