Published by Whisky of the Week on 12-Jun-2021.
Something sweet to start December on; the Paul John Pedro Ximénez Select Cask single malt whisky. Sherry reminds me of December and my Dutch grandmother. During the festive season, she enjoyed a late afternoon sherry on the patio. They were usually quite sweet, and in my mind, the smell of sherry became associated with Gauteng summer evenings, purple Hydrangeas, bright red Poinsettias and long chats.
When Hector from WhiskyShop gifted me a sample of the Paul John PX Select Cask, I realised it was the perfect dram to open at the beginning of December and the start of the Festive season. All the sherry to bring back special memories.
Paul John has released two sherry cask single malt whiskies as part of its Select Cask series. These drams were finished in Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez (PX) casks, respectively. Oloroso and PX are just two of the various sherry varietals.
Fino is the driest, PX is the sweetest, and Oloroso falls about in the middle. Oloroso typically has caramel, walnut, and deep fruit notes. I will capture my tasting notes on the Oloroso early next year. Pedro Ximénez is sweeter, and you’ll get flavours like toffee, fig, raisin, and molasses.
Paul John makes use of six-row barley for their whisky. The six-row barley has a higher fibre and protein content when compared to the more traditional two-row barley. More proteins in the barley translate to more fatty acids in the liquid that adds to the whisky’s character.
This Paul John Pedro Ximénez Select Cask whisky was first aged for about 5 years in 1st fill ex-Bourbon barrels before spending 2 years in the PX casks. It is a NAS release. The Paul John Pedro Ximénez Cask is not chill-filtered.
COUNTRY: World Whisky, India
COLOUR: Dark Copper
NOSE: Sherry sweetness, raisins, dried stone fruit with bits of wood and Christmas Cake. Hints of muscadel wine and ripe plums. Sweet, rich and complex. Delicious!
PALATE: Drying oak with nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. The sweetness comes through on the second sip with raisins, dried cherries and bits of dark chocolate. Freshly buttered toast with orange marmalade and black pepper. Toasted nuts and warm bread pudding. A maltiness in the background. Water softens the spices but takes away the complexity. The Paul John Pedro Ximénez Select Cask does not need water.
FINISH: Long and lasting with cinnamon and orange peel sweetness.
This is a sipping whisky. An after-dinner dram to savour and sip slowly. Especially in winter, this Indian whisky will warm you up from the inside. It is not a whisky for beginners. It is complex and heavy, and you need to take your time with this. Even at a 48% ABV, you don’t need to add water. Rich and delicious, I can’t wait for winter to relax with this dram. A beautiful release.
Other expressions of Paul John whisky include Paul John Nirvana, Paul John Brilliance, Paul John Edited, and Select Cask Classic and Select Cask Peated. The Paul John Pedro Ximénez Select Cask Whisky retails for R 1700. I spotted some at the WhiskyShop. During my visit to the WhiskyShop, I also spotted the Paul John Christmas Edition. I have tasted this beauty, and it is also a dram worth adding to your Festive wish list.
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