Old Pulteney 17 year 46% revisited

Sometimes it is nice to be reminded of how much you enjoy a particular distillery and its whiskies. We had just such an opportunity with our Scottish “classic” evening…

Naturally half the fun was tasting completely blind with the reveal only at the end. Here is what we found…

Old Pulteney 17 year 46%

  • Colour – Copper
  • Nose – Sweet perfume, floral, vanilla, a touch of salty brine, chocolate, butterscotch, so familiar and inviting, toffee, some gentle sherry influence. After the 1st sip we found marzipan, almonds, light sweet citrus like a lemon cake. As it opened even more, there was a hint of smoke. As we let it sit even longer, the citrus shifted into a lively orange peel oil.
  • Palate – Soft sweet spice with some salt. A lovely complexity, sweet lime, lightly bitter with a subtle touch of tobacco leaf, a wisp or puff of smoke, so beautifully balance
  • Finish – Ends on a sweet note, gentle spice, really quite beautiful, a bit of liquorice
  • Water – Mellows it out… some preferred with and some without

We all really enjoyed this whisky and found it quite lovely, with a “feel good” character. While exceedingly easy to drink, it also had complexity and kept evolving. We all were confident that it must be Scottish and clearly well crafted. It also had all the hallmarks of an ex-Bourbon cask with a bit of ex-Sherry too.

A few of us kept remarking how there was something so completely familiar about it. We settled on Highland, one even mentioned Old Pulteney, another an old style Balvenie.

And our reaction to the reveal that it was an Old Pulteney 17 year?

Delight! An excellent reminder of how this whisky is simply one good dram.

Naturally this was one of many enjoyable evenings with Old Pulteney of which a few included:

Our original tasting group took an evening with a classic Scottish trio:

Don’t want to miss any Whisky Lady posts? Follow this blog on:

Scottish Trio – Linkwood, Old Pulteney, Royal Brackla

Sometimes you just want to enjoy classic styled whiskies… with a flight that has a straight forward age progression from younger to older… no experimentation, just a standard combination of ex-bourbon cask and ex-sherry maturation.

That is exactly what we did this month, sampling each malt blind… And yet it wasn’t entirely as “traditional” an experience as one would think…

Our original tasting group went “traditional” with a Scottish trio:

Curious to know more about what we found? Just click on the whisky links above and get all the juicy details!

Don’t want to miss any Whisky Lady posts? Follow this blog on:

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:

Classic Highland Dram – Old Pulteney 17 year 46%

First up in our Bombay Malt & Cigar club’s blind tasting surprise evening was a familiar friend in a slightly different age that we ordinarily encounter.

Which seemed to be exactly what our whisky curator wanted to achieve – trip us up with a less usual avatar of a well-known whisky.

old-pulteney-17-year

Old Pulteney 17 year 46%

Here is what we discovered:

  • Nose – Sweet caramel, lots of vanilla, hint of flowers, hay with a touch of dry wood, none of the typical fruity elements, except perhaps pear?
  • Palate – Initially lots of sugar, think warm peaches or apple sauce, very smooth without a single harsh element, nicely balanced with substance
  • Finish – Pleasant then absent

The smoothness was remarkable – particularly as the 1st dram of the evening there was none of the typical 1st sip reactions. A superb choice to start off our tasting!

Our speculations about region began as a default of Speyside (so many come from that region it is an easy pick!) but as we became more acquainted with the whisky, highland became the region of choice.

We pronounced it quite ‘classic’, well constructed, balanced, and while not complex, a quite lovely beginning to our evening.

With the reveal… some surprise.

Typically in recent Old Pulteney whiskies, the maritime quality is quite pronounced – particularly in the standard 12 year and the superb 21 year. What stands apart from many others is that slightly briney salty edge.

Until we were told the distillery, this element was not immediately discernible. Once it was known…. was it there? Naturally it seemed so (oh the power of suggestion or perhaps the inadequacies of our perceptions!)

We are no strangers to Old Pulteney either. While I may be a more recent convert thanks to Inver House entering India, another member has been a fan for decades.

He shared that this particular Old Pulteney reminded him of what the distillery used to produce years ago… a classic, enjoyable, accessible daily dram you would be happy to settle down with.

Here is what the folks over at Old Pulteney have to say:

  • Nose – Sweet with traces of apples and pears: slightly woody with a hint of butterscotch
  • Palate – Sweet with soft fruits: kiwi, guava, peach

Matured in fine oak casks, quietly breathing in the fresh sea air, Old Pulteney is the very essence of this unique place. Intricate, balanced and with a delicate mineral-salted spiciness, Old Pulteney is a distinctive and evocative spirit – truly The Maritime Malt.

It paired well with our cigars (Gurkha 17 year) and a serious dent made in its contents by the end of the night!

Coming up next in our BMC Blind Surprise tasting:

More Old Pulteney tastings in Mumbai:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: