**One great thing about Paradise Kava is that all of their Piper Methysticum is grown on the big island of Hawaii. So, despite this being a Papua New Guinea strain, it is still big island grown. This explains why most of Paradise Kava's products are slightly more expensive than other Kava vendors. It is one thing to keep in mind when ordering from them - you are bound to get a fresher Kava that is a bit more expensive because of agricultural labor costs in the United States.
I didn't try PNG's Isa Kava until I arrived in Ghana after a grueling 36 hour trip. And then, I waited a day or two to acclimatize and wind down before brewing up a big bowl in the village where I farm cocoa, plantains, bananas, and taro. Combined with jet lag and the shock of working on the farm after being off of it for three weeks, this Kava bowled me over in a perhaps unexpected way. I probably should have chosen a Fijian or Hawaiian variety, but I wanted to give this a squeeze as it was fresh out of the pipeline.
When you open a bag of Paradise Kava, you are always greeted with a pungent whiff of very fresh Kava powder, and Isa can throw you off a bit because it is so immediately strong. Compared to their other powders, this is quite a heavy hitter in terms of strength and flavor. It is not comparable to the grassy, viscous Papua New Guinea varieties that vendors like Nakamal at Home or PNG Kava sell, but it is still piney and more terrestrial-scented.
The flavor of PNG's Isa is not like that of most of other PNG Kavas on the market (those sold by Nakamal at Home or PNG Kava, for example). It is noticeably less grassy, a bit nuttier, but is definitely still very strong. It does not go down smoothly like a Fijian, Tongan, or Hawaiian variety. Similarly, it has that almost overwhelming numbing effect that one would expect from a PNG Kava. In this sense, the taste is very satisfying in the "stony" department - you know you are swigging something that is going to knock your socks off. Like most PNG Kavas, I can't say I altogether enjoy drinking it from an aesthetic perspective. It is thick, acrid, and heavy. Like Nakamal at Home's Chief's Jungle Kava, this all makes sense when one considers the effects.
The effects of the PNG's Isa are imminent and overpowering. It is on the stronger side of strong. I would argue that it is perhaps a bit stronger than Nakamal at Home's "Chief's Jungle" but has a more pleasant strength that could be loosely compared to Nakamal at Home's "Stone" (though slightly stronger). My one apprehension about this particular Kava is that it has a pronounced "Tudei" effect. The day after I drank a few shells of this, I was still substantially krunked and even slightly nauseous. I don't particular enjoy that feeling, so I'd put this at the bottom of my Paradise Kava list (which is still a good thing, considering there amazing selection).
This is THE Kava for people who are looking for strong effects. It will krunk the senses out of you. But be careful, because you will feel it the next day!
Taste - 7/10
Effects (Mind) - 8/10
Effects (Body) - 8/10
Strength - Very Strong
Paradise Kava's Isa Kava - 7.6/10