Paul John Nirvana Indian Single Malt Whisky

I really don’t want to take away from today’s entry into the calendar, but I need to have a brief conversation about the current state of things in the world of whisk(e)y. Particularly with regard to global giant Sazerac. We will get back to today’s entry in a moment.

Don’t get excited. The photo to the right was from 2019. The last time we received the whole family of Van Winkle whiskies and BTACs. Along with a few others… Before things got weird and complicated. This was a fairly good representation of what we used to get, post 2012. Prior to that we could, quite literally, sell any of these items to anyone who was interested, because we were the only ones interested in selling them. And established ourselves as the leader in the luxury bourbon game because of the relationships that were built with wholesalers and producers over the years.

Many have heard me talk about this before, and you may tire of my having to reiterate the seeming doom and gloom that we face this time of the year lately when it comes to the acquisition and sales of highly sought after bourbon. But, here we are again in December. The annual releases of Pappy Van Winkle, the rest of the Van Winkle line up and the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection whiskies are filtering in to the market this week. Best of luck to everyone who will be standing in line, in the cold, hoping to get their name drawn for one of these bottles.

We received our allocation yesterday. And it wasn’t great.

We were left out of the allocation for Pappy Van Winkle 15,20 & 23 for the second year in a row. Why? Because we didn’t buy enough of other items from the “Sazerac Portfolio” to sniff the top of the allocation list.

We didn’t even get multiple bottles of everything else that was released. One bottle each of the Van Winkle 10 & 12, and one bottle each of this year’s BTAC whiskies. That left us seven bottles to be dispensed to a waiting list that is well over 200 people who have done their part to be on the list, which we truly appreciate. If you are not sure what this means, please review what it takes to be on the list and move up the list here – Allocated Bourbon and Other Rare Whiskies – JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars (

We did receive a few other items that are in short supply, which was used as a numerical rationale, or consolation, for not getting what folks are really wanting this time of the year, which is everything stated above. We will be dispensing these bottles to folks who are towards the top of the list, and if they decline their allotment, they will go on a future Whisk(e)y Wednesday raffle.

So, why is this happening? Well, it’s simple. The laws of supply and demand and a brut force distribution technique that has made it very difficult to stay in the game. There just isn’t enough product to go out to everyone who wants, or needs, these items, so an allocation system has been established based on everything else that we sell from the “Sazerac Portfolio”. What does that entail? Items like Fireball, Barton’s Brands, Corazon Tequila, Dr, McGuillicuddie’s, Fris Vodka, Platinum Vodka, Wheatley Vodka and Taka Vodka… just to name a few. Our entry today is also part of that portfolio, Paul John Whiskies from India.

Now, we do fairly well with a few of the items in this portfolio, and we do our best to carry and push the more “high-end” components, like Paul John and Wheatley Vodka, but because of the nature of our business, we just don’t have as much success as other retailers (big box, grocery and other volume retailers) in the discount liquor realm. But not for lack of trying. We essentially give this stuff away to gain some traction on volume.

We have argued numerous times that the formula for determining where these bottles should go should be largely based on the where these items should go. Adult beverage stores and bars that have a reputation and track record for stocking and selling high-end goods and core clientele who truly appreciate the unique nature of these extraordinary whiskies, rather than places that are just looking to cash in on a a quick sale (often for significant amounts over MSRP), but really have little or no interest in selling these types of items across the spectrum of other high-end goods.

So where does that leave us? Hard to say. Until the demand for these items slows down, or the production increases, we are going to likely be left out in the cold when it comes to acquiring these items.

Anyway, on to today’s entry, which as I mentioned before is part of the Sazerac luxury portfolio, so there’s that.

The India Whisky scene is growing! Largely “malt based” whiskies aged in ex-bourbon barrels (so think Scotch and Irish-like).

John Distilleries in India started in 1996 and has grown to be the 4th largest producer of spirits in India. Considering India is the second largest population in the world, that is significant. Paul John Whiskies were released in London in 2012 with great acclaim and have continued to turn heads in the whiskey world as they made their way across the globe, and eventually in to the US.

Truth be told, we brought these in to expand some of our Sazerac offerings, but when we tasted the whiskies, we were largely impressed, and I think you will be too!

  • Name: Paul John Nirvana Indian Single Malt Whisky
  • Country of Origin/Locale: Goa, India
  • Proof: 80.0
  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room
  • Cocktail Options: No.
  • Available: Yes. Retail and in JJ’s Bar
  • Price: List Price – $42.49 JJ’s VIP Price – $33.99

Tom’s Tasting Notes: Malt whiskies outside of Soctland or Ireland have never really tripped my trigger. That being said, this one turned my head. It’s really good. On the nose we get butterscotch, cooked pineapple and fig. On the palate we find some cinnaon spice, barley sugar and sweet pear and apple flavors. There is a hint of ginger on the finish and kind of a bittersweet choclate note.