When Jenny invited me to the Paul John Indian Single Malt Whisky tasting party, I jumped at the opportunity. But, I did warn her that my enthusiasm is not matched with any expertise at all. Only curiosity.
Okie lah..., I did drink a lot of whisky during my time. I was once that typical Ah Beng/ Ah Seng who gulps Chivas and Johnnie Walkers at karaoke bars to numb my self inhibitions before tormenting my companions with my versions of "My Way" or Beyond anthems (Canto rock). It's no great cruelty - all of us were suitably intoxicated and we took turns as tormentors and hapless victims.
But, I long wanted to cultivate the indulgence of sitting back after a long day and stop time with a glass of fine whiskey in hand.
Now is perhaps the best time to start. Learning.
The tasting was conducted at Bar on 5 in Mandarin Orchard Singapore Hotel.
The tasting was conducted by Michael John, Master Distiller at Paul John Single Malt Whisky. Michael has been a distiller for 23 years and had distilled over 40 million litres of single malt whiskey.
Paul John The Great Indian Single Malt is the culmination of that depth of experience and accumulated accomplishments.
We were treated to a blind tasting of 6 different single malt whiskeys from several continents, including the Paul John Brilliance 46% ABV (alcohol by volume).
At the tasting were media and industry experts including Chi Hou (right), the owner-creator of Highest Spirits blog.
I learnt a lot today.
As a whiskey noob, I like this glass of golden hued fluid most for it's bright refreshing fragrance that invites me to take a sip. No, it smelled so good I actually felt compelled to take a sip. On my tongue it tasted subtly sweet and chocolaty with slight notes of spices.
When Michael revealed the whiskeys of the blind tasting, my favourite turned out to be the Paul John Brilliance ;-D
Indeed, Paul John Brilliance came out favourites at this blind tasting.
The John Paul Brilliance was scored 94.5 (out of 100) by Jim Murray, the world authority on whisky grading.
After the blind tasting, we also tasted the Paul John Edited which is scored 96.5 in the Jim Murray Whisky Bible.
I liked the Paul John Edited because it has an interesting subtle likable "giu her (grilled cuttlefish)" smell. I kept my observation to myself, worried that it might make a fool of me.
When we got more acquainted and comfortable around the table, I shared how the Paul John Edited had the grilled cuttlefish smell and that I liked it because of that. I was then educated about how peat imparts a desired smokiness to the whisky.
Ah..... whiskey epiphany :-D
John Distilleries is based in Bangalore, and it's single malt distillery is located in Goa along India's tropical west coast. The spring water here in Goa imparts a distinct sparkle to the Paul John.
Paul John is made using 100% Indian six-row barley grown in the Himalayan foothills. Twice distilled in traditional copper pot stills and matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks, the Paul John is bottled at the 4th/5th year as whiskey matures quickly in the high Goan temperatures.
Paul John Brilliance is made from unpeated Indian malted barley while the Edited is made from a mix of unpeated and peated Indian malted barley. (Malted barley is germinated barley. Peated malted barley is dried with peat fire while unpeated is dried without using peat.)
Paul John whiskies are distributed in Singapore by The Whiskey Store at Waterfront Plaza. I spotted Paul John whiskies in their distinguished looking mahogany tubes at the bar at The Wallich at Anson House last evening ;-D
This Paul John. It's powerful stuff. It can stop time.
Date: 4 Nov 2015
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