Paul John was one of the distilleries that I said would be a travel destination for my around the world in 80 distilleries series of posts, it had a short few lines in a paragraph talking about the core range of expressions.
I’ve now had the pleasure to try most of the core expressions and a fair few limited releases, along with being able to talk to some of the people that are involved with the distillery. I thought it would be nice to revisit them with a bit more of a in depth look at the distillery and their single malt.
To most people Paul John will be a brand of single malt they have not heard about, that will change over the coming months and years with them winning some well deserved praise from critics and consumers alike. Available in 23 countries across the globe right now, they are a shining example of what quality and commitment can achive.
Founded in 2008 by John Distilleries ltd and it’s passionate chairman Mr Paul P.John, someone who is not a stranger to the world of whisky. With his Original Choice whisky blend from the JDL group selling in excess of 10 million cases per year. So when the decision was made to move into the single malt market, it was done so with one intention to produce “the great Indian single malt “. With Goa the location for the distillery, a landscape that is vibrant and inspiring as it is seeped in tradition.
Paul and master distiller Michael D’Souza used there knowledge and expertise to build a distillery, that is a perfect mix of time tested processes and modern technology. Using experts from the UK to install a set of traditional copper pot stills with a production capacity of 3000 litres per day. Using six run barley grown in the foot hills of the Himalayas, harvested during the summer months. The new make is double distilled before taking a distinctive small cut from the spirit, with the average abv of the new make being around the 63.5%.
The maturation process is a lot quicker in India due to the high temperatures, this also means the angels share is a lot higher. The average loss of spirit to evaporation in the UK is around 1.5 to 2% per year, in India it is around 8 to 12% per year. To combat this Paul John store there maturing casks in a temperature controlled underground cellar. With Paul john using predominantly American white oak casks.
Generally the casks are left to mature for a minimum five years, this is for the core range expressions. With the select casks range being matured for seven years, they also have released some limited single cask expressions. The single casks vary from between 4 to 7 years in maturation, this also has a big impact on the number of bottles released with it being anything from 160 to 210 bottles per cask. Making the single cask expressions exclusive, this is enhanced even more with the fact that they are only available in 7 countries around the globe. With all the malt being bottled non chill filtered and no colour added, the ABV being 46% for the core expressions and varying between 55.2% upto 59.7% for the select and single cask expressions.
I’ve now had the opportunity to try all three of the core expressions and the classic select cask as well, all have earned a permanent place on my shelf but the jewel in the crown has got to be the single casks. I now own four and will be purchasing some more over the coming months, with the certainty that as and when they release some more I’ll be wanting to get them as well.
That might sound a bit over the top but for me they manage to deliver the traditional aspects I want from a established scotch single malt, with enough of a distinct profile to make it stand out. I’m not the only one to think they are worth looking at, over the few short years they have been in production the awards have rolled in.
With some very impressive awards as well, from silver at the IWSC in 2014 & 2016. The Jim murry liquid gold award 2015 &2016, world whisky award for best Asian malt 12 years and under plus gold and silver in 2014 from the spirit business awards just to show the quality they are producing. So if you get the opportunity to try a sample I would highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed with what you taste.
So with that in mind I would like to say thank you to Shilton Almeida and Asa Abraham for the time and information they have supplied me, both are true assets and credit to the Paul John brand.