‘Alter’ing the whisky realm - Single Malt Amateurs Club and Paul John present ‘Alter-Ego’

The second Single Cask Special Edition created exclusively for members
‘Alter’ing the whisky realm - Single Malt Amateurs Club and Paul John present ‘Alter-Ego’
Photo - Single Malt Amateurs Club

Single Malt Amateurs Club (SMAC), India’s foremost single malt whisky appreciation club in India, and John Distilleries, creators of the Great Indian Single Malt, jointly release the first of two expressions, ‘Alter’ and ‘Ego’. Alter-Ego was inspired by Jekyll and Hyde and conceptualized to display the many facets of a single malt whisky, with drastically diverse flavors from the same distillery, truly bringing out the duality of man.

‘Alter’, the first of the duet, consists of a rich, amber-peated sherry whisky, matured for six years and complemented with a finish in an Ex Madeira cask. This release explores the duality of whisky by utilizing the same ingredients and distillery but with very different maturing processes to bring two unique taste profiles to market. Further enunciating the dyadic nature of the set, the designs evoke two sides of the same coin. A masterpiece on its own, but with the collection, ‘Alter-Ego’ is a sight to behold. 

"Cask 6028 was our first exclusive bottling with Paul John, and it offered members of SMAC a peated whisky with a lovely rim of sea salt. It was a great hit, and we are delighted to work with John Distilleries for yet another special, limited-edition Single Malt. 'Alter' is characterized by distinctive notes of a sherry nuanced with the Madeira cask; the Whisky interlaces tropical dry fruits of raisins, dates, and figs. The palate shines through with medicinal peat & iodine finishing with a natural coastal salt rim and sweets," observes Hemanth Rao, founder, Single Malt Amateur Club.

Whisky Details -

  • Whisky Type: Single Malt Peated

  • Cask: Ex Madeira & Single Cask

  • ABV: 50%

  • No added color

  • Non-Chill Filtered

  • Cost: 10,000 INR

  • Note: 276 Units of Alter

“Alter is one of those rare magical whiskies that are not just about tasting notes but the shape, depth, and overall experience it offers, and it has to be said, this is pretty close as good as it gets,” said Michael D’Souza, master distiller, John Distilleries.

Tasting notes from Michael D’Souza:

  • Colour – Reflections of copper and tints of amber.

  • Aroma – Rich aromas of orange blossom honey with hints of ginger syrup, salted caramel, and a proffering of fruit cake.

  • Palate – An excellent balance of gentle citrus with sweet, lightly smoked honey enhanced with delicious, canned fruit.

  • Finish – Long and delectable with lingering notes of deep cocoa and smoked hazelnut.

The release will be accompanied by SMAC’s annual pilgrimage to the Paul John Visitor’s Centre for an intricate tasting session and culminating in a gala; the launch is set to be an experiential process, rather than an event.

Responsible for persuading critics the world over that Indian Whisky was here to stay, John Distilleries was founded in 1996 by Paul P John. Paul John, their flagship Single Malt brand is their crowning achievement in the space, winning international acclaim and awards, and making its mark on the western-centric world of whisky. From the tropical climate of Goa to international appeal, Paul John Single Malts have been awarded The Liquid Gold Award by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, Best Indian Single Malt Award along with the Best Asian Whisky Award, the Double Gold Award from San Francisco World Spirits Competition & Chairman’s Trophy by the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

Established in 2011, Single Malt Amateur Club has been at the forefront of the whisky appreciation movement in India, bringing new vigor and popularity to the liquor and taking Indian Whisky to newer heights than were previously established. Having the honor to attend and gain access to new and exclusive Indian Whiskies, such as Paul John’s first-ever single-cask release in 2020, has allowed SMAC to place itself at the forefront of the Whisky landscape. Alongside annual Whisky tours in places such as Singapore and Goa, SMAC is a propagator of whisky culture.

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