John Distilleries founded in 1992 by Paul P. John, might not be a name you would recognize as one of the biggest producers of whisky in the world. It’s Original Choice brand is a blend of single malt and whisky made from molasses and is the 8th biggest global selling whiksy (126 million bottles sold in 2014), so they do have some idea of what it takes to be successful. When they set up a single malt distillery in 2007 with the aim to produce a quality malt,this could not be ignored and the birth of Paul John single malt whisky happened in the autumn of 2012.
The first malt was matured in bourbon casks and was unpeated, a few months later some lightly peated malt was released to the world. In May of 2013 the first two widely available core expressions were released,the unpeated Brilliance and the lightly peated Edited. Both are made from Indian malted barley with peat being shipped in from Scotland to make the peated malt for the Edited expression. Further expressions have been released since with cask strength versions of both previous expressions and a more heavily peated expression called Bold.
So when I was offered the chance to sample some of the expressions from Paul John I couldn’t turn the opportunity down.
The first one I sampled was the Edited lightly peated single malt.
Nose: This starts sweet with honey, muscovado sugar and a soft sweet spice, then comes some fruit pears, banana, oranges, a hint of creamy hot chocolate, some earthy mint with a bit more spice in the form of nutmeg and cinnamon, after a bit of time in the glass you get a very soft peat note, this is a nose that seems to keep on changing everytime you lift the glass to your nose.
Palate: The nose is matched in the palate with a beautiful warm spice, a hint of demerara sugar, the fruit is present with apples, passion fruit and a touch of mango, there is a undertone of soft mint leaves with a bit of oak as well, the peat is more present than with the nose but still subtle.
Finish: This is very enjoyable with oak and that warm sweet spice not wanting to leave you at all.
What to say about this malt, I not quite sure where to start to be honest. I do feel this is one of the best single malts I’ve tried this year, it’s so complex and enjoyable to drink. It puts a lot of much more expensive malts to shame for its quality and value for money. If you had told me a few years ago that one of the best malts I’d taste would be from India, I would have laughed at you. Now I’m finding that I would be the one telling you, this is malt you must try if you haven’t already. My shopping list of must have bottles for the collection has just gained a new entry.
I must give a big thanks to Sorren at OCDWHISKY for the sample and chance to try this malt.