A little while ago I was invited (and introduced) to the flavours of Paul John Single Malt Whisky. I love my single malts and I know and have had the opportunity to enjoy a few of the finer ones in my career. Paul John, however, was unique.

Paul John is not exactly a household name (yet), but the single malt crafted in Goa, India, created a stir in the world of whiskies when it scored a gold medal in the Whisky Bible and received a 96.5 rating by international whisky critic Jim Murray. It has won rave reviews from whisky journals and connoisseurs and awards from around the world. Labeled The Great Indian Single Malt, Paul John comes from the famous seatown Goa, India.

The weather in Goa is ideal for the making of whiskies, helping them mature faster than most other whiskies produced in cold climates. The non-chill filtering allows our whiskies to retain their original colour and taste.

The Six-Row Barley used in their whisky is specially grown in cold weather and harvested in summer for perfect maturity. From germination, malting and peating of these special barley grains comes the distinctive smokiness and taste of the whiskies.

I hd the privilege of meeting Mr Michael John, Master Distiller of Paul John Single Malt Whisky, who was there to guide us through the tastings of each of the whiskies. There were two rounds where we got to taste the non-peated whiskies followed by the peated ones.

There were six Sherry Copitas (one does not simply drink whisky from just any glass) – while many drink single-malts from a typical whisky glass, the proper glass to “nose” with is in fact a sherry copita, which resembles a tulip.

The Sherry Copita might not be the most masculine shape for such a manly spirit, but practical and effective as it allows you to take a long pull of the whisky and breathe non-boozy air at the same time which in turn allows you to distinguish flavors of different single malts.

Most of us there (around 10 of us) chose the Paul John’s Brilliance for the non-peated whiskies and Paul John’s Edited was my favourite for the peated whiskies.

Paul John’s Brillance was sweet, almost gentle on the palette with fruity and with floral notes of vanilla and honey. Paul John’s Edited was intense, had a smoky flavour and definitely richer in character.

We also had the chance to taste Paul John’s Select Cask Peated at 55.5%. That’s the Goa experience in a tipple.

In my opinion, the Paul John Single Malt Whisky – Different. Top end. Absolute Brilliance. It promises to be right up there with the usual suspects.

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