Although I’ve tried whisky from a number of different countries, India is a country I hadn’t yet come across on my whisky journey. The Southport Whisky Club had a Paul John tasting night lead by the Regional Manager, Shilton Almeida but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it. Lucky for me, Victor being Victor, had bought a load of cases which meant that I could still get my hands on some bottles of their fantastic spirit and see what it was all about.
The first bottle I tried was Paul John Edited. Edited is part of the flagship range, it’s a single malt that’s bottled at 46% ABV and has nice barley tones with a hint of peat. There’s a lot of honey on the nose and a subtle aroma of peat, wafting through. This dram packs a long finish with a definitive spice, it truly is unique.
I spent a lot of time with this whisky and each time I poured a glass, it grew on me more and more, to the point that I still define this as my favourite Paul John to date.
Second up in my exploration through the fantastic range of Indian whiskies, was Brilliance, another from the flagship range and again bottled at a very respectable 46% ABV. This dram is unpeated but has similar qualities to the Edited, in that the presence of spice is undeniably evident and the mouthfeel is juicy and rich.
Brilliance is matured in bourbon barrels for 3-5 years before being bottled. In comparison to Scotch, this is a fraction of the time; but forget not that the climate in Goa is drastically different from the climate in Scotland. It’s this tropical heat that causes greater evaporation (typically 8-10% a year) and enabled the harmonies between the whisky and the wood to happen at a much faster rate. The end result… delicious, young whisky that is packed with flavour, despite only having flirted with the barrel.
Last, but by no means least; I bought a bottle of the Peated Select Cask to try. This is part of the Select Cask range, all casks used for this range are specially chosen based on their profile and the unique characteristics. On the nose, it’s very earthy with a subtle nuttiness whilst the palate carries the brown sugar sweetness and prominent smoke really well. The flavours open up really well, likely due to the cask strength (55%). That now familiar, Paul John character is again present in the form of a warm and radiating spice; it’s simply fantastic.
I find it fascinating how the influence of temperature can play such a big part, but I guess that’s one of the great beauties of Indian Whisky. If you haven’t had the chance to try any of the Paul John whiskies yet, I suggest you get down to a festival or get some samples ordered!
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