Paul John Christmas Edition 2021
Peated Single Malt — Goa , India
Tasted February 16, 2022
Better late than never, it’s Christmas in February as a sample of Paul John’s annual release finally arrives at Modern Drinking HQ. These are always a treat and this one doesn’t disappoint, though it’s noticeably different from its predecessors, leaning more on plummy notes than the baking spices of previous years. The plum starts on the nose, accompanied by cinnamon and raisins soaked in rum. Stewed fruit, black tea and cinnamon lead the palate, with dashes of orange sweetness joining in to coat the side of the tongue. The finish is a gentle spice that lingers on the tongue alongside jammy fruit notes. The combination of 4-1/2 years aged in ex-bourbon casks followed by two in a combination of Port and Madeira ones, a nod to Goa’s Portuguese heritage, have lent this a beautiful balance with an intensity of flavor that belies the easy drinking strength. So re-hang the mistletoe, drag the Christmas tree back in from the street and unbox the decorations, because if Paul John says it’s Christmas, then I’m not going to argue.