Last night (24-5-16) I had the extreme pleasure to sit down with Shilton Almeida, to talk about and taste Paul John whisky. Paul John whisky is a fast growing name in the whisky world, they are producing some great whisky and are fast becoming a distillery that people are talking about. The man behind this Indian whisky is Mr Paul P John, the chairman of JDL (John Distilleries Ltd) the company was established in 1992. Paul John whisky originates from Goa, where the natural warm temperatures and humidity are helping this Indian distillery to mature the product slightly faster than the Scottish counterparts. So far all the products have been matured in American oak but maybe sometime in the future we might see something different. Although the faster maturation does help with the financial side, those Indian angels are a little more greedy with between 8-10% evaporation per year.
So back to the evening, I know Shilton through Twitter and was quite suprised when he mentioned he would be in the nearby city of York and would I be interested in meeting for a drink and chat, did he really think I’d say no! Of course not, time and place was arranged and off I went. Now I really did not expect him to pull out the full range and give me a personal tasting and explication of each whisky, but that is exactly what he did, he sat back and listened to me waffle on for hours all the time he was extremely passionate about the product. I don’t intend to give full tasting notes here but I will give a little insight into what we had and my thoughts, the line up was Edited, Brilliance, Bold, Classic, and Peated.. Although not in that order, the biggest thing that struck me was the amazing array of spice notes, all of the whiskies packed a punch with big spices and luscious fruity notes.
The peated expressions were not massively peated on the nose but the “peated” expression really did let you know about the peat on the palate, when tried with water the peated expression really showed a different side, the nose and palate showed incredible changes, it was like an ocean, every sip and nosing changed with wave upon wave of aromas and flavours hitting you from every side.. We also tasted the new “Classic Select Cask” this is a vatting of only 4 casks at a time and this was batch no1, each cask has been hand selected for a profile and boy was this good, it is bottled at 55.2% ABV, and like all the others is NCF and natural colour, now when I say this is a massive spicy beast I really do mean it is full of big spicy notes, upon first taste it was like a massive explosion of flavour, big spices and sweet delicious fruity notes.
The spices were fierce but even so the fruity notes do show through and this made the palate incredible. Shilton then suggested to try with water and as I’m not one for really adding water (personal choice only) I was sceptical about the results, BUT .. Boy did it change, the spices were slightly subdued and some lovely fruity notes came through, lots of tropical fruits, a sweetness made in heaven, lots of honey and natural sugars with big lovely chocolate and coffee notes, you really have to look out for this one.. Eventually I had to call it a night, but I have to say this evening will be remembered for quite some time.. Although I have tried to do last night justice I’m sure I have not really got across just how good an evening this was..
Once again I have to say show my appreciation to Shilton, he was extremely generous with his time and the whisky.. A true gentleman and a credit to the company.. THANK YOU.