An Interview with Mr Paul John ( John Distilleries)

Interviewed by SORRENKREBS, OCDWhisky on 3 April 2017.

Mr. Paul John, the name behind the incredible Paul john Indian whiskey has very kindly agreed to take part in the latest feature and follows on from his master distiller Michael D Souza.
Paul John whiskey is currently galloping through the whiskey world with its very bold expressions and complex flavors that can be found in all the range… Distilled and matured in Goa, India, Mr. Paul John picked the area for the perfect climate to produce whiskey the way he wanted… Anyone who has tried the whiskey will agree that it is one whiskey that you walk away saying ” wow that was good” and with so many new people experiencing the whiskey at festivals and tastings it only seemed fitting to have the man behind the product involved…

An Interview with Mr Paul John (1)

How long have you been involved within the whiskey industry?
I’ve been with the whiskey industry for 24 years.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Crossing the ten million case per year mark in volumes with my brand, Original Choice whiskey was a great highlight of my career in the alcohol industry. I must add that another highlight for me was the creation of the world renowned Kumarakom Lake Resort, my stepping stone to my career in hospitality.

What does whiskey mean to you?
Whiskey is the water of life to me!

What’s your favorite time and place to enjoy a dram?
I enjoy a good dram by the backwaters of Kerala, especially with a view of the setting sun.

Why was the distillery set up in Goa?
Goa is one of my favorite destinations especially because of the charm of the place and the people. I enjoy the Goan beaches and of course the local cuisine. Besides, the quality of the water in Goa made it the perfect location for a single malt plant.

What in your opinion makes Paul John whiskey stand out?
I would say it’s definitely the quality of the product. We have left no stone unturned to ensure that the highest standards are maintained to achieve that. Coupled with that are the six-row barley that we use and the nonchill filtered process that we have adapted for our single malts.

An Interview with Mr Paul John (3)

Looking back at your career so far, is there one outstanding highlight or a singular memory of your whisky career that will always be special to you?
For sure that would be the launch of my single malts.

With the emergence of more and more world whiskies, where would you like to see Paul John whisky heading in the next few years?
I aspire for my single malts to be one of the best malts in the world. With the recent success of your Oloroso cask whisky do you see this becoming a bigger part of your portfolio of whiskies.
Yes definitely, and many more such to come.

You have a few other types of wood being used for finishes e.g. Wine, rum and brandy, do you have a favourite type.
As of now, the sherry casks are still my favourite.

An Interview with Mr Paul John (10)

With all the NAS and various cask finishes available, what do you predict to be the next big innovation in whisky?
Yes definitely NAS is the future of whisky because high quality whiskies have been produced without an age statement. Whiskies of different ages can be vatted together to create something extraordinarily unique. With regard to the cask finishes the sherry casks are picking up and will be a big player in the future. Peated whiskies matured in sherry casks seem to be a new trend that’s catching up as well.

What is it that you enjoy the most about the industry?
The pleasure of traveling and getting people to taste and enjoy the exceptional creations that we’ve crafted is perhaps what I enjoy the most.

What has surprised you most about your involvement within the industry?
That there’s still so much more scope for beautiful whiskies in the world.

How has the industry changed since you have been involved?
The industry has really changed now and today we see a need for high quality products where price is not a major factor. And this is the case especially in India. However even internationally people are prepared to pay for quality products.

Have you got a favourite whisky?
Within my portfolio it would be the non pleated variants especially Brilliance and our upcoming special release Kanya.
Another favourite would be the Pappy Van 23.

An Interview with Mr Paul John (4)

An Interview with Mr Paul John (2)


I have to say a very big thank you to all the team at Paul John for the help and support in getting this interview with Mr Paul John and my other interview with master distiller Michael D Souza into a reality.. Over the past several months I have had the extreme pleasure of working alongside some of the people involved with Paul John whisky and I have to say the product is a true testament to the hard work Mr Paul John and his team put in.. Over the past few days and months the company has picked up a number of awards for the products and Mr Paul John was recently voted World Whisky Ambassador of the year 2017, so congratulations to you and your whole team.. Long may your success continue.

An Interview with Mr Paul John (8)

An Interview with Mr Paul John (9)

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