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:

Whisky Ladies enjoy Old Pulteney 21 year 46%

This wasn’t my first rodeo with the Old Pulteney 21 year – I had the pleasure of sampling it at a master class with Stuart Harvey and then with Andy Hannah at Whisky Live Singapore.

old-pulteney-21-yr

However it was a 1st for the Whisky Ladies and a treat to share as the ‘kick off’ to our November session.

What did the ladies find?

  • Nose – Mmmm… apples, pears, light flirtatious flowers, honey, salted caramel, ginger snap spice
  • Palate – Salty sweet pepper, beautiful complex flavours, wonderfully syrupy, soft fruit, oily, thick on the tongue, nicely chewy, well balanced, slightly smokey quality
  • Finish – Delightful dry cinnamon spice, tinge of bitterness in a good way

Then commenced a healthy debate on differences between tasting in a Glencairn glass vs Norlan glass… Our standard is to sample using the Glencairn, however one whisky lady returned from Canada with an early Christmas gift of a pair of Norlan glasses.

For many the Glencairn glass brought out more pronounced aromas, brighter more intense whereas the Norlan softened, rounded and blended the elements. On the palate, most preferred the Norlan as it enabled the flavours to shine muting the ‘alcohol’… which happened to also make the Old Pulteney dangerously easy to drink.

One remarked that Glencairn brought out the academic elements where one could distinguish the apples from honey from spice whereas the Norlan brought everything together creating a more sociable, approachable and companionable whisky.

Bottom line, the whisky was a perfect start to our evening!

The Whisky ladies experimental evening followed with:

PS The Old Pulteney 21 year was compliments of InterBev.

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Whisky Ladies experiment with Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore and a surprise

Quite a few of our Whisky Ladies were off traversing the globe in October and November. Which meant our American Adventures in October was sparsely attended and our November session felt like long lost friends getting together for a much overdue reunion!

Thanks to one whisky lady’s ‘prezzies’ from Canada was an opportunity to compare the difference between tasting whisky in the industry standard Glencairn glass vs the novel engineered Norlan glass.

It also meant we had an interesting assortment for our ‘contributors choice’ evening… where the only planning that went into deciding which whisky to sample was someone putting up their hand going “Me! Me! I have something to share!”

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

And what did we try?

Check out the links above to find out what we thought of each spirit plus our ‘expose’ on whisky tasting in Glencairn vs Norlan glasses.

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Old Pulteney 21 Year 46%

A year ago, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a master class with Inver House Master Distiller Stuart Harvey.

Our evening featured three whiskies being launched in India:

However there was a special treat waiting in the wings to pair with desert… The award winning Old Pulteney 21 year!

Photo: OldPulteney.com

Photo: OldPulteney.com

Here’s what I found:

  • Nose – Salty spice, all that maritime delight in the 12 year brought into focus, made richer, fruitier yet with a spicy earthy undertone
  • Palate – Super smooth, exceedingly well-balanced, sweet, smoke, chewy… in short delicious!
  • Finish – Light turmeric, a bit bitter yet lovely, made you return for more….

Stuart shared that typically a 21 year would loose 50% to the angels share… noting that generally in Scotland, one loses 2% per year, yet after the 12th year the rate begins to slow down and, particularly for barrels maturing by the sea, can even re-absorb the salty sea moisture, adding to the character.

Specifically, for the 21 year, Stuart noted it is matured in Spanish oak, pairs well with chocolate and, unfortunately, would not be available in India as they have a limited volume. Audible sighs could be heard throughout the room!

Stuart did share that they will be bringing out more single casks in 2016 as “some are worth it.”

As he put it – nothing beats the combination of having a “good cask maturing a good new make spirit.”

Official tasting notes:

  • Appearance – Golden amber with straw highlights
  • Nose – Full bodied with traces of fruits (apples and pears); slightly fragrant with spicy overtones.
  • Taste – Creamy, toffee, vanilla, baked red apple with a hint of smokiness and a dry finish.
  • Profile – Toffee, vanilla, spice, hint of smoke

Want to explore more Old Pulteney tasting experiences?

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