...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Paul John single cask P1-163 Indian Single Malt Whisky

It was only a matter of time. With Bob Dylan brandishing his It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding Money Apparently whiskey, the artist formerly known as P. Diddy rushed his own whisky brand to the market: Sean Paul John. He sourced it from India and I can't take this joke any further because Bob Dylan made me sad, and not in a Boots of Spanish Leather way.

John Distilleries, founded in fact by a Paul John, is a pretty sizable company that produces brandy, wine and whisky across a number of distilleries and wineries throughout India. Their malt whisky is produced in the main distillery in Goa. As with Amrut, Paul John single malt experiences very active maturation within a cask due to the climate. Per Wikipedia, Goa's average daily highs range between 84ºF and 91ºF all year. It's very dry from December through April, then comes the humidity, then come the monsoons. Not quite Speyside.

I corralled this sample, my first Paul John, from a Columbus Scotch Club event a few months ago. All Paul John provides is the cask number. No age, no vintage, no cask information, no whisky in fact. I mean, look at the sample bottle:

Company: John Distilleries
Brand: Paul John
Region: Goa, India
Type: Single Malt
Age: ???
Maturation: ???
Cask number: P1-163
Outturn: ???
Release year: 2013
Alcohol by volume: 57%

The nose starts out with apples, citronella, ocean and an aggressive ethyl burn. After 10-15 minutes small notes of pears, cantaloupe, honey and toasted oak float up. BIG heat on the palate. It takes some work to sift through the burning, but beneath it one will find tart fruit, vanilla bean and toffee. The sweetness stays mild and malty-ish. A bitter oak note creeps up after the whisky sits for 15 minutes in the glass. It finishes with acidic citrus and toffee and heat. It's tingly, sweet and bitter, but also leaves an unpleasantly sour aftertaste.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or <1.5tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Okay, I'll split the nose notes into good news and bad news. Good news: citronella and cloves. Bad news: Sharp, almost vodka-esque new make. Hints of cardboard and lead. Ugly news: Reminiscent of Glenlivet 12. At least the palate is calmer and more pleasant as the creamy vanilla pudding sweetness takes over and the bitterness recedes. Quite a bit of acidity though, and plenty of heat. The finish is similar to palate, with the acid and heat. The sweetness does help things out, though.

Though I am looking forward to trying more Paul John whisky in the future, this single cask does not bode well. I'm in the minority with this opinion, if one goes by the whiskybase community. And if you're questioning the sample's source, the bottle came from the gentleman who supplied the excellent Westland fino cask reviewed on Tuesday.

This comes across as young (and darkly hued) "craft" whisky. There's a lot of burn and oak no matter what you do. I'd recommend taking the heat because dilution lays waste to the zesty bright neat nose. The less I say about the finish, the better. Its competitor(?), Amrut, also produces hot brash whiskies, but they almost always show a complexity and depth absent from this Paul John single cask.

Availability - Probably sold out
Pricing - €70?
Rating - 76

No comments:

Post a Comment