We first heard about Paul John Mithuna in September 2020, when it was announced as the World's 3rd Finest Whisky in 2021. Lucky for Paul John, this whisky was the only whisky that wasn't released as of the day. The winner Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye and Stagg Jr were already well gone and sold out. It took a few months, but we are finally about to see Mithuna on the shelves in a few weeks.
Mithuna by Paul John is the second whisky from the brand's famous Zodiac Range. The first whisky in this series was Kanya. Kanya is the dignified Indian counterpart of the highly appealing Virgo. This time we have Mithuna with us which is the Indian counterpart of Gemini!
Since my mom is a Gemini, I have lived with a Gemini for a long time. I can say that I know how strong, intellectual, emotional and contradictive a Gemini can be. Sometimes, they are lost behind their intellectual talents but they always try to keep the balance of the light and the dark.
What's Different About the Whisky?
Paul John Mithuna is matured in 1st fill American virgin oak and then finished in 1st fill ex-bourbon barrels. We remember the virgin oak maturation from their Paul John Christmas Edition 2020. I love how Paul John's Christmas Edition bottles are indicating their new bottles such as Paul John Oloroso Select Cask and Paul John PX Select Cask.
Mithuna by Paul John
Bottled at a 58% abv, this bottle announces that it is not going to be an easy nut to crack. My experience from the Christmas Edition 2020 also tells me that, it will be bright, big, and vibrant.
How Does It Taste?
I tasted this whisky on three different days. Day time, afternoon, evening, late night and also with a cigar. I wanted to see all the dimensions it has to offer.
The nose starts with shouting notes of cardamom, some licorice, sweet tropical fruits, honeycomb. As the first wave dissipates, sandalwood, orange peel appear. Toasted oak and vanilla create comfortable bedding under all these aromas. With time passing and with a few drops of water, light tobacco, savory notes and buttery flavors show themselves.
The palate is thick and oily which met my expectations. Sultana grapes, stone fruits, oak spices develop into milk chai, cocoa, oak tannins and most interestingly white Pineau des Charentes. We found this aroma thanks to William Tsui from Viridian Bar in Oakland. As we were having our first sips, he took a bottle of white brandy from the bar and showed the similarity he found. Later on, I tasted a few more brandies and white Pineau des Charentes and there it was.
The finish is long and lingering and big. Caramelized sugar, walnut dryness, a sweet amaro feeling. Then dates appear with underlying subtle dark cocoa, tobacco and oak tannins.
Paul John Mithuna
Just like a Gemini! Exciting, strong, not afraid to put her strengths but also cover those with soft touches. Paul John Mithuna does a very well job of taking you on a journey of big flavors and then soothing you with gentle aromas. Aging the whisky primarily in American virgin oak brings out that crazy and strong character and the gentle ex-bourbon finish shows the boundaries to create a great balance.
I can easily say that this bottle offers a multifaceted whisky reminding you of a white grape distillate then show you a very well-made rye whiskey with spicy notes that are perfectly blended into vanilla. It does this without losing any signature Paul John character that I have learned over the years. Complex, big, bold, elegant and delicious.
I believe the only criticism we will hear will be the $300 price tag. Then remembering Kanya was also over $250 and now we can't find it in the US.