A tête-à-tête with our Master Distiller: Bold conversations


The festive period has been a whirlwind of activity for the Paul John Team. The launch of our latest expression “Bold” across the European markets has been a rewarding and humbling experience. We are truly overwhelmed by the appreciation received from the world of whisky connoisseurs and single malt lovers. In the midst of all the hustle-bustle, we decided to sneak back to Goa for a quick tête-à-tête with our Master Distiller, Michael D’Souza, to understand what makes our latest expression Bold, so special.

Paul John has four incredible expressions already. What inspired you to create the new one?

Our flagship Single Malts have been Brilliance and Edited. Brilliance is 100% unpeated, and Edited has a hint of peat in it. With Bold being a 100% peated expression we covered the whole spectrum of palates. Its intense peatiness is what distinguishes it from every other whisky. We now have different expressions for different tastes – it kind of feels like we’ve completed a series.

Every Single Malt of ours has managed to capture some aspect of Goan life or culture. What does Bold signify? 

Bold is a true blue Indian Single Malt. And India, as we all know, is a massively multicultural nation with many colors, different cuisines, languages, etc. Goa is a slice of that diversity. And it is this vibrancy that we’ve tried to capture and bottle.

Did you face any challenges in the creation of this particular Single Malt whisky?

Whenever you speak of peated whiskies, your mind automatically travels to Islay. Islay whiskies have higher phenol content, making those whiskies very sharp and one-dimensional. That is Islay style. But I tried to give Bold a different character, infusing it with lots of other flavours too. Bold has got both distillate as well as barrel character, making it richer than most Islay whiskies.

What would be the perfect pairing for Bold?

I’d prefer to enjoy Bold on its own merit. But chocolate could be a good idea, especially when consumed as an apéritif, after dinner.

You’ve taken Bold around the world for tasting. What is the most common remark from other connoisseurs?

The most spontaneous and common reaction so far has been, “Wow!” People are astonished that India makes such quality, peated whiskies.

What is your favourite aspect about Bold?

I love Bold for its vibrancy, its colour, flavours and richness. No other Single Malt has these.

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