Paul John Oloroso Cask

This week of reviews of Indian whiskies started out on an unexpectedly strong note with the new’ish Kamet single malt and picked up even more steam with the triple-distilled Amrut 7 yo bottled for Spec’s in Texas. The Kamet was put together from a mix of bourbon, sherry and wine cask matured spirit; the Amrut was from an ex-bourbon cask. Here now to close out the week is a sherry cask whisky from the Goan distillery, Paul John. I visited the distillery in 2020 (read about it here) right before the pandemic hit. I remember seeing sherry casks in the warehouse but didn’t hear anything about their plans for that spirit—I was on the basic tour; it’s possible they say more about their cask programs if you sign up for the tasting following the tour. Anyway, I don’t know if they’ve released any full-term sherry matured whisky. This is a oloroso finish bottled at 48% (there’s also been a release of a cask strength 7 yo oloroso finish). As per Whiskybase, there have been at least four numbered batches in this series and their Whiskybase scores are all over the map. I have to confess that I don’t know which batch this sample is from (I will check with the source). I do hope that it will provide a good end to this week of Indian whisky reviews. Let’s see.

Paul John Oloroso Cask (48%; from a bottle split)

Nose: Lovely nutty sherry with a good dose of orange peel, light caramel and toffee; some black tea in there too. With time there’s some dried leaves and damp earth. With more time still some raisins emerge and they’re soaked in rum. With a few drops of water here comes the apricot. The whole gets quite sticky.

Palate: Comes in more or less as indicated by the nose but with less orange peel. A very good drinking strength and decent texture. Seems to get thinner with time here—in terms of both texture and flavour; there’s a little more oak as well (not tannic). The (dried) orange peel does emerge with time. Okay, let’s add water. More fruit here too with water—more orange peel/marmalade—and the oak gets pushed back.

Finish: Long. Gets darker with a little wisp of smoke. The oak gets the last word (still not tannic). Develops as on the palate but the spicy oak still has the last word.

Comments: This is my kind of a sherry bomb. That is to say it has a very good balance of dry and earthy notes on the one hand and fruit on the other. And the oak provides a good frame for it all without dominating matters. The only thing holding it back is a lack of complexity/development. Is it worth the price? I guess it depends on your bank balance and whether this sherried profile is now available at all for less money. It might be; if so, please make suggestions below—I’m very out of touch.

Rating: 87 points.




2 thoughts on “Paul John Oloroso Cask

    • Oh, I see I forgot to mention the price in the US. As per Winesearcher the average price is $118. The lowest I see is $103 and the highest is $130—I assume all of these prices are for this 48% version but am not sure.

      So, if the full price in the UK is below £70 then that’s quite a bit cheaper than in the US, even with the 700 ml bottle taken into account.


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