Paul John Indian Single Malt Bold, the smoke tries to rule the roost, but it is not allowed: a dizzying array of manuka honey, prickly spice and bourbonesque red liquorices make sure of that; melt-in-the mouth-malt: a silky delivery - what else do you expect from India? - is shaped again by that oak-studded honey. But just as it begins to break up on the palate and lighten, a hefty second wave of spice and then thick, cloudy smoke coat the roof of the mouth, leaving tide marks of dry molasses, peaty soot and a degree of copper in its wake: absolutely delicious….; a tad lighter on the finish with the copper really now making an impact.
A gorgeous smoked mocha is given a third dimension by the busy, delicate and intricate spices; meanwhile the molasses have time to linger and morph into mocha; one of the most weighty and chewable Indian whiskies of all time - yet it is not just about peat. So many elements to this, you expect a bottle to weigh the equivalent of a block of lead. This truly great whisky, so complex and absorbing, needs a good 20 minutes minimum of your time to adequately explore. 46%
Score: 95.5 by Jim Murray.