Review 304: Paul John Brilliance


Following the introduction in 2012 of the first Singe Cask of Paul John, this Brilliance together with the Edited are the first mainstream single malt bottlings. It is a non-peated Whisky that is matured in Bourbon Barrels. It is about four to five years old and is un-chillfiltered, natural colour and is bottled at a strength of 46%.

Master Distiller Michael John (no relation) has a number of distinctive methods. The wash has an alcohol content of only 5%, 8% is normal, leading to more sweetness in the spirit. The spirit goes barrel with a strength of 65%. The tropical climate and with an Angel’s Share of around 8% after three years the whisky has a cask strength of approximately 57%. Apart from the limited use of peat (Scottish) all ingredients are sourced from India. Since May 2013 Paul John brings two solid whisky’s, Brilliance and Edited, both four to five years old. In addition limited edition single cask bottlings are available.

Distillery:John Distilleries
Location:Cuncolim, Goa
Owner:John Distilleries Pvt. Ltd
Water source:Unknown
Stills:1 Wash still
1 Spirit still
Capacity:3000 liter per day

Expression:Paul John Brilliance
Category:Single Malt
Bottler:John Distilleries
ABV (% Alc):46%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):0 ppm (on barley)
Distillation date:n/a
Bottle date:2013
Maturation:Ex-bourbon casks
Cask number:n/a
Bottle number:n/a
Bottle content:70cl
Price (NL):Between €35,95 (online) & €51,99 (offline)

Bright gold.

A spicy, rich, round and medium complex whisky with notes of sweet barley sugar, malt, grains, spicy notes (hint of curry leaves, cumin, cinnamon, white pepper, ginger), earthy tones, apple liqueur, green apple, overripe banana, pineapple, a hint of orange, red berries, grass, floral notes, butter, honey, vanilla, caramel, nuts, maple syrup, slightly bitter tannins, oak and a hint of mint.

A sweet, rich, round and well balanced whisky with notes of green apple, malt, barley sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, sawdust, cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, stem ginger, oak, slightly bitter tannins, mango, pineapple, berries, red fruits, hint of sweet patchouli, hint of cocoa, creamy mouthfeel, caramel and light mineral notes.

A medium long and slightly drying finish with notes of fresh oak, grass, vanilla, honey, spice, nuts and black pepper.

  • 8.9/10
    Smell: - 8.9/10
  • 8.5/10
    Taste: - 8.5/10
  • 8.6/10
    Finish: - 8.6/10


A surprisingly mature whisky with a good price / quality ratio. It is the first whisky of Paul John I’ve tasted and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. It is not a overly complex whisky but a very accessible dram that’s deliciously easy to enjoy.

What are your thoughts on the liquid in this bottle?

Kathy Lindsay

Where can I get this in Omaha? Or alternatively: can I order it from your site?