Our Lions Toast series of whisky tastings aim to educate those taking part into the wonderful world of whisky which doesn't stop at the borders of Scotland.

There are many different whiskies throughout the world and our event which took place in October 2016 took us to the Indian Subcontinent where we discovered the product of a new Distillery that is taking the established Whisky experts by storm. 

John Distilleries Ptv Ltd. based in Goa, have released 5 expressions of their superb whisky and when a couple of us 'tested' it at a recent tasting in London - we were stunned to the point of deciding the Lions Toast just had to have an evening to share our experience. 

Those of you who joined us for Malt at the Movies may remember Charles Maclean, probably one of the foremost whisky experts and who played Master of the Quaich, Rory Mcallister  in "The Angel's Share"  Having donated some items for our version of the Auction - who better to ask for advice on whether this would be a good idea.

When told what our plans were, he was quick to point out that "their whisky is First Rate but suggested we perhaps "follow it with a curry" so taking his comments to heart, that is what we did. 

The event was led by Shilton Almeida, UK Regional Manager for John Distillers and who supplied the 'Samples'.  Richard Stone, manager of the Carlton Club excelled himself by producing two brilliant curries which complemented the range of Award Winning whiskies and fair to say, a fantastic time was had by all - some who may not have a full memory of the evening, unfortunately!!!  (Yes it was that kind of night thanks to the hospitality of Shilton)

So what did we taste?

 

First up was CLASSIC   A really nice dram but powerful at 55.2%.  The first sip gives you the flavours of the malted barley than a honey bourbon aroma takes over.   Suddenly the audience realise this in not a night for weak foreign spirit, perhaps a realisation that they are truly finding a new taste for their palate and aroma for the nostrils.

Followed by BRILLIANCE  The brilliance of Goa is bottled up in this 46% abv Single Malt. The barley for this whisky comes from the foothills of the Himalayas and the distilled product it is matured in bourbon casks, giving an absolute sensory delight.
Demerara sugars give off a whiff of sweet fragrances, with a hint of cinnamon, dash of honey and faint spices.The Palate is Sweet and spice with a honey-like smoothness, offset by the crunchy-bar-like crispness. 
Brilliance has a smooth and beautifully relaxed finish, with a hint of mild spices and deep intense vanilla.
making it an ideal accompaniment to luscious fruit pies and Indian grilled meat dishes.

Then a dram of BOLD  At 46% abv, Bold gives the slightest whiff of smoke with a dizzy array of Manuka honey, prickly spice and red liquorice. takes over.
This melt-in-the-mouth malt is, at first silky and studded with oak-like honey and just when you think you’ve savoured it all, you are surprised by a hefty second wave of spice. Followed by a cloudy, smoky feel that coats the roof of the mouth leaving a tidal wave of dry molasses, peaty soot and a degree of copper in its wake.
  
With EDITED Another 46%abv, Edited is for the extraordinary. The hint of peat in this single malt has been created from discreetly chosen cask profiles. Honey and cocoa are laced with a hint of smokiness and a shot of espresso with a deeper whiff revealing fruity fragrances.
The grassy flavours of barley show up first, but gently make way for subtle peat notes which slowly dissolve and pave the way for a rush of mint and mocha.
A long, drawn out finish enabling you to sense a hint of spice and chocolate mint ending on gentle peat notes- perfect with a mildly spiced lamb stew, or even dark chocolate.

Finishing up with PEATED This Select Cask, at 55.5% abv has various personalities, its past, its present, its sheer decadence or perky cheer. For the true whisky explorer, Peated always has a surprise tucked up its sleeve. This Single Malt astonishes even a seasoned whisky aficionado. Unexpected flavours balance each other, offering the perfect tipple.
The smoky, sweet and earthy fragrances have mellow resonances of spice which the palate senses as crisp Muscovado and Demerara sugars. The smokiness of the Single Malt sets in with a hint of spice radiating from the hickory and cocoa, creating a perfect balance. 
Such a complex whisky needs food that can complement it well with tender, juicy steaks and blue cheese being great candidates.

Have a look at their website for some more information about the distillery