I’ve heard nice things about the Christmas Edition 2022 from Paul John, and the ones from previous years in fact. It is the fifth time they’re launching a limited edition for Christmas, if I’m not mistaken. It is a combination of standard ex-bourbon casks that were finished in either Paul John XO French oak brandy casks or ex-Oloroso casks that held peated Paul John whisky. An eclectic recipe.
This Indian single malt was launched as a single malt in 2012, in the slipstream of Amrut. The distillery is located in Goa on India’s west coast, where the tropical climate makes whisky mature faster with a high angel’s share. The whisky is distilled from six-row barley and matured onsite.
The list of Paul John reviews on this website is not very long. I think the best expression I had so far was the 6 year-old from That Boutique-y Whisky Co.
Paul John Christmas Edition (46%, OB 2022, brandy + Oloroso finish)
Nose: rounded and sweet, with vanilla ice cream and fruit syrup coming out. Apricots and yellow apples, as well as hints of marzipan and cinnamon pastry. There’s a bit of newish oak too. Spicy notes (nutmeg, pepper) take us back to Christmas indeed.
Mouth: less refined than we hoped. It’s fairly oily and there’s a nice underlying fruitiness (pear, peach), but the spice is taking the upper hand. Nutmeg, pepper and clove. Some tangy wood as well, adding chestnuts and a harsh, lightly bitter edge.
Finish: medium long and bittersweet. Still quite woody, with pepper, nutty hints and orange peels.
This started in a nice way, but can’t keep up on the palate. Obviously spicy notes are part of the Christmasy feeling, but the harsh woody side is too overpowering. I got a sample from Whiskysite.nl