Hailing from the humid Goa region of India, Paul John has established an impressive portfolio of more than a dozen different single malt whiskies, most available to the US market. We’ve reviewed three of the “Flagship” releases already (here and here), but the distillery also features a Select Cask range which consists of single malts matured in “selectively chosen cask profiles” bottled without chill filtration and at cask strength. Exactly what these selectively chosen casks profiles are isn’t abundantly clear, but this Classic offering is presumable unpeated and aged in ex-bourbon barrels, in the “classic” style of single malt.
The nose is a unique combination of bright orchard fruits, cereal sweetness, and a bit of salty brine. The sweetness wins out for the most part with the orchard fruits becoming spiced and stewed as things open up. The palate is silky and rich, initially dominated by notes of fresh, arboreal honey, with and without the waxy comb. A subtle clove-studded-orange note arrives on the mid-palate, complemented by ground cinnamon and a touch of herbal tea. Even at cask strength, the heat isn’t overpowering and builds gently with a final pop of spice on a generous honey-sweet finish that shows fading notes of sweet grain and drying oak. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a “classic” whisky, but it’s certainly a good one.