Indian single malt whisky maker Paul John’s annual Christmas release has become something of a yuletide tradition. 2022 was no exception, and saw the release of their fifth festive iteration.
This year’s addition was made from malts finished in ex-bourbon, brandy and peated Oloroso sherry casks. It’s darkly fruity on the nose, with notes of plum and sticky toffee pudding above a warm aroma of cereal grain below.
On the palate, Paul John Christmas Edition 2022 proves sweet in a Christmas dessert-sense, with layers of stewed plums, apples and pears. Sticky toffee and mushy, caramelized bananas—almost like a banana flambe—present at the center.
The whisky’s finish feels all molasses sweetness, until its rich, robust malt flavor rears its head and manages to strike beyond the sweetness. Afterward, we’re treated to buttery shortbread with a lasting treacle note that fades to a kind of powdery, light-sugar sweetness redolent of those last corners of frosting on a gingerbread house.
In years past, Paul John has used its Christmas limited editions as a sort of test-case for future releases. Considering how its 2022 release plays, I’m hoping this won’t be the last we see of its flavors.