Paul John Nirvana (40.0%): Here is the newest addition to Paul John's portfolio... It is their new entry-level single malt whisky with an incredibly low price tag intending to carve out a permanent space for itself in the cocktail scene. Like all their other expressions in the distillery's line-up, it is distilled from six-row barley grown in the north part of the country in the Himalayas. Nirvana uses unpeated malt only, is matured in ex-bourbon barrels, and bottled at 40%. Many thanks to Sazerac Company and Koray Kaan Özdemir a.k.a. Whisky Monster for providing us this sample bottle for the review.
Color: Yellow gold, oaked Chardonnay with fast but thick and oily legs. Pretty impressive texture for a 40% whisky to be fair.
Nose: Honey syrup, beeswax and cranberry orange muffin. Peach juice, sweetened cocoa powder and glossy magazines. Thin but inviting... If you find the young alcohol aromas off-putting the second you nose your glass just give it a minute. That all clears very quickly.
Palate: Watered down honey syrup, oatmeal raisin cookies and salted caramel drops. Apricot pits, fresh cardamom pots and nutmeg. Bitter almonds and powdered ginger.
Finish: Short with some bitterness on both sides of the tongue. Grape seeds, white pepper and tree bark.
Overall: Let me talk about the chill-filtration issue first just to get it off my chest. To be able to bottle this whisky at 40% they had to chill-filter their whisky so it doesn't get cloudy in the bottle at room temperature and so they did and it shows on the palate quite a bit... Actually if I am not mistaken it's the first chill-filtered whisky they have ever bottled. Anyway, the very characteristic sesame/sunflower seeds notes I always get on the palate in all Paul John whiskies are very much lost to begin with and also the beeswax aromas which got me very excited I had on the nose for this particular expression didn't necessarily carry onto the palate and it sure was a downer. But again this whisky is not made to satisfy your after-hours whisky sipping time. It is purposefully designed to be used in large quantities in cocktails, highballs and whatnot without breaking the bank...
Looking from that point of view it is extremely quaffable, very even keel and costs 30 bucks for goodness' sake. For what it is worth it is an unbelievably successful product for what it is made for.