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Have a Goa at a new but familiar taste experience


By Matt MacPherson


Goa, India might not be the first place you think of when it comes whisky but Paul John’s distillery has been making blended whisky since its foundation in 1996, and single malt whisky from 2008.
Goa, India might not be the first place you think of when it comes whisky but Paul John’s distillery has been making blended whisky since its foundation in 1996, and single malt whisky from 2008.

I strongly believe that, regardless of what industry you work in, there is always something new to learn, says The Malt Room's Matt MacPherson.

This week I was fortunate enough to be invited to an event organised by my friend Andy Flatt (also known as the Amateur Drammer) that was all about Indian whisky. Andy had invited Shilton Almeida from Paul John whisky to host the evening and teach us all about Indian whisky.

What do the Indians know about whisky? Well, it might come as a surprise that the country that drinks the most whisky, by a vast margin, is India!

Paul John’s distillery is in the state of Goa, located on the western coastline stretching along the Arabian Sea. The company has been making blended whisky since its foundation in 1996 and decided to make single malt whisky in 2008 with the first bottles landing in the UK in 2012.

They operate with two sets of Indian-made copper pot stills that can produce around 6000 litres a day.

The most obvious difference is the temperature; it rarely drops below 20 degrees in “winter” and can hit 40 in the summer with very high levels of humidity.

Shilton had brought along six different expressions for us to try. All of the whiskies were matured in American oak but varied in age, strength and he even had peated samples for us to get stuck into.

The first whisky, Nirvana, was only five years old but was extremely pleasant and easy drinking, tasting way beyond its age.

My personal favourite was Bold, a peated expression that reminded me of an Islay favourite of mine, Caol Ila, which is high praise!

All of the whiskies were relatively young and affordable, ranging between £30 and £70 a bottle.

Yet, the taste and range of flavours were very impressive.

Matt MacPherson is the owner of The Malt Room in Inverness.



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