Things to Do in South Goa: Whisky Tour and Tasting at Paul John Distillery

Things to Do in South Goa: Whisky Tour and Tasting at Paul John Distillery

Published by Noor Anand Chawla on Mar 21 2019.

I was introduced to the Indian single malts by Paul John Whisky, at a  whisky paired dinner at Smoke House Deli, Connaught Place recently.  Hence, I wanted to visit their distillery on my recent trip to South  Goa. Read on to know why a Whisky Tasting and Tour should be on your  next Goa itinerary.


The  proprietor of John Distilleries, Mr. Paul John, felt the Indian market  was ripe to produce its own single malt. Under the able guidance of  Master Distiller Michael D’souza, the whiskies began retailing in 2012  in the United Kingdom, and on the Indian market in 2016.

This  range of single malt whiskies offers something truly unique- a  distinctly Indian flavor. By using indigenous barley, water and yeast,  they serve an Indian palate. They offer variants to appeal to numerous  tastes, and preferences in strength. The whiskies are at par with their  international competitors in taste, packaging and price.


To  cash in on the success of the whiskies, John Distilleries is now  opening its doors to tourists and connoisseurs alike. From the end of  January 2019, the distillery offers whisky tastings and tours, by  knowledgeable guides.

Paul John Distillery Visitor Centre Goa by Noor

I was invited for a sneak peek before the  official launch of the whisky tours. Pankaj Poovanna, the Manager of the  Visitor Center at the distillery, gave us an in-depth tour. His polite  and charming manner, coupled with his thorough knowledge of the entire  procedure, ensured a memorable experience.

The distillery has a  distinctly Goan setting, decorated with colourful paintings by local  artist Bianca. A café, a merchandise store and other attractions opening  soon, are going to make the distillery a fun family/ large group  destination.


After  greeting us warmly, Pankaj led us to the sleek Presentation Room. We  watched a short film on the origins and philosophy of Paul John Whisky.  Pankaj readily shared his insightful knowledge of whisky and how it’s  made.

We then made our way to the distillery, which employs the  same kind of machinery as Scottish distilleries. We learned the  six-pronged procedure to make whisky- milling, mashing, fermenting,  distilling, maturing and tasting. We also learned fun facts, about the  use of oak barrels originally used to distill whisky in America; and the  story of the angels’ share, which is the amount of alcohol lost to  evaporation.

Paul John Visitor Centre Goa by Noor

Our tour culminated in the well-designed Tasting  Room. Five whiskies are included in the Tasting, three Flagships  available across India, and two Select Casks sold only in Goa. The  Flagships include the smooth Brilliance, the peaty Edited and the smoky  Bold. The Select Casks are premium whiskies, priced on the higher side.  As a special perk, we also tried the Christmas edition whisky, which had  a distinct sweetness to its strong flavor. The distillery follows the  Jim Murray (of Whisky Bible fame) method of tasting.


The  distillery is a wonderful attraction for whisky lovers, as it provides a  distinctly Scottish experience in India. It’s the only distillery in  India that offers a tour and tasting of this kind. It also makes a nice excursion if you’re staying in South Goa. Once all the amenities are in  place, it’ll cater to families as well. Most of all, I recommend a visit  to the distillery to support our homegrown industries, while enjoying  ourselves in the process!

Paul John Visitor Centre Goa by Noor


Address: Paul John Visitor Centre, John Distilleries,
Plot #M21A, Cuncolim Industrial Estate, Salcete, Goa – 403703. (Location available on Google Maps)

Cost: Tours at INR 350 per person.
Tours and Tastings of flagship whiskies INR 650.
Tour and Tasting of all five whiskies for INR 1000.

Days: Monday- Saturday (Sundays and Public Holidays closed)
Timings: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Contact Number of Visitor Center: +91-74477 88979
Website: | Email:

About The Author:

Noor Anand Chawla is a lawyer who pursued her passion for writing after the birth of her baby boy. Having studied at esteemed institutions like St. Stephen's College, Delhi, the Faculty of Law, Delhi University and King's College London; she practiced law at the Delhi High Court. She currently writes a Delhi-based lifestyle blog on her website, where she covers topics related to food & drink, health & fitness, beauty & fashion, art & culture, parenting as well as travel. On Instagram, she has made a name for herself as theladylawyer.

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