Whisky Review: Paul John Edited

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a free sample to review by the party behind it. The Whiskey Wash, while appreciative of this, did keep full independent editorial control over this article.

When it comes to whiskey, major spirit categories are often separated into American (including bourbon), Canadian, Irish, Scotch, and then simply “World” whiskies. However, more and more countries are developing their own traditions and identities within the global whiskey market, and India is no exception to this. This is where we discover Paul John Edited Indian single malt whisky.

Paul John Edited is a single malt whisky distilled in the southwestern Indian state of Goa. Previously unavailable in the American market, Paul John is launching a full line of labels in the U.S. as of July, 2016. “Edited” is the name of the specific version being reviewed here. It is bottled at 46% ABV and is derived from six-row barley. My particular bottle is from batch number 2, manufactured in April of 2016, information that is readily available on the rear label of the bottle and the accompanying carton. I found this is a very nice touch.

According to the Paul John website, Edited is where the folks at Paul John have “poured forth all [their] mastery.” Additionally, the peat smoke component is “created from discreetly chosen cask profiles” and has a surprising amount of body in the finished product. Other labels from Paul John include Brilliance, offered at a suggested retail price of $60, Bold ($75), Select Cask ($95), and Select Cask Peated ($100). Edited is available at a suggested retail price of $65 per 750 ml bottle.

Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky

A mix of Paul John single malt Indian whiskies (image via Paul John)

Tasting Notes: Paul John Edited

Vital Stats: 46% ABV (80.56 proof according to labeling), no age statement, 100% malted barley, $65 per 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Overall look is similar to a peach tea. Shades of light amber and honey with pale, pinkish hues. Thin and quick legs.

Nose: Decent heat from the alcohol mingling with peat smoke, pineapple, coriander, coffee, greenish barley notes, charred oak.

Palate: A complex palate, without being busy. Simultaneously smoky, spicy, and sweet, there are loads of spice notes to be sifted here. I am catching fennel seed and turmeric as well as salted butter, caramel, and toffee. The finish is bright, sweet, and subtly smoky, with some flavors on the tail end of the burn, which is of medium intensity and length, culminating with some dry cocoa notes.

Conclusion:

It is safe to say that there is now solid competition building in the arena of Indian single malts. Paul John not only holds its own as a regional example, it provides a genuinely enjoyable sipping experience on its own. The depth of flavor and aroma were balanced quite well. Peeling apart layers in the nose and palate was a joy, whereas this can too easily turn into a chore in other similarly dense whiskies. The expression in a glass adds more in the way of diversity to any collection than just the words on the label.

Far from being a mere novelty due to the relative rareness of Indian single malts, Paul John is just simply good whisky. I genuinely look forward to sampling more from Paul John’s collection.

FINAL SCORE: 88/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF PAUL JOHN EDITED WHISKY]

About the author

Joshua St. John

When not sampling whiskey, Joshua St. John can most likely be found running the trails of the Pacific Northwest surrounding his home in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong world-traveler, Joshua was first introduced to single malts while visiting distilleries in Scotland, and continues to explore the world through the countless interpretations of his favorite spirit.