Highland Hijinks – Old Pulteney 12 year 40%

Up first in our “Highland Hijinks” evening was Old Pulteney – for many this was a revisit of a familiar friend, for others it was an introduction.

Normally we taste only from closed bottles with the contributor taking the remaining home to enjoy with others.

However this was an exception – opened just a month earlier with IBHL’s Digital Marketing head Samantha Peter during her visit to India. As only a select set of Malty Mumbaikers could join that private evening, it seemed only fitting that the remaining whisky wander its way to the Whisky Ladies.

Which means both this bottle had oxidized a bit and was courtesy of our friends over at Old Pulteney.

And what did the Whisky Ladies think?

Old Pulteney 12 year 40%

  • Nose – A delicious mild apple cinnamon, a bit of zing and spice, peaches and apricots, a little wood, some brine, kept evolving shifting into a light refreshing perfume spray, lots of toffee
  • Palate – Sweet, restrained, honey with a bit of chillies too, citrus, coriander seeds, caramel, with the spice at the back
  • Finish – Lightly bitter, salted almonds, mild yet of surprising length
  • Water – No desire to add

Overall it was most satisfying. For many the aroma was the best part and they kept coming back to take a whiff and enjoy.

And when we finished trying our Highland trio, several came back to the Old Pulteney remarking how it really held its own – even at 40%.

What did the Whisky Ladies sample in our night of “Highland Hijinks“?

Other Old Pulteney tasting experiences:

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Whisky Ladies Highland Hijinks – Old Pulteney, Glenmorangie, Aberfeldy

When we have whisky tasting themes, it tends to be “anchored” by something our host has to share. Which is exactly what inspired  our Whisky Ladies June 2018 session…

It began with a bottle of Glenmorangie and was augmented by two more highlands…

What did the Whisky Ladies sample in our night of Highland Hijinks?

I simply couldn’t help throwing into the mix something that had nothing whatsoever to do with the Highlands… It is the kind of whisky you want to share with others, just to see what they discover!

Just check out the links above to read the full tasting experience…

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Whisky Live Singapore – Old Pulteney

A highlight from 2016 was attending the Old Pulteney Masterclass at Whisky Live Singapore.

Andy Hannah, Global Brands Development Manager of International Beverages, took us on a journey… providing my 1st sip of their new make spirit and an opportunity to revisit the 12, 17 and 21 year side-by-side.

2016-11-13-old-pulteney

New make spirit 69%

  • Nose – Very organic, meaty, vegetative, light sulfur, walnut, leather, clean and robust
  • Palate – An initial sting, then rich, quite remarkable how fruity it was on the palate
  • Finish – Oily, lasts and lasts

Very forward, bursting with character.

2016-11-13-old-pulteney-12

Old Pulteney 12 year 40%

  • Nose – A suggestion of salt, sugared nuts, vegetative, returned to find a splash of sweet spices
  • Palate – Easy, light citrus, honey sweet, floral, smooth
  • Finish – Short, snappy finish

Andy called this their everyday “all round dram” – easy to see why with such an approachable whisky. He also noted that if you are in the US expect to find it at 43% vs the balance of the world bottled at 40%.

2016-11-13-old-pulteney-17Old Pulteney 17 year 46%

  • Nose – Delightful citrus, tropical, peaches, guava, toffee
  • Palate – Full and chewy style, more substance, soaked rains, lots of pears, More complexity, full mouth feel, more pronounced and intense, apricots, lots going on
  • Finish – Dry and spicy
  • Water – Can open up but don’t drown! (my personal preference is without water)

Andy described the 17 year as the “brother – forthright with lots to say” noting it is matured in oloroso sherry with a different style than the 12 or even 21 year Old Pulteney.

Old Pulteney 21 year 46% 

  • Nose – Soft, light, fresh fruits – particularly apple, pear, warm
  • Palate – Coats the tongue beautifully, creamy spice yet soft. Wonderful, elegant, creamy mouthfeel with a hint of smoke
  • Finish – Dry finish
  • Water – Again can add but… really… why mess with a good thing?

Andy described the 21 year as the “refined, elegant sister.” Some comments around the table noted that it is far too easy to drink and hence quite dangerous!

Andy also shared this was the 2012 Jim Murray Whisky Bible world whisky of the year, with the influence of sherry, yet in a different direction than the 17 year.

2016-11-13-old-pulteney-2

Discussion then turned to queries about the Lighthouse range – Dunnet HeadNoss Head, Duncansby Head. Andy shared while all are NAS, they typically are 8-10 years.

Then queries about what makes the 89 Vintage so special? Andy called it a “happy accident” as it was matured in a cask that previously held Islay whisky so there was a soft peat touch.

When asked if there are likely to be more single casks released – he confirmed quite likely as and when something interesting is found.

Overall it was a mighty fine way to experience Old Pulteney with their affable knowledgable global brand manager.

Old Pulteney

PS – I was fortunate to be a guest at Whisky Live Singapore, courtesy of InterBev

For more related updates and activities, check out:

Mumbai’s Whisky Ladies meet Karen Walker of Inver House

Now… I could tell you serious stories of sniffing, sipping, swishing, swilling, and eventually swallowing.

However this is the tale of how a bunch of women got together one evening and managed to still stand after five (or was it six?) fabulous beverages.

Some of Whisky Ladies of Mumbai

Karen with some of Whisky Ladies of Mumbai

Whisky Ladies go pro!

Yes… it was the night we graduated to power point presentations with insights from a real live whisky professional! Who just so happens to be the absolutely delightful, entertaining and highly knowledgeable Karen Walker, Global Marketing Head for Scottish Brands of InterBeverage Group.

Here is what we sampled with Karen with full posts about the Whisky Ladies experiences:

Related posts sampling Inver House offerings with Master Distiller Stuart Harvey from earlier in 2015:

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Old Pulteney 12 year 40%

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!

Old Pulteney 12 year (Inver House)

Old Pulteney 12 year (Inver House)

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
We sampled the Old Pulteney 12 year at a masterclass together with:
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