Tasting Notes for Paul John Brilliance Indian Single Malt
Nose: The Demerara sugars give off a whiff of sweet fragrances, with a hint of cinnamon, dash of honey and faint spices.
Palate: Sweet and spice and all things nice, make this Single Malt. The honey-like smoothness is offset by the crunchy-bar-like crispness. Somewhere, there is also a tinge of cocoa.
Finish: Brilliance has a smooth and beautifully relaxed finish, with a hint of mild spices and deep intense vanilla.
An unpeated whisky from Paul John Distillers, released in early 2013 to much acclaim. It's made using Indian 6-row barley from the foothills of the Himalayas and is distilled using John Distillers custom-made stills which were designed to create fruiter spirits. Brilliance is matured in ex-bourbon barrels for 3-5 years before bottling at 46% abv.
As with Amrut, the tropical climate causes greater evaporation, around 12-13% a year, but in turn they show very well at younger ages.
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible: Liquid Gold Award - 2014, 2017
Founded in 1996, today with sales of more than 15 million cases, John Distilleries is also the manufacturer of the world's sixth-largest whisky brand - Original Choice Whisky. Paul John, a single malt whisky from John Distilleries, has been gaining a reputation in the niche market. Its other major brands include Bangalore Malt, Black Pelican Fine Whisky, Mont Castle French Grape Brandy and Big Banyan Wines. Sazerac, the second-largest family-owned spirits company in the US, has taken a strategic investment in John Distilleries.
Six row barley sourced from across the vast lands of Rajasthan and Haryana to the foothills of Himalayas is used for all Paul John whiskies. Due to high fiber and protein content, the six row barley offers a distinct and bold depth of character to the spirit. The more proteins and tannins in the barley the more of fatty acids that add to the whisky’s robust character.
Owing to the higher husk content, the barley produces an oilier wash. This obviously translates to an oilier, richer spirit. This is one of the key reasons why most Paul John whiskies are bottled at least 46% and are all non-chill-filtered.
John Distilleries copper pot-stills, custom-made exclusively for Paul John whisky in India, were specially designed with long necks to create fruitier spirits. Double-distillation in these pot-stills prolong intimate contact with the copper thus rendering a distinct, rich and full-bodied flavour to the new-make spirit. Paul John whisky has two sets of pot stills. The 2 stage pot distillation comprises of a ball-shaped Wash Still and an onion-shaped Spirit Still that helps their single malts get its unique flavours. Copper helps remove impurities by reacting with the sulphuric compounds present in the newly distilled spirit, giving a smooth, clear finish to the un-aged whisky.
There are three warehouses at the Paul John malt plant. The underground warehouse has a capacity of 4000 casks with a comfortable temperature and is less humid. The upper warehouses are warmer at ground level and house about 12000 casks. Once used American oak bourbon barrels from the United States are used to age the new make spirit. Goa’s tropical climate increases the rate at which Paul John whisky matures. High temperatures are believed to accelerate the creation of intense flavours as the whisky matures in oak barrels. A whisky develops different compositions of flavours at different temperatures, so the Indian single malt whisky has its own unique configuration of flavours.
Producer John Distilleries in Goa, India Style Indian Single Malt Whisky Age No Age Statement Volume 70CL ABV 46%