The annual limited release of Paul John Christmas Edition is peated and matured in a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, port, and madeira casks. The whisky is bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring. Like other Paul John whiskies, it is mashed from six-row barley harvested in the Himalayan foothills and distilled in…
“Brilliance” is distilled from Himalayan 6-row barley and aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 3 to 5 years, and is bottled at 46% ABV. Remember that whisky ages faster in India, so 3 – 5 years is equivalent to 10 – 15 years in Scotland. … As Goa is located squarely in the tropics, high heat causes barrel strength to increase in the cask as more water than alcohol evaporates. This sort of “reverse Angel’s Share” also occurs in other parts of the world, such as Kentucky in the USA, and isn’t as simple as…
Portonova is an exquisite product which (in a blind tasting) could easily be confused with a $125+ 21 year-old wine-finished scotch. Last I saw, it had sold out everywhere but if you have the budget, a love of port/wine finishes, and see some on a shelf somewhere, just know that I thought it was fantastic.
The youth of the malt means all of the complexity is in the peat, which delivers a lot of intense flavor, but not a lot of secondary notes. The alcohol burn is a bit rough – likely because of the quick maturation – but nevertheless, this is a powerful, peaty kick in the head that any true peat-head should take a look at.
On the tongue, this dram blooms into a medium-complex whisky with no apparent flaws. A few tropical notes give it an exotic style, which might appeal to those tired of Scotch standards.
Very different from sherry-finished Scotches I’ve had – the fruitiness is subdued and suggests dried rather than jammed dark fruits. This leaves a difficult-to-describe combination of wood extracts, dried herb flavors, and rancio. There is certainly more here to discover, and I think the play off of standard Amrut flavors is successful. Definitely a whisky to ponder.
Betrays its age with the burn, and its inexperience with the heavy banana notes. Nevertheless, it’s an impressive dram for an upstart distillery in a challenging climate. I wouldn’t pay more than $30 for it, though, as I’m not partial to banana flavors in my malts.