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Paul John Bold Impressions

Original photo provided by Tim Grant and used with permission.

What is it?

Distillery: Paul John
Name: Bold
Make: Indian Single Malt Whisky
Extra Info: The Paul John distillery is situated in Goa, on the west coast of India. In the hot and humid weather of Goa, whisky ages three or four times faster than in your typical Scottish storehouse. This means a young Indian single malt can look, smell and taste comparable to a much older Scotch single malt. Unfortunately, the rapid ageing also means that far more whisky is lost to the “Angel’s Share” in India; in the case of Paul John, around 6% to 8% of the volume of a cask is lost per year of ageing. In comparison, an ageing Scotch whisky cask usually reduces in volume at a rate of less than 2% per year.

Why did I buy it?

I didn't. This is a review of a sample bottle kindly provided by Paul John. I usually only review full-size bottles since I can take my time and drink as much as I need to finalise my impressions. That is more difficult to do with a sample bottle, but I have done my best.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: Paul John whisky has an unusually uniform design language across their entire range. In fact, it can be difficult to distinguish between expressions from a distance, since the label differences are very subtle and the colour of the whisky look very similar. Bottled at 46% ABV.

Appearance: All the whisky in the Paul John range looks the same golden hue to me, but Paul John proudly claim their whisky contains no artificial colouring and are non-chill filtered. I can only assume that some form of distillery wizardry must take place to achieve such a consistent colour across the range.

Aroma: Quite a restrained nose, faint clove spice, not smokey at all, a little fruity.

Flavour: A very pleasant smooth and balanced spicy mix with a smokiness that builds as the whisky warms in your mouth.

Finish: A bit of a nothing finish, a brief spicy pop that fades quickly.

Would I buy it again?

No, in my opinion, Paul John Bold is a little one dimensional; by saying that I mean Paul John Bold definitely stars on the palate but fails to impress on the nose and in the finish. I am sure that a lot of people would like this whisky since it excels in flavour without overpowering the drinker but personally, I like a little more going on regardless of how tasty it may be. Paul John Bold is an inoffensive single malt that tastes great but is just not as involving as I would have liked. It would make an excellent introduction to Indian single malt whisky or as an example of a lightly peated malt for someone new to a peated style. Perhaps it could have been better if it was bottled at a slightly higher ABV.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.


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