Well-known for years in India, Paul John released their range of award-winning single malts in 2012 and began to take the world by storm. Their whisky is known found all over the globe and is showing what Indian whisky can be, with a range of unpeated and peated single malts.
John Distilleries was founded by Paul John in 1992, when they began producing a number of spirits, including Indian molasses ‘whisky’. One of their most well-known products, Original Choice, continues to be extremely popular to this day, selling 10 million cases annually.
John would go on to set up a traditional pot-still distillery in Goa with the intention of producing a top quality Indian single malt whisky. The first of these whiskies were released in 2012, under the name Paul John Single Malt. The range has continued to grow, and so has their trophy cabinet, with their expressions receiving awards from the World Whisky Masters and Wizards of Whisky, as well as high praise from Jim Murray.
Their splendid selection includes both unpeated and peated single malts, most of which are matured in ex-bourbon casks, though there have been a smattering of Sherry cask releases over the years. The angels are rather greedy when it comes to Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky, because India is far hotter than Scotland, meaning there’s more evaporation from the casks, but it also shows well at a younger age.
Made using Indian 6-row barley from the Himalayan foothills, Brilliance is matured in bourbon barrels for 3-5 years before bottling. (As with Amrut, the tropical climate cause greater evaporation, around 12-13% a year, but in turn they show very well at younger ages.)
Nose: Good core of juicy barley. Ryvita with salted butter. Cinnamon-dusted-red berries, with a little green apple skin following it up.
Palate: Chomp Bars - lots of chewy caramel and chocolate here. Picks up from lively spice along the way, with a little bit of waxy orange peel on the mid palate.
Finish: Orange lingers. Surprisingly long, with the rye notes from the nose coming back in full force.