Every year, I buy a Christmas-themed bottle to enjoy during the festive season. This year, my choice fell on Paul John’s Christmas Edition 2018 – to my knowledge the first seasonal bottling from the Indian distillery. While the whisky itself does not bear an age statement, its makers were not shy to let us know how it came to be. The Christmas Edition 2018 is a vatting of 7-year-old malt whisky made from both peated and unpeated barley that was married in Oloroso sherry casks for another 1.5 years. Given the fact that barreled spirit ripens a lot quicker in the warm Indian climate than it does in Scotland or Ireland, a total of 8.5 years is quite a lengthy maturation. And it shows: The Paul John Christmas Edition 2018 is smooth, sweet and very, very tasty!
Eye: Like the well-waxed reddish brown leather seats of Santa’s sleigh.
Nose: The bouquet of the Christmas Edition 2018 is sweet, enticing and not too heavy. It has a lot of winterly notes like juicy tangerines, green fir needles, gooey toffee, warm honey cake and a good dose of cinnamon. The fruitiness from the Oloroso casks is clearly noticable, too. De-cember-licious!
Palate: Less sweet than the nose would suggest. Slightly sour red fruits dominate. Additionally, there’s cocoa powder, gingerbread, oranges and spices. The longer you keep it in your mouth, the drier it becomes. If there is really any smoke in there, it is very thin and subtle.
Finish: In the course of the mid-long finish, the whisky gets sweeter again. Figs. Apples. Brown sugar. Milk chocolate. Mmmh-acadamia nuts.
Type: Indian Single Malt Whisky
Alc. volume: 46 per cent
# of bottles: 3,000
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~55.00 Euro
More info: https://pauljohnwhisky.com/ (Distillery) ; http://www.bremerspirituosencontor.de/ (Importer)