Paul John Single Malt Whisky Distillery – Goa

When you hear about the beautiful state of Goa situated in the West Coast, it springs to the mind the sandy beaches, the palm trees, the Portuguese architecture, the luscious food and not to forget the feni. But also on the tourist map of Goa is now the legendary Paul John distillery India’s only Visitor Centre located in the village of Cuncolim, Goa.

Paul John Single Malt -Goa

Keeping my yearning to visit this distillery one day, I ventured through the beautiful hinterlands of Goan villages to finally reach this distillery in Cuncolim. As soon as you touch this place, you face the outstanding building akin to Portuguese style architecture. Was spellbound by the yellow facade, the ethnic Goan-Portuguese touch, the startling colors, the colonial furniture’s, the wall paintings reminiscing Mario  Miranda’s expressions , the décor etc.

Visitor’s Centre

Meeting the ‘Master’ Distiller Michael D’souza over some interactive chat followed by historic walkthrough by Pankaj into the world of Paul John Single Malts was a mesmerizing experience. Pankaj ensured that we get the first hand knowledge of the entire process of their single malt whisky production. Right from their use of six row barley. sourced from lands of Rajasthan. which has more protein that fastens conversion to fermentable sugars and responsible to the whisky’s intrinsic characteristics to the kilning process of drying the malted barley, milling & the preparation of the grist ratio was spot on described.

Grist Ratio

Further, the process of mashing in a mash tun to get the sweet liquid wort, the fermentation of wort into alcohol in a stainless steel vessel called the washback – all very fascinating.


Got a strong whiff of brew while nosing the washback and the taste of distiller’s beer  – minus the hops.

Distiller’s Beer

Next, Pankaj showcased the shining copper pot stills and the distillation process.

With Pankaj with the Copper Pot Stills on the background

The whisky safe where the master distiller decides the cuts – foreshots (heads), hearts, feints (tails) which are responsible to the various compounds. Enjoyed the New Make Spirit Sip.

Whisky Safe

A magnificent painting right at the entrance of the underground cask cellar depicting angel’s share is eye catching. A good 8% goes as Angel’s share making Angel’s happy for sure.

Angel’s Share Painting

Getting  whiff the of the dram from a PX cask was heavenly.
The underground cask cellar is a connoisseurs’ dream. Different Bourbon, Tennessee, Sherry, Pedro Ximenez, Porto casks and many others numbering anywhere between 3500 plus strategically positioned in the cellar in the process of undergoing maturation to be unveiled someday. Getting  whiff the of the dram from a PX cask was blissful.

Maturation in Oak Barrels

From bottling it was time to taste the beauties. A classic bar set up & an educational wooden setting with Glencairn sitting comfortably in the six wooden slots of Oaky Coasters.

Tasting Room

Pankaj with Single Malt expressions right in front of us posing several questions. Three expressions from select casks –  Edited, Bold, Peated come with well defined Peated flavours. Other expressions include Brilliance, Nirvana & Kanya with their soft and  mellow bouquets.  

Pankaj the Spirit Educator

After tasting regular ones,  he put forth some blind tastings. I did manage to give the best & came close to the X’mas  expressions and their XO Brandy. Felt elation of joy.

Tasting Session

No wonder the wall has myriad of awards displayed. Kudos to Paul John!


Thankyou Paul John Single Malt

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