Paul John “Bold”

paul-john-bold01While a new entry into the American market (June 2016), Paul John Single Malts have been a large presence in India for over twenty years. Founded in 1992 by Paul P. John, the company makes brandy, whisky and wine. Nestled in the district of Goa along the ocean, Paul John Whisky has been gaining steady ground with a large international roll out over the past few years. Indians like whisky and there are many kinds made for their domestic market, even if the only malt produced there most people have heard of is Amrut.

Note: These samples were sent to us by Jerry George, a fellow whisky connoisseur and blogger. He also likes to dress up as superheroes. One of the things we love about this whisky voyage is sharing it with fantastic people like Jerry. This is the first time we’ve reviewed a malt sent to us instead of bought with club funds (or private stash). Thanks!

Distillery: Paul John
Region: Foreign
Age: NAS
Strength: 46%
Price: $75.00
Location: Goa, India
Nose: Tropical fruit, lychee, canned peaches, peat, perfume, floral, clean linen
Palate: Smoke, peat
Finish: Spice, caramel

Comments: Water is not needed

Adam – I can taste the peat, there’s a peat on the palate but it’s not strong. There’s a push of it and then it backs off, with some tang on the back end, a slight sour that is present but doesn’t cross any lines. It’s like a clown car, this whisky, full of surprises. You never know what’s going to pop out! It has a lot going on, potentially too much going on with all the flavor threads competing for attention that they don’t quite intertwine as seamlessly as you might like. It feels like it needs a bit more aging to sort of figure itself out.

Jenny – I’m not into it. For me it’s just so hot. I’m having a hard time describing it. My nostrils burn when I smell it. It made me cough a little bit. I am not enjoying this. Wait, it’s only at the end that I’m starting to get some flavor. It’s taken a while for my palate to get used to it. Now it’s not so bad. It’s so different every time I try it. Now I get wet sock! I guess it is kind of fun because there’s something different in every glass. I could pour myself another dram and keep getting different tastes.

Meghan – It reminds me of the candied syrup of canned fruit in a way. Sweet but fruity. It’s completely different from any other whisky I’ve had, including the Amrut. I don’t know if I like it or not. I’m getting a bunch of flavors and they’re so different that I don’t have the words to describe them. There’s a sour element in the finish I’m having a hard time putting my finger on too. I’m almost getting a fruity caramel, like the fruit caramel you find in boxed chocolates sometimes. It’s so odd. I wonder if it’s purposefully made to have so many parts, because Indian food is like that, with a barrage of flavors, deeply layered. I think I like it better than any of the Amruts I’ve had but it is still very different.

Michael – I’m getting a lot of burn on the nose and palate. 

Peter – It’s funny, the first few sips were really good but then after that the alcohol heat seemed to dominate everything. Maybe you kind of reach a limit?

  • Glad you guys had a chance to try a Paul John! My personal favourite is their Select Cask Peated – particularly the early batches that had a brilliant Canadian bacon in maple syrup quality to the nose. They may not entirely be there with all their whiskies yet but certainly something different and nice to see where they will head next!

    • Maple syrup and bacon? Be still, my Vermont-y heart! Agreed, there is some work to do but there is potential. Hope they continue to make progress.