Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review

Every year Paul John releases a unique, interesting and, so far, stunning release every X-mas, and this was last year’s: Paul John Christmas Edition 2020. I’m reviewing it now in 2021 because 2020 was a dumpster fire and I didn’t get much done here on the site.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review

So here we are, on the night of a new era in America and I’m finally sitting down to put the final touches on a review I started in November but just couldn’t get into the spirit to finish. Though as you’ll see from the photos below I definitely didn’t stop drinking it even if the words wouldn’t come.


Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review – Details and Tasting Notes


Whiskey Details

Region: India

Distiller: Paul John
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon, ex-Oloroso, Virgin Oak
Age: NAS (~7 years)
ABV: 46%

Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 2020

Price: $85*

White background tasting shot with the Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 bottle and a glass of whiskey next to it.
“From the sunny shores of Goa along India’s western coast, hails Paul John Christmas Edition 2020. Deep hues of gold and delicate aromas of orange peel and honeycomb enhanced with sweet oak and delicious plum cake awaken the palate. Created from an exclusive blend of single malts from virgin oak, ex-bourbon and Oloroso casks, this exotic limited release proffers deep flavours of creamy dark chocolate tinged with gentle barley and soft spices, culminating in a rich, long lightly peated and memorable finish.” – Paul John

Tasting Notes

Reddish honey

Malt, olde candy shoppe, baked goods, smoke, dried dark fruit, citrus, toffee, spice and stewed apples with Christmas spices (holiday apple pie filling), strawberry taffy, grapefruit and a light nutty character.

Dried strawberries, olde candy, malty, sweet, smokey char, candied citrus, apple pie filling, toffee, copper and a bit of oak and nuts.

Medium-long -> Malty and candy sweet with a touch of dried fruit, oak and spice.

Great sense of balance, medium body and a soft, lightly oiled feel.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review – Overall

Aroma is a nice diverse rollout that’s more subtle than previous years –  you need to take your time with it and let the candy, malty, wine and smoky notes pass to findthe apple notes below; Palate is interesting and unique in its totality and I can’t quite place it but it’s like Honey Nut Cheerios by a fire with some olde tyme candy dots and just a touch metallic; Finish is a muted velvety version of the palate.

Loving it. The Paul John X-mas 2018 still reigns supreme, but this is far from a slouch.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review – Final Thoughts and Score

Kind of a weird whisky, but in a good, intriguing and fun way that creates a mystery you want to solve. It’s… it’s… it’s a damn good whisky that what it is. Complex, nuanced, and full of unique and enjoyable combinations it’s a whisky to be enjoyed fully and slowly. Savor it.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 is something to savor and share with anyone you’re able. This is not the kind of whisky you horde and hide, it’s one you pour for friends and start a conversation with. Which makes this a sad whisky to launch during a pandemic, but it hasn’t deterred me from doing just that and folks who got a taste all had the same thing to say: “wow”.

SCORE: 4/5

*Disclosure: The bottle for this Indian Whisky review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Back Label

Paul John Christmas Edition 2020 Review


A complex, nuanced and fun whisky that brings something new and interesting almost every time it’s sipped. This is a good fun whisky.


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