Paul John whiskies from India is a name you may have heard about now and again. Indian whiskies are growing in popularity as the best domestic producers make inroads into the international market.
This is the latest release from Paul John entitled Bold and is a peated whisky reflecting the current fashion for all things peated. Paul John is a brand that was established by John’s Distilleries Limited in 1992. We’ve previously seen peated whiskies from India released as special editions either in selected or single cask batches. Interestingly these have to be created using Scottish peat as India is devoid of such decayed vegetation, or Islay peat to be more specific. For some reason a Braveheart phrase popped into my head; “they may take our age statements, but they’ll never take our peat!”.
The climate in Goa results in the angel’s share annually of 8% which is massive compared to what Scottish distilleries experience. To combat this heat, Paul John let their American white oak casks mature underground in a temperature controlled cellar. The barley comes from the foothills of the Himalayas so this is a world whisky in more ways than one.
Distillery: Paul John
Age: no age statement
Strength: 46% vol
Additional: American oak barrels
Colour: golden butter
Nose: the first thing is the spices all spice, cinnamon, salted peanuts and a gentle vegetative peat influence. Semolina with a dash of melon of all things and cigar smoke. Then more traditional characteristics like honey, pepper and golden syrup exert themselves.
Taste: initially surprisingly sweet and boisterous which is perhaps a reflection of the age. A little charcoal mixes with the peat and a touch of smoke to a pleasant effect. Sugar cane, fennel and more vegetation. A touch of water really opens up this dram and thereby delivers a sustained voyage. Vanilla, cracked black pepper; a well fired beef burger and a dark chocolate finish.
Decent enough in summary with the nose setting a high benchmark that the palate fails to equal. What is refreshing is a reasonable price tag at £45 which I cannot argue with although prompt me for a real value peated dram and I’ll say the Glen Moray Elgin Classic is untouchable currently.