“Brilliance is matured in bourbon casks, to give you absolute sensory delight.
It couldn’t gather more brilliance than this!"
Paul John whisky - Brilliance
NOSE: Green Apple | Maple Sugar | Pepper | Cookies & Cream | Humidor
TASTE: Caramel | Honey Nut Cheerios Maltiness | Cedar | Thin but Pleasant
FINISH: Tobacco Smoke | Bittersweet Chocolate | Ginger at the end
SHARE WITH: It's sweetness and softness is reminiscent of an Irish whiskey and it has the entry-level burn of a Woodford Reserve or Basil Hayden. Therefore, any fans of Irish whiskies or lower-proof bourbons will be happy with this one!
WORTH THE PRICE: Given that it's possible to find this under $40, definitely.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I would suggest you grab a bottle of this sweet sipper and thank me later.
OVERALL: This whisky could be a great mixer and, at its price, would still be worth it if that's all you did with it. I found it approachable and satisfying neat, though some fans of higher-proof whiskies may find that this one lacks punch. In my tasting, what it lacked in proof, it made up for in nuance. The nose was the most interesting part of me, with softer, sweeter smells when I held my glass at my chin, and stronger, darker smells when the glass was closer to my nose.
“This expression of ours invites you to leave the trail, tread the path less taken and plunge headlong into the delicious depths of Goa."
Paul John whisky - Bold
NOSE: Obviously Peat | Wet Hay | Bonfire Smoke | Band-Aid (not in a bad way)
TASTE: Musty Peat | Nestle Quik Powder | Iodine | Thick Mouthfeel with Simple-Syrup Sweetness
FINISH: Spent Charcoal Smoke | Mild Pepper | Chocolate Malt is the last to go
SHARE WITH: Anyone looking to sample their first peated whisky. While the complexity of this one will give something for more experienced drinkers of peated whiskies to enjoy, the sweet finish and mild peat would be a great shallow-end of the peated pool for anyone looking to dip a toe!
WORTH THE PRICE: If you like mildly-peated whiskies, then yes.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: The first taste from this bottle was better than the second-through-fifth, as a little oxidation took away some additional flavors in the nose and finish that I did not note above: flavors like chocolate-covered orange and dark berries were in my first tasting and then missing from then on. Even with this oxidation, I will continue to stock this bottle, but I'll suggest you try it at a bar if you're able, knowing that the first taste of your own will only get better!
OVERALL: This was one of the more unique whiskies I've had this year and I really enjoyed it. It's quite the journey, and the tastes you pick up on the nose and the front of your mouth are very different than the flavors you pick up at the back of your tongue. Even though oxidation doesn't do it favors, the sweet, chocolaty flavors that remained through all my tastings make this really rewarding.
Final Verdict and Comparison
Disclaimer:John Distilleries provided Bourbon & Banter with samples of their products for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.