Paul John Mithuna...

Paul John Mithuna (58.0%): It is kinda wild how high people's expectations about this whisky are... Mostly because of the success of its predecessor Kanya which was actually the launch of Paul John's Zodiac Series a couple years back and also probably because of the title given by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named last Fall. Mithuna is the second release in Zodiac Series and while Kanya was the equivalent sign to Virgo in Indian astrology Mithuna is the equivalent to Gemini. The whisky in the bottle is distilled using unpeated six-row Indian barley, aged initially in new charred American oak barrels and then transferred to first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels for a secondary maturation. Well, let's pour some and see what all the fuss is about...

Color: Medium to dark amber, light maple syrup color with an orange tint and a complete ring of tiny teardrops around the glass very hesitantly turning into incredibly slow moving, thin but oily legs.

Nose: Very elegant, perfumy and vibrant: Dried apricots, sliced Alphonso mangoes and orange blossom honey. Beeswax soap bars, Cointreau and nectarine jam. This might be the best nose I ever had from a Paul John whisky... There is a lot going on here: Balsa wood and model glue, tahini honey spread and chocolate covered orange peels. A few drops of water open it up nicely and don't dilute it by any means. Mango and peach juice and overripe mission figs. Chocolate pipe tobacco, milk chocolate and rose water.

Palate: Wowza... I forgot how high abv makes Paul John shine so bright and colorfully. Dried blood orange slices, whole cloves and roasted sesame seeds. Peppermint oil, allspice and roasted cacao nibs. Honey glaze, pecan brittles and charred oak. It handles water amazingly well: Orange bitters, fruit tarts and pastry cream. Sweet paprika, cinnamon and pumpkin spice mix. Dark Muscovado sugar, brown butter and chewing tobacco.

Finish: Long but you still want it last longer... It goes forever with a gentle fade and pins and needles on the tongue. Eucalyptus drops, butterscotch candies and cinnamon. Ground cardamom and ground cloves.

Overall: I was twenty minutes in nosing the whisky when I realized that I didn't write down a single word yet... I was enjoying the moment so much I really couldn't shake it off to scribble a few words. All kind of stone fruits, wood, sesame and cacao notes on the nose, the intense spicy, citrusy and minty palate with honey and butter notes and all those followed by a long and satisfying finish: I am pretty sure that this is the best Paul John I have tasted on this blog... Absolutely stellar dram. Thanks to Koray Kaan Ă–zdemir a.k.a. Whisky Monster for generously offering me the sample and for making this review possible.

Price: $300