Nov 23, 2016

Paul John Classic Select Cask...

Paul John Classic Select Cask (55.2%): Paul John finally entered the US market last September with four different expressions: Classic Select Cask, Peated Select Cask, Edited and Brilliance. Although the distillery is established back in 1992 in Goa they didn't enter the single malt market till 2013. The whisky is distilled using six-row barley from Himalayas in pot stills and matured in American oak barrels. The first sample bottle I will pour from their line-up is the Classic Select Cask...

Color: Medium amber, dark gold.

Nose: Pine nuts, salted butter and roasted sunflower seeds. Bee wax, fresh rosemary and green larch lumber. Dried malt, olive oil soap... It noses like a North American single malt now. A few drops of water add more nutty aromas: macadamia nuts, salted walnuts and cashews...

Palate: Yep, I was right... Roasted sunflower seeds... Never had this note in any whisky before. So distinct... Dry roasted pine nuts, heavily salted almonds and eucalyptus leaves. Green spruce cones and wood shavings. Very salty and hot on the palate. It gets calmer with water but you loose the green and fresh notes a bit. Bitter lemon juice, vanilla extract and burnt honey. Honeycombs...

Finish: Bitter, still piney and very dry. Eucalyptus drops: Like the very strong ones which makes every breath you take after one drop... Kinda funny. Long and fizzy with white pepper...

Overall: I would never guess in a million years that it is an Indian whisky... I know that all I can compare it to as Indian whisky is Amrut by now but still... It definitely noses and tastes like a Northeastern American or Canadian single malt. Piney, woody, minty and incredibly fresh and vibrant. A little raw, sharp and edgy but a great winter whisky for my two cents... It will satisfy young bourbon and craft distilling fans for sure but I also personally liked the roasted nuts and bee wax notes. Almost like a signature... It feels like these notes come from the distillate, not from the maturation. I wonder if I will get them from the other expressions as well. Many thanks to Madhu Kanna and Ajay Bhoja for the official sample.

Price: $90