Here in quick succession is a second Paul John. Unlike yesterday’s Select Cask Classic this one is a single cask and it is also peated. The cask was bottled for the Dutch outfit Bresser & Timmer. That is where my information ends. As to where the malt was peated, I’m not sure. I know Amrut imports peated malt from Scotland for at least some, if not all of their peated releases—it’s almost midnight as I’m typing this and I’m too lazy to check if it’s all for all of them: is there such a thing as Indian peat? Anyway, maybe somebody with better information will chime in.
I opened this as well at the same tasting that featured yesterday’s bottle and it fared a lot better than that one—a couple of people even had it as their top whisky of the night. Let’s see if this has also improved as the bottle has stayed open for a week.
Paul John Peated, Cask 739 (57%; 2015 release; from my own bottle)
Nose: Caramel, orange peel and then mild, cereally peat which gets mildly phenolic as it sits. Some pencil shavings and pencil lead (well, pencil-related anyway) and then some richer, sweeter fruit (plum? cherry?). Fruitier still with water (plum sauce, apricot jam) and no longer pencil-related. Where did the smoke go?
Palate: As on the nose, it starts out with sweet notes, then the smoke comes in (bringing a bit of tobacco with it) and then there’s some wood; no fruit here though (not at first anyway). Less phenolic here than on the nose. More peppery and spicy as it goes and the wood expands too (though it’s not astringent or tannic). With more time some dark fruit pops out (apricot, dried orange peel) and the peat recedes. Spicier with water and now it’s far more peppery than its smoky.
Finish: Medium-long. Gets a little mentholated as it goes but no interesting development as such.
Comments: At first this was exactly what I would expect the Classic Select to taste like if it had a layer of mild smoke on top but then it got better. Not much more complexity here but the smoke does mask the raw wood that pulled that one down on the palate and finish; and it’s richer on the whole. This one I would buy again. And, like the Classic Select, this is much better now that the bottle’s been open for a week or so.
Rating: 84 points.