Paul John’s Christmas Edition 2021 is upon us, an exotic peated single malt whisky produced in Goa, India, aged in ex-bourbon barrels and “finished in a mélange of Port and Madeira casks.” As always, the whisky is made from six-row barley instead of the more typical two-row, non chill-filtered and with no added colors or flavors.
Designed to be a festive option for the holidays, the whisky is exuberant and fun, the Madeira notes heavy with classic oxidized wine elements. Sharp and fruity, there’s got a much bolder body than the nose would indicate, driven by a bold honey character than mixes with its nutty elements to evoke a note of baklava. Hints of pistachio, vanilla, and orange peel all feel right at home, some grapefruit peel notes adding a touch more citrus. The finish sees exotic chai spice and Turkish rug shop notes making an appearance. All told, it’s a whisky that very much evokes the holiday in its name — and which stands as a current favorite expression from the brand.
92 proof. Reviewed: Batch #01.
A- / $85 / pauljohnwhisky.com