Paul John Whisky Tweet Tasting

21st June 2014

Time for another Tweet Tasting, through Steve Rush (@thewhiskywire), this time for the very, new to us, Paul John Whisky (@PaulJohnWhisky), we were also joined by their UK Representatives The Great Whisky Company (@greatwhisky) and a great bunch of guys and gals as per usual too.

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.

Four Indian whiskies are on tasting tonight and these were: Brilliance, Edited, Classic Select Cask and Peated Select Cask, here’s what John Paul Whisky have to say about them.

Brilliance

A non-peated Indian Single Malt Whisky at 46% ABV, matured entirely in ex-bourbon casks and distilled in traditional copper pot stills in Goa, India.  Non chill-filtered and at natural colour.  Available here from The Whisky Exchange at £38.45

Edited

Indian Single Malt whisky, with a hint of peat, at 46% ABV, matured entirely in ex-bourbon casks and distilled in traditional copper pot stills in Goa, India.  Non chill-filtered and at natural colour.  Available here from The Whisky Exchange at £42.45.

Classic Select Cask

A non-peated Indian Single Malt whisky, bottled at cask strength at 55.2% ABV, matured entirely in ex-bourbon casks and distilled in traditional copper pot stills in Goa, India.  Non chill-filtered and at natural colour.  Available here from The Whisky Exchange at £62.95.

Peated Select Cask

A peated Indian Single Malt whisky, bottled at cask strength at 55.5% ABV, matured entirely in ex-bourbon casks and distilled in traditional copper pot stills in Goa, India.  Non chill-filtered and at natural colour.  Available here from The Whisky Exchange at £67.95.

You’ve heard it from John Paul Whisky themselves and now it’s our turn.  I, (@KirstyClarke29) tweeted for the Corner (@whiskycorner) and Stewart (@stewartcraigon) tweeted as himself, so sit back, grab a dram and enjoy.

Kirsty’s Notes

Brilliance

Nose:

Paul John Brilliance
Paul John, Brilliance

Cereal notes with a lovely digestive biscuit sweetness with waxed lemon and fresh grassy notes.  A touch of cream as it opens up and a touch of honeysuckle and warm leather.  Underneath it all is a touch of dried tea leaves and as it opens up in the glass the sweetness starts to come through with lashings of homemade toffee sauce, vanilla pods and a hint of almond milk with a delicate pinch of cinnamon. Although slightly spirited, the fruits and cereal notes balance this out perfectly and the fragrant note of dried apricots lingers on.

Palate:

Cinnamon from the nose, softening into baked apples with a sharp lemon citrus kick, before rolled oats & dark, damp bark comes through bringing with it a very savoury note, almost a bit like Marmite and warm bread.  Then in come the spices with some caraway seeds and burnt brioche

Edited

Nose:

Slight hint of smoke, damp ashes, and soft fern, throw in some fennel and some spun sugar, baked figs and a dark balsamic reduction and you are halfway there.  Floral notes come in with fresh heather moors bathed in early morning sun, balanced with baked sweet potatoes & a touch of earth.  There’s a slight mustiness, like an old book and damp sawdust, there’s a note that’s eluding me!  I’ve finally got it, I’ve had my eureka moment, it the powdered antiseptic notes of Fisherman’s friends, all aniseed and spice!

Palate:

Heat in abundance, hitting the touch of peat, but very gritty, almost ashy, rather than big in your face Islay peat.   Bitter coffee, quickly replaced by mango and mint, red apples and green apple peel.  There is a definite chili tingle and some germonlene coming in with new lint bandages and a dash of sherbet towards the end.  A real mouth coating whisky.  I’m loving the strong tannins coming through, think builders brew & good quality milk chocolate with lime.

Classic Select Cask

Nose:

Paul John Classic Select Cask
Paul John, Classic Select Cask

Warm pineapple, honey, Victoria sponge batter and buttercream topped with soft vanilla cream with a hint of saffron.  Sweet buttered popcorn with desiccated coconut, toffee, apples, pears, brambles and stewed rhubarb all make an appearance, before the fruits fade out and let the desserts take over.  Jamaican Ginger Cake smothered in hot Birds custard.  I love the sweet notes in this very complex dram, milk chocolate, golden syrup, rich good quality vanilla ice cream and as I am now coming to expect just a touch of spice.

