Saturday, September 21, 2019

Paul John Tasting @ Ferns Meadows Single Malt Club, Bengaluru

One of Bengaluru’s best kept secrets is the Ferns Meadows Club. Nested in the 37 acre orchard with private residences, boasts of verdant lawns, an inviting swimming pool and a host of other facilities.

Ferns Meadows Club- Pool side

The club was host to the launch version 2 of the Ferns Meadows Single Malt Club.
The setting was perfect with a few members bringing their personal collection for display, discussion and adding to the ambiance.
While the members were dressed for the occasion, the dinner table too was well appointed and gave a huge boost to the ambiance.

The little box you see on the plate, in the picture on the right, has a scroll displaying the very carefully planned and paired dinner menu for the evening.  

We had Venu from Paul John gracing this occasion and talking to us about the nuances of Single Malt and guided us through the tasting and appreciation of their three expressions, Paul John – Brilliance, Paul John -Bold and their recently launched Paul John – Nirvana.

As soon as we settled down into our seats, we had David Dass, our founder member, taking us down memory lane and refreshing us on the earlier malt tasting sessions. As he handed  over to Venu, we got into the act for the relaunch of version 2.
Assorted Cheese Platter

While we lined our stomach with the creamy goat cheese and salami platter that was served around, Venu took the floor and took us through some basic concepts of whiskies.

We understood the concept of “Vatting” which busted the very popular myth that a “Single Malt is a single whisky from a single barrel, whereas the truth being that the malts we consume are a result of “vatting” or “marrying” dozens or more whiskies from individual barrels.
Venu - Paul John

Venu explained, the amount of an alcoholic drink that is lost to evaporation when the liquid is being aged in porous oak barrels, also called Angels share, goes from about 2% - 3% in Scotland to as high as 10% - 12% in India each year.

We started our tasting experience with Brilliance. It is an unpeated whisky from Paul John Distillers, released in early 2013. It is made using barley from the foothills of the Himalayas and is distilled and matured in Goa, producing a fruity spirit with a creamy texture.

Nose:  Cinnamon-dusted-red berries, vanilla, honey

Palate: Chomp Bars - lots of chewy caramel and chocolate here. Picks up from lively spice along the way, with a little bit of waxy orange peel on the mid palate.

Finish: Orange lingers with a long finish.

Overall: A fine Indian single malt and my preferred expression from John Distilleries.                         
We followed this up with the Bold that was launched by Paul Distilleries in 2015 and is made entirely with Indian Barely and smoked using Islay peat to around 25ppm.
Spot the three Paul John Expressions amongst the
 FM-SMC members collection

Nose: Toasted barley, dried grass, citrus peels, green apple and brown sugar.

Palate: Honeyed oak and fruity coffee with that Islay peat.

Finish: Peaty and long

Overall: Fully peated Paul John single malt whisky preferred by most of the members present.

Finally we tasted the Paul John - Nirvana. The latest entrant into the long list of Paul John expressions. The Nirvana is a fruity, unpeated single malt.

Nose: fruitcake, honeycomb and caramel

Palate: Notes of apricots, raisins, honey, apples and salted caramel.
The Dinner Menu
Finish: Immensely long, and richly flavoured with dissolving honey, barley, and succulent vanilla.

Overall: A nice whisky but does not really stand out. I would personally go for the Brilliance.

As we were going through the wonderful journey of appreciating the three different expressions, the chef was working tirelessly in the kitchen creating from his repertoire a very exhaustive menu. A fair amount of effort was also put in to ensure the meal was paring well with the whiskies for the evening. 

Tomato & Olive Bruschetta
Our dining experience started with tomato and olive bruschetta. A Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. Variations may include toppings of tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese.

 This was followed by chicken satay, which is a Southeast Asian dish of seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served generally with peanut sauce. It is a dish from Indonesia, and popular in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei.

Finally we were served meat balls tossed in a BBQ sauce.
Chicken Satay

Meat Balls in BBQ Sauce
This was followed by a piping hot tomato and basil soup accompanied with one of my favorites, Ceaser's salad with grilled chicken.
Ceaser's Salad with Grilled Chicken
We were completely satiated by the time we reached the mains, which was chicken breast with a spinach and cheese sauce.
Interestingly, we had a second main course, Chicken Stroganoff with sour cream. 

A Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef or any other meat served in a sauce with smetana. From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe.
Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken Breast with Spinach 

Assorted Bread

The dessert was a strawberry cheese cake that we flambéed with Paul John – Brilliance. The residual whisky on the plate cut the sweetness of the cheese cake and enhanced the overall dessert experience. 

Strawberry Cheese Cake
Flambé is a cooking procedure in which alcohol is added to a hot pan or a dish to create a burst of flames. By partially burning off the volatile alcohol, flambéing reduces the alcoholic content of the dish while keeping the flavors of the liquor. Studies, however show that 75% of the alcohol is retained when flamed.

 This experience would not have been possible without the efforts of David & Jacob and the Paul John team. 

FM- SMC Members


Venu from Paul John on the left.



  1. Lovely write up Puneet! Nice to discover a new blog.

  2. Interesting read. Would love to host a session of such sorts with you all.

    1. Thank you Avinash both for the feedback and for opportunity to have an event hosted by you. We can definitely plan one. Will connect on this.



Look forward to your feedback.

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