Old Pulteney – 12 Year Old
Matured wholly in air-dried, hand-selected ex-bourbon casks, the ‘unashamedly excellent’ Old Pulteney 12-years-old is the definitive expression in the Old Pulteney family.
Traditionally crafted using techniques that other distillers have long abandoned, this winner of numerous gold medals at the most prestigious international competitions is a high water-mark of quality spirits.
Colour : Deep amber, red golden (with a slight pink hue) sparkling with a copper glow.
Nose : Medium to high intensity with a briny hint of sea air.
Palate – Dry, medium bodied and smooth, redolent of honey and cream, faintly salty with a slight spicy note.
Finish – A sweet long-lasting finish.
ABV 40% vol. 70cl
Branded as The Maritime Malt, the Pulteney distillery is one of the most northerly distilleries on the Scottish mainland. They appear to have infused the whisky with the sea itself.
And there’s the sea air. There’s a hint of saltiness about the aroma. There’s also shades of almond and vanilla.
Again, there’s a touch of salt. It isn’t in any way at odds with the rest of the whisky. You’re transplanted to a rough, northern beach with the smell of the sea when you taste Old Pulteney 12 Year Old. It’s smooth and creamy too. There is a hint of the oak casks and a shade of something zesty / citrusy.
Long, smooth, dry and rolling like a North Sea wave.
Describing a malt as tasting like the sea sounds desperately off-putting but the truth is that Old Pulteney – 12 Year Old is an inexpensive smooth, sweet, creamy whisky with an old salty sailor’s tales coarsing though it.
As I write, you can get this from a variety of places from between £25 to £27,50.
This is a review and giveaway for the 12 year old Old Pulteney, but we were sent a sample of the 17 and 21 year old too. The seventeen year old contains spirit “wholly matured in Spanish wood ex-sherry casks”. Boy, can you taste it. A hint of oak and salt, sweet and smooth, it was a delicious experience… And then we had the 21 year old.
The higher proportion of sherry cask spirit and the extra four years lead to a most pleasant experience. The saltiness is all but gone, leaving a warm, smooth, sweet, full-bodied, fragrant experience that made this taster most happy. At £90+ a bottle, it’ll be a while before I experience it again, but it was incredible while it lasted.