First up from the June 2021 batch from Watt Whisky we’re over to Goa in India for a 4 year old Paul John that has been fully matured in the distillery’s underground warehouse. The site currently consists of three warehousing areas – the underground area stores up to 4,000 barrels and has a lower temperature and less humidity than the two ‘upper’ warehouses, which together store 12,000 barrels and see evaporation levels hitting 8-10% annually. Available for £84.95 from The Whisky Exchange.
Nose: Dried mango slices and mirabelles alongside dusty chocolate and caffe latte. Behind – a highly aromatic and expressive combination of leather satchels, tobacco leaf, cardamon and cloves – tempered by the sweetness of vanilla-piped choux buns and freshly baked pastries. Reduction introduces chilli and orange alongside plum preserve and chocolate fondant.
Taste: Amply body and impact here. Cinnamon heat and chilli prickle on the arrival lead into tinned fruit salad and newly lacquered oak flooring. Custard cream biscuits and chai tea join peppering and a combination of deep and tannic and young and sappy oakiness. Water feels ill-advised – whilst it reveals cloves and an effervescent character, the oak is now quite overwrought and drying – stick to 57.1%.
Finish: Long on fading tropical fruitiness, chilli spice and resinous oak
Another Paul John whisky that really overdelivers on its age statement. Dense, and deep throughout with ample spirit and ample (more than in places) cask influence and yet is still recognisably from the Goan distillery. There’s rather a lot to unpick here – and rather a lot of oaky heft throughout. At 57.1% it all works together – particularly if you like cask-forward, spice-heavy whisky – just don’t go thinking you can improve it through dilution as it is on the edge of the tightrope already.
Review sample provided by Watt Whisky