The First time I tasted Paul John was in Bengaluru, in November 2013. My first impression of the whisky was gathered from the bottle, which was tall, stately & quite attractive.
I enjoyed the First Dram & found the Whisky quite expressive. Over several Drams & days, I appreciated the Whisky more & more and felt myself enjoying the Indian Single Malt. Many months later, I held my first serious dialogue with the Whisky, when I was showcased the Paul John collection over a Private Appreciation, by The Chairman & Michael the Distillery Manager. The Tasting was hosted on an Indian festival, so was followed by a traditional 36 course Lunch. It was truly a Spirited afternoon.
Established in 1992, John Distilleries Pvt. Ltd is one of India’s largest organized alcobev company that has grown under the commanding guidance of Mr. Paul P. John, a first generation entrepreneur.
Over the last two decades, the company has established itself as one of India’s leading spirits companies with a strong portfolio of brands, leadership in key South Indian states, a market presence in eight states/UT across the country, all with a team of nearly 2000 employees. The company’s diverse portfolio includes Whiskies (Original Choice, Black Pelican), Brandy (Mont Castle, Roulette) & Wines (Goanas, Big Banyan, Ampersand). Today the flagship brand of the company, Original Choice, is one of the top selling brands in India’s economy segment, with sales exceeding 10 million cases a year.
A path to a new future was laid when Mr. Paul launched a Premium Brand in the Whisky segment in 2012. Below is an extract explaining how the award winning Single Malt Whisky came into being, in the Chairman’s words – “My travels over the years & having lived in the USA for a while, introduced me to the fascinating world of Wines & Single Malts. I soon discovered a particular passion for Single Malts. It wasn’t much later that the question occurred to me – why not make my own single malts? The thought stayed with me and eventually I decided to pursue it.” Thus, was born the eponymous Paul John Indian Single Malt.
A precious offering from the JDPL family, created in the warm, tropical, surroundings of Goa with its beautiful beaches and peaceful environs leads to almost 8% loss of this golden liquid annually as “Angel’s Share”. Each and every process is meticulously followed by the young & talented team of distillers, brewers and chemists working under the watchful eyes of Master Distiller, Michael D’Souza. The six row barley used in the whisky is specially grown in cold weather and harvested in summer to attain just the right maturity. The whisky owes its distinctive smokiness and taste to this special barley grain. John Distillery is surrounded by mountains, rain water is caught and filtered by the rocks and later emerge as streams that then join the river and this water is free of magnesium salts which is very essential for quality whisky making. All the water used is drawn from underground water sources and nearby streams. This water is also sweet in character. Goa also contributes to the soft texture of the whisky, with its warm climate, strong winds, adequate monsoons & cheerful vibes!
The Paul John Range has a few well placed variants, though it is also launching a super premium Whisky, in the next few months. The Brand feels that it needs to raise the bar with an aged whisky, which captures the soul of the Brand.
The Paul John Range
Paul John Indian Single Malt Brilliance – A non chill filtered Indian Single Malt whisky which was rated 94.5% by Jim Murray exudes sensual delights with a finish of cocoa, spices & innumerable juicy riches.
Paul John Indian Single Malt Edited – The masterfully crafted Indian Single Malt Whisky was rated 96.5%, are what dreams are made of. It brings to the fore a hint of peat, created from a distinctly chosen cask profile intended to delight the ardent malt fan.
Paul John Indian Single Malt Select Cask Classic – A masterpiece from selected casks which was rated 95 by Jim Murray this Indian Single Malt offers the exotic complexities of the Goan shores it was crafted from. The barley shows early & with pride, carried on flavors of honeyed bourbon liquorice complimented with a touch of toasted honeycomb. This is as tropical as it gets!
Paul John Indian Single Malt Select Cask Peated – Rated 96 by Jim Murray, this alluring whisky teases your senses. The Paul John Select Cask Peated gently astonishes the seriously indulgent with its many layers of crisp sugar & spice that radiates from a Dominican-style cocoa.
Paul John Indian Single Malt Bold – This silky malt’s boisterous exuberance was rated 95.5. Every sip lives up to its lore; is flavored with oak-tinged honey. The spice that follows is hefty while the cloudy smoke leaves behind hints of peaty soot and a rare dash of copper. The smoked mocha riding on delicate intricate spices leads to the delicious finish of a weighty whisky that is complex yet delectably bold.
One needs to sit back & get lost in the mystique of these Great Indian Single Malt Whiskies!