Paul John XO...

Paul John XO (46.0%): Now here is a mind bending bottle... A brandy from Paul John distilled 100% from Indian grapes..! Forget knowing any other brandies distilled in India I bet a lot of people weren't even aware that India was growing wine grapes. Although the history of the vineyards in India goes all the way back to colonial times they almost went extinct throughout the 20th century due to religious laws and strong public opinion against alcohol consumption. But since the beginning of the 21st century viticulture started to flourish again in the country and quickly became one of the fast growing industries of modern India. Classical old world grapes were introduced, native varieties got repurposed and geographical wine regions got established, Goa being one of them. I am not sure actually if any portion of the grapes used for distilling this particular spirit were sourced from Goa or not but we do know that 100% of them were Indian. In a matter of fact Ugni Blanc, Bangalore purple (a.k.a Isabella) and Bangalore blue were the three varieties used and the spirit was aged in medium toasted French Limousine oak barrels between eight and ten years.

Color: Medium amber, old copper penny color with a thin ring of tiny teardrops around the glass simply refusing to form legs.

Nose: Golden raisins, cookie dough and quince paste. Candied figs and candied citrus peels, orange liquor and dried strawberries. It evolves nicely in time: Small wooden jewelry boxes, old woolen sweaters and pine honey. And starts to get a little tart towards the very end: Passion fruit and unripe apricots.

Palate: Sage tea, fresh rosemary leaves and unsweetened almond butter right away. Lemon curd and yoghurt... Very subtle toasted oak, strawberry tarts and pastry cream. Brandy soaked raisins and dried currants. A little thin in texture but changes so beautifully after allowing it to air for a few minutes. More citrusy and sweeter now: Orange marmalade, clementine and tamarind soda. Incredibly easy to drink... I am already on my third poor! Oh, boy...

Finish: Medium with white pepper, orange peel and sweet herbs: Marjoram and purple basil.

Overall: It is kinda unreal that I poured myself three glasses while I was tasting it... It is dangerously quaffable. Like I mentioned before it's thin on the palate but adds layer after layer of flavors if allowed enough time to open up. By the way this brandy is not in US yet but I have been told that it will be on the shelves in Spring 2021... And last but not least would you please take a little time to check the incredible design of the bottle, label and the box..? It's absolutely gorgeous... Thanks to Koray Kaan Ă–zdemir a.k.a. Whisky Monster for making this review possible by sending me this bottle. Cheers my friends..!

Price: $160