Gifting a single malt is akin to gifting an experience. It is joy in a bottle, something to be shared with loved ones. And what better time to spread the joy than Christmas? However, there is an art behind both the making and the choosing of the perfect single malt.
A beginner should probably start with Unpeated malts (barley grains dried naturally). Heavily Peated malts have strong and smoky flavours as the barley is peat-smoked while drying. Paul John NIRVANA is a fine example of an Unpeated single malt. Nirvana arouses the senses with a soft whiff of bourbon, fruitcake and an enticing caramel pudding. The honeycomb sweetness gently touches the palate with a mild salt-tinged barley while the succulent vanilla heralds the honeyed and long finish of this rich copper whisky, assuring sublime experiences beyond the worldly realm.
Picture Credits: Whisky & Donuts, USA
Another choice of an Unpeated single malt whisky is Paul John’s flagship expression BRILLIANCE. BRILLIANCE has a smooth and beautifully relaxed finish, with a hint of mild spices and deep intense vanilla. BRILLIANCE is matured in bourbon casks, to give you absolute sensory delight.
If you prefer whisky which has a bit of peat to it to, then grab a bottle of our flagship expression – EDITED. The hint of peat has been skilfully created from discreetly chosen cask profiles. All to delight the true whisky connoisseur. On the palate are delicate grassy flavours of barley that gently makes way for subtle peat notes, which in turn slowly dissolve, paving the way for a rush of mint and mocha.
The finish is long and drawn out. You can sense a hint of spice and chocolate mint as it ends on gentle peat notes.
If Peated whisky is something your heart longs for, then BOLD will hit the right spot. BOLD is a journey that leads you down the unexplored, unchartered terrains of Goa. After the slightest whiff of smoke, a dizzying array of Manuka honey, prickly spice and bourboneque red liquorice takes over. This melt-in-the-mouth malt has the most profound flavours crashing in like waves. At first, the delivery feels sublimely silky and studded with oak-like honey. And just when you think you’ve savoured it all, you are surprised by a hefty second wave of spice. This is followed by a cloudy, smoky feel that coats the roof of the mouth and leaves a tidal wave of dry molasses, peaty soot and a degree of copper in its wake.
If you’re looking for a higher ABV then try Paul John’s Select Cask CLASSIC. With every sip of this CLASSIC expression, flavours of malted barley greet you. A heady mix of bourbon and manuka honey-liquorice makes for an attractive spine. And while you relish this experience, the unexpected flavour of toasted honeycomb takes you by surprise. This Single Malt has an absolutely elegant finish, with juicy Demerara tones ensuring a soft, friendly finish.
But keep in mind the Select Cask Classic is an Unpeated single malt. So if you prefer the smokey flavour to entice your taste buds, then the Select Cask Peated is sure to blow your mind. This Single Malt astonishes even a seasoned whisky aficionado. Unexpected flavours balance each other, offering the perfect tipple. It is a wholesome Goan experience, packed into every sip. As the crisp Muscovado and Demerara sugars create layered nuances, the smokiness of the Single Malt sets in, creating a perfect balance. A hint of spice radiates from the hickory and Dominican-style coco
Picture Credits: Shilton Almeida, UK
Sherry cask finished whiskies are another great choice, such as the Paul John’s PX and OLOROSO expressions. Paul John’s PX is an exotic Indian single malt, in rich shades of dark copper, with complex aromas of fig and apricot and a rare hint of banana. On the palate are tremendous flavours of sweet barley with creamy butterscotch, dry fruits and a profuse Christmas cake. The finish is long and exquisite, with delectable chocolate fudge, delicate orange peel and hints of exotic wine drenched nuts. Much of the intrinsic characteristics of the Paul John PX owes allegiance to the famed intensely sweet and dark Spanish dessert sherry, having been gloriously finished in handpicked Pedro Ximenez casks.
Whereas Paul John’s OLOROSO is a sensational explosion of incredible flavours. With dark mahogany hues, this exquisite expression presents an aromatic tapestry of sherry influenced fragrances of peach and apricot with a light note of molasses and blood orange. Sublimely finished in Oloroso casks, its soft flavours are filled with a nutty chocolate and Melton Hunt cake. The long finish is intense and sweet with delicious heavy spices imbibed from the Oloroso casks and melded with a dash of coffee mocha and sumptuous dark chocolate.
Well if this doesn’t hit the spot, we’re sure Paul John’s annual Christmas Editions will rock your world. The Christmas Edition 2020 is the newest addition to the popular Christmas Series – Christmas Edition 2020, an exotic 3rd limited Christmas release, is a blend of Unpeated and Peated single malts and finished in Oloroso casks, the expression is one of the most preferred whiskies of the year. Christmas Edition 2020 greets you with delicate aromas of orange peel and honeycomb enhanced with sweet oak. The rich, long lightly Peated flavours of creamy dark chocolate feel like you are sipping on a dram of Christmas itself.
Picture Credits: Whisky Monster, India
If you’re lucky enough to find a bottle of Paul John’s Christmas Edition 2019 then grab it before it runs out! The Christmas Edition 2019 proffers exquisite aromas of orange blossom honey, pralines while luscious baked apples enhance delightful flavours of sweet honey, fine raisins and dry plum. The light mocha and a lighter smoke on the palate leads to a long Pedro Ximénez finish of spicy French toast and delicious smoked nuts. This festive season, allow the delightful nuances of this exclusive small batch of rare single malts create memorable experiences. This single malt is an exclusive small batch of our older single malts finished in Pedro Ximénez casks.
Picture Credits: Yash Bhamre, India
Start with a whisky of a lower ABV and as you venture deeper into the world of whisky and as your palate matures, work your way up to stronger whiskies. The more you hone your whisky-tasting skills the better you’ll get. Take note of what you like (and what you don’t) and then try to dig deeper and explore what it is, exactly, that you are tasting. Is that a hint of oranges? Chocolate? Cinnamon? Can you detect oak? Smokiness? Peat? Make notes and taste as many whiskies as you can to develop your skills and discover whiskies like never before!