Well-known for years in India where it is distilled, Paul John released their range of award-winning single malts in 2012 and its whiskies are now found all over the globe. Its list of awards is voluminous and includes Liquid Gold Award 2016; Wizards of Whisky-World Distiller of the Year 2014; Wizards of Whisky-Asian Distiller of the Year 2014, 2015, and 2016; and Jim Murray Liquid Gold Ratings place each whisky from 94.5 to 96.5.

Distilled in Goa, India, the tropical climate naturally accelerates the maturation of the single malt whiskies in American white oak barrels. A heritage variety of six-row barely that is harvested in the foothills of the Himalayas is distilled in a copper pot still and non-chill filtering helps retain the original color and taste.

Here is a rundown of the four single malts I had the privilege of sampling.

Brilliance: Non-peated, aged minimum of 5 years, 46% ABV…The barley generates juicy richness with a finish of cocoa and spices.

Edited: Hint of peat, aged minimum of 5 years, 46% ABV…grassy barley followed by gentle peat that intensifies, followed by chocolate mint and mocha and a sweet finish.

Classic Select Cask: Non-peated, aged minimum of 7 years, 55.2% ABV…bourbon Manuka honey-liquorice mix with toasted honeycomb.

Peated Select Cask: Heavy-peated, aged minimum of 7 years, 55.5% ABV…strong smoke, layers of crisp sugars, muscovado and demerara and a hint of spice and Dominican-style cocoa.

The makers of this exquisite brand suggest to savor these single malts it is best to allow it to breathe for at least ten minutes.

Paul John single malt varieties are imported by Domaine Select Wine & Spirits and are distributed by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in Southern Nevada and Southern California. MSRP range from $48 to $90 per 750 ml.


According to 2016 Nielsen studies, the margarita has been declared the most popular cocktail in the US. But sometimes you might not want to get out the blender and ingredients and mix one up. You actually don’t have to, thanks to Nightshade’s Premium Margaritas, which come already mixed and ready to drink. Nightshade Tequila is capitalizing on one of the fastest growing segments of the spirits industry, ‘ready-to-drink’ beverages. The 15% ABV Classic Lime made with custom-blended Blue Agave Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, lime and natural cane sugar, was a 2015 WSWA Silver Medal Winner in the Ready to Serve Category, and was the version I sampled. I found it to be as good as or better than others I’ve enjoyed in restaurants and bars and for sure better than ones I’ve mixed myself. It’s also worth noting that it’s gluten free and only 187 calories for an 8 oz serving. Nightshade’s other varieties are Hucklarita made with huckleberry, blueberry and marionberry, Papayarita with papaya, Ruby Redarita with red grapefruit & Choclarita with three types of chocolate, two cinnamon varietals and a touch of Serrano pepper.

Nightshade Tequila is distributed in California by Pacific Wine Distributors and the MSRP is $19.99.