We taste the new release from Paul John Whisky – Bold
Time for another Tweet Tasting, through Steve Rush (@thewhiskywire), this time for Paul John Whisky (@PaulJohnWhisky), #pauljohnwhisky, who we were lucky enough to meet at this year’s TWE Show in London. Stewart (@stewartcraigon) tweeted for the Corner tonight whilst Kirsty (@kirstyclarke29) joined later.
So what can we tell you about Paul John Whisky? John Distilleries was established in 1992 by Chairman Mr Paul P. John, a hard working entrepreneur. The Company have spent two decades establishing themselves as one of India’s leading spirits companies. With both single malts and single casks this is an interesting company that is proving very successful.
The Company’s flagship brand, Original Choice sells more than 10 million cases annually and has established itself as the leading brand in the economy segment of the Indian Whisky market. Not content with making good whisky the Company have also introduced several brands of Brandy, Whisky and Wine.
On tasting tonight is their new release Bold. Paul John uses barley from the foothills of the Himalayas, which is harvested in the summer Paul John double distill their spirit in traditional copper pot stills at their distillery in Goa.
It arrived in the prettiest packaging ever (yes I’m a sucker for packing, and yes I can be a girly girl sometimes). In fact I loved it so much, I wish I hadn’t had to open it.
A peated Indian Single Malt Whisky at 46% ABV, and distilled in traditional copper pot stills in Goa, India before being laid down in hand selected American White Oak casks. Non chill-filtered and at natural colour. This will be released soon with an RRP of £45.
Sweet liquorice to begin with, slight hint of fresh orange juice mixed with tobacco leaves, warm boiled milk. The freshness subsides quickly and a fuller dram appears, very warming and slightly spicy with chocolate shavings, not too much peat smoke, just a hint of what is to come on the palate hopefully.
Interesting, spicy to begin with before a massive hit of fruit pastilles engages with my senses, gorgeous! Bitterness follows but it is welcomed after the fruitiness, then a drying sensation, this seems to keep evolving. Some fire now, still not much in the way of peat, just enough though. Loving the spices dancing on my tongue. The fire dies down leaving you wanting another sip, the finish medium, so your hand will not let go of the glass.
Medium length, spicy and drying but still with a fruity kick.
An enjoyable dram not one I would say is for beginners however. There is plenty of fruit on the palate, although I was expecting a lot more smoke. This dram is reasonably priced and a good example of world whisky.
On first nosing this is very sweet and fruity, there are dried apricots on the nose, followed up with strawberries, toffee apples and delicate elder-flower. Oranges mingle with honey and fresh porridge, with the sweet milk notes really coming to the fore.
There are spices in nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and a touch of fiery cloves and darker stewed fruits, such as rich plums, plump blackberries and a touch of aniseed bringing them all together. Given a few minutes in the glass, there is a sweet batter and tropical notes reminiscent of pineapple fritters.
Then the peat begins to appear, it’s gentle and it’s damp, mulchy if you will. Autumn leaves both crisp and then some damp ones which are starting to break down. There’s charcoal briquettes and firewood and wet cardboard boxes, before a fresh grass note cuts through before being hidden by warm leather and that milky sweetness once again.
Creamy sweetness on the palate, sticky, gooey fudge, before bitter chocolate and ginger come through. The fruits are all but hidden but there is gala melon and lychees, with a sharp burst of gooseberries. Next up is coconut milk, which is soothing, before a sudden cinnamon and chili heat assaults the front of the tongue.
Those damp wood notes from the nose are still here, and liquorice meets Chinese five spice and some smoked ham. This evolves quickly, it makes the transition from sweet, to savoury and back again with ease.
Boiled milk returns but with pink peppercorns, as crazy as that sounds. The peat, which was overshadowed by the bold (see what I did there) spiciness, has suddenly made its way to the front, it’s an ashy smoky peat, like pipe smoke, with aromatic tobacco present.
Creamy and medium in length, spices continue to dance on the tongue, whilst pipe smoke continues to wisp around the roof of the mouth. There is a sweet, almost incense feel to the peat, I think this comes from the apricots and red apples that are still trying to make themselves known.
A curious beast this whisky, there is plenty there, in fact so much it could be overwhelming, however it’s excellent to challenge your palate. It’s fast paced, moving from sweet to savoury and then back again in a nanosecond. At times this is hot and intense and at others it’s sweet and fruity.
Not as peaty as I thought, well not in the traditional sense anyway. This peat is tobacco sweet, with hints of incense and has an ashy charcoal finish.
At £45 I think this is a great price point and a good foray into the world of international whiskies, be warned though, this is not for the faint hearted. I’d happily have another though!