Paul John

Paul John Brilliance

Paul John Brilliance (46%, OB, 2014)

  • Category: Indian single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin:  Paul John distillery
  • Bottling: Paul John, OB
  • ABV: 46%
  • Cost: £34.96

Image courtesy of Master of Malt

What they say

All the brilliance of Goa is bottled up in this Single Malt. Its sparkling hues are reminiscent of sun-kissed beaches. The six-row barley for this whisky comes from the foothills of the Himalayas. Brilliance is matured in bourbon casks, to give you absolute sensory delight.
It couldn’t gather more brilliance than this!

Official tasting notes:

  • Colour: Sparkling copper.
  • Nose: The  Demerara sugars give off a whiff of sweet fragrances, with a hint of cinnamon, dash of honey and faint spices.
  • Palate: Sweet and spice and all things nice, make this Single Malt. The honey-like smoothness is offset by the crunchy-bar-like crispness. Somewhere, there is also a tinge of cocoa.
  • Finish: Brilliance has a smooth and beautifully relaxed finish, with a hint of mild spices and deep intense vanilla.
  • Pairing: With its rich accents of vanilla and subtle hints of spice, this Single Malt is the ideal accompaniment to luscious fruit pies and Indian grilled meat dishes.

What I say

Sampled first at Robertsons of Pitlochry, alongside the Paul John Edited ‘Peated single malt’ expression. My first impression was a toffee-rich and smooth whisky that surprised me in its mellow delicateness.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Deep orange gold (10/20), thick/heavy tears
  • Nose: Toffee, banana, peach, sweet, floral ‘Pears’ brand soap, toffee-coated popcorn, caramel, nutmeg on egg custard pastry and cinnamon Danish pastry, clean fresh linen
  • Taste: Oily, rich mouthfeel, toffee, caramel, fruity, foam banana sweeties, peach, dolly mixtures, like an old 10p sweetie mix in a brown paper bag (showing my age now!), vanilla cream and butterscotch ‘Werther’s’ toffees
  • Finish: Medium, sweet and fruity


Impressive stuff from Paul John distillery, considering the price and lack of age statement (though how maturation times in Goa compares to Scotland I can only guess). I have to admit I was maybe expecting something less-rounded, rougher, spicier or less mature tasting, how wrong I was! This is an exceptional dram of whisky, matured to perfection. Not overly sweet but develops an intense toffee aroma and flavour with a backdrop of sweetie shop fruits.

Score 85/100

Shop for Paul John Brilliance (opens Master of Malt)

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