You’re probably well aware by now that of all the liquors in all the land, little wets my whistle as happily as whiskey. Be it a Scotch, Irish, Tennessee or Bourbon whiskey – or even some odd creation from an unexpected source – the amber spirit is my top pick in most situations. I suppose I’m just an errant whiskey drinker with a penchant for words.
So today I bring you not one, but two whiskey reviews for you to consider as we march closer to the holiday season. First up we have Brilliance from Paul John distillery, a single malt whisky from Goa, India. This marks the first time I’ve tried any spirit from India of any kind. An old Portuguese colony, Goa is best known for its beautiful beaches, well preserved colonial architecture and laid-back vibe. Not knowing it myself as a home of great whisky, I suppose it’s time to find out what the west Indian state is capable of.
To begin with, it pours and presents much as a proper whisky ought to, with a pale amber color and a biting nose of booze and malt. Looking much like a standard Irish whisky, it presents something of a surprise upon a sip, as an initial smoothness gives way to an unexpected barrage of char and barrel aging. Reverbing up the esophagus with a notable alcoholic burn, the 46% ABV makes its presence very much known in the finish.
In totality, I cannot say I am greatly impressed by this whisky on its own. Smooth and clean enough in its direct flavor to where it could likely work well for a variety of whisky based cocktails, it is not the sort I would likely seek out as a solo sipper. Even as I am, a fan sometimes of fusel alcoholic burn, that which is presented here is almost too much altogether.
Next up, we have the Jericho from Lost Distillery. This being a blended malt scotch whisky from Kilmarnock, Scotland, expectations are set somewhat differently from that of our previous Indian distillation. At the outset, these are sustained as in this we find a pour of a darker order, with a richer amber tone to it and less of the golden sheen of its predecessor.
To the nose, this whisky comes through with considerably more peat than the last and offers almost a more traditional sense of what such a spirit is meant to be. Here, while we do have a surprisingly smooth opening tone, the rising notes of peat and smoke which seem to reside within this sip sort of sneak up on the palate unexpectedly. This flavor dynamic is then furthered when these same notes give way to a more whisky malt profile, all of which curiously blend and degrade in the finish, with one last hurrah of all the flavor elements rising and falling one last time before the gentle warmth of the 43% ABV slides up the gullet to say goodnight.
Between them both, I would quite naturally gravitate towards the Jericho given my own flavor preference, but am happy to have reviewed and examined them both in fair and fine order. As always, whiskies make my night complete and I am happy to have reviewed these both, both of which I may include in a holiday gift guide should I get around to writing one. In the meantime though I suppose it’s time to wrap this up.
So to both Paul John and Lost Distillery, to the expansive and global reach that fine malt beverages maintain and of course, to you, I say as always…
While the brands may have provided the products mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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