Palate:

Hot at first, cinnamon and plenty of it, before dying down with a touch of solvents (think the wonderful smell of the Dry Cleaners) quickly replaced by raisins and dark chocolate.  This dram is all about the spices, pink & green peppercorns, Star Anise, cardamom & silky, buttery croissants.  In comes the more robust flavours of figs, dates & damsons.  This whisky would be great paired with Parma ham.  It’s robust and the peppercorns bring forward a cashew note and slight saltiness of capers.   Fruits make a reappearance at the very rear.

Peated Select Cask

Nose:

Much gentler peat then I expected, more dying embers than full on fire.  There’s just a hint of new plimsolls, my favourite!  Think old clothes, think damp, dank boxes, imagine setting them alight and that’s the very smoke note you get.  Sweet Pea & Ham soup and a touch of sea salt.

Palate:

much sweeter than expected, take one toffee apple, roll it in ashes of a camp fire and wrap in candy floss, job done!  A fantastic combination of sweet, savoury and smoke.  There’s cola cooked gammon coming through, with a touch of iodine and cloves.  A slight hint of latex and earthy potato skins, with peppers and gentle, fleshy scallops, a touch of mace with some pineapple and dry BBQ sauce.

Overall thoughts

My first real taste of “New World Whisky” and I liked it, the whole range is so different to everything I am used to, which is in no way a bad thing.  All the whiskies had a really long finish and the common theme of lingering spices.  Would I drink it again?  Yes, yes I would, I would be intrigued to see how they fair in different seasons, as I they lent themselves to uncommonly hot day in Scotland last night.  My advice, try some, maybe try a glass before you try a bottle as I feel they, like so many whiskies, won’t lend themselves to everyone’s palate, again this is not a bad thing.  In fact it highlights the new flavours and twist on a traditional malt that Paul John Whisky brings.  I would maybe have liked my peat a little more in your face, but it’s an interesting take on peated whisky, making me think.  My favourite of the night is probably the Brilliance but it’s a close one to call.   In closing…more please!

Stewart’s Notes

Brilliance

Nose:

Very fresh, almost white wine like but mixed with milk chocolate.  There is a slight hint of lemon and cereal follows soon after.  Second nosing brings more milk chocolate, this time with hints of fresh mowed grass, a really lovely nose on this one.

Palate:

Spicy fun, the freshness from the nose is still there in abundance as it meets a wave of spicy hotness, with rich orange and more hot spices although not overpowering, very welcoming in fact and some light cream soda on the finish.

Edited

Nose:

Lovely oaky nose, musty, damp library books with boiled banana sweets and a slight hint of medicinal notes.

Palate:

John Paul, Edited
John Paul, Edited

A stonker of a whisky, heavy, chewy and very hot.  The peat is there, sitting where it should nestled perfectly between cinnamon and cream.  The hotness is still there, along with charcoal and a subtle hint of chocolate covered bananas, almost space dust on the finish.

Classic Select Cask

Nose:

Lovely citrus notes to begin with, fresh & clean, citrus turns to a summer orchard with apples now in abundance.  Cream soda is back, lashings of it and I can’t wait to try this one!

Palate:

Yum, creamy goodness with stewed apples covered in a caramel sauce.  This is a lovely dram with lots of dried fruit now coming to the front, spicier than when first tried, absolutely gorgeous!  An aptly named dram.

Peated Select Cask

Nose:

Fresh acetone covered in used bandages with bananas and mint coming through before making room for some peat.

Palate:

John Paul Peated Select Cask
John Paul Peated Select Cask

Treacle toffee hits first, then an explosion of fiery bananas knocks you over, very creamy and quite hot.  The peat comes in, sailing down a coffee river in a mint leaf boat.  Finish is like a hot malted milk biscuit

Overall thoughts

I enjoyed the chance of some new whisky which I haven’t tried before.  I really enjoyed the overall feel of the whiskies.  Edited, for me personally wasn’t my favourite, but I really enjoyed the Brilliance and Peated Select Cask, the outstanding winner for me though is the Classic Select Cask, complex with the cask strength aspect really allowing it to shine through.

With thanks as always to Steve Rush and the Whisky Wire for the opportunity to join this tasting.

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