Sometimes you feel like channeling your inner fisherman… a little swarthy, gruff but still seaworthy despite being a bit rough around the edges.
If you like your whisky a little like that, the Old Pulteney might just be one for you!
Some months ago, we sampled the Old Pulteney at a master class held in Mumbai with Inver House master distiller Stuart Harvey.
Stuart shared that the Old Pulteney new make spirit is quite ‘meaty’ with vegetal and noted that much of the sea salt comes from the casks absorbing the ambient air during the maturation process. It does indeed have a distinctly briney character very much in keeping with its maritime spirit!
Here’s what I found during the tasting…
Old Pulteney 12 year 40%
- Nose – Green apples, fruit, sea air with a bit of brine, warm, sweet vanilla
- Taste – A bit more of that brine upfront then in bursts some citrus, chewy tobacco, leather, woody, salty, honey and again that curl of vanilla, perhaps a hint of cinnamon bark?
- Finish – A little spicy tingle yet sweet too, bit oily
- Water – Really… if you must!
For the Old Pulteney, Stuart encouraged a drop or two of water. However suggested to never have more than 50% whisky and 50% water as the Old Pulteney is already 40%.
I must admit my inner single malt snob sniffed! How could one drown a dram?! However looking around the room, realised a few were still being weaned off shocking fabulous whisky aromas with copious chunks of ice! So perhaps a little drowning with water is the lesser of two evils…
Before bringing out a special treat of an older Old Pulteney, Stuart shared that originally the distillery only produced the 12 year… it was one of the first projects he had as Master Distiller to go beyond the 12 year alone to introduce the 17 year and 21 year.
I quite enjoyed the slightly rougher edge and maritime feel of the Old Pulteney 12 year – it has an unmistakable ‘stamp’ that distinguishes it as a distinctly ‘sea-worthy’ Highland whisky.
Here are the official tasting notes just to compare:
- Nose – Medium to high intensity with a briny hint of sea air
- Taste – Dry, medium bodied and smooth, redolent of honey and cream, faintly salty with a slight spicy note and a sweet long-lasting finish
- Profile – Vanilla, citrus, briny, sweet
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