Old Pulteney 12, 2006-2019, Bourbon Cask, 46% – Travel Retail Exclusive

Of course, ‘exclusive’ can be taken with quite a load of salt.

Back in early 2020 when Corona first became a thing in the west, I started hosting tasting for friends through all kinds of online channels. The ‘Stay The Fuck Home’ tastings, they were dubbed.

Of course, to host tastings I needed whisky, and some weird synapse fired. I decided I not only needed whisky, I needed new whisky. For some reason my mind figured that the bottles I have at home would in no way suffice to host a whisky tasting, so I bought some things.

One of them was this Old Pulteney, another was a 15 year old Balblair, there were others too. That Balblair is already gone for a while, and this one now is empty too. It took a bit longer because I kind of lost track of the bottle. As it turned out, I poured the remainder in a sample bottle and binned the clunky original one.

I bought these two bottlings since the North Eastern Highlands are a region that I generally don’t pay enough attention to. There aren’t too many distilleries and what is there generally gets marginalized by my Clynelish-fandom. This, while I generally like Old Pulteney and Balblair, to name just two.

Image from Whiskybase

Of course, apart from Teaninich, Dalmore and Glenmorangie there’s not too much going on in the area. There’s Glen Ord and Wolfburn of course but, you know, meh.

This one also looked quite appealing since it was cheap. I didn’t expect too much of it, but you need a gentle dram to start a tasting with, or so I figured.

There’s lots of vanilla with a hint of marram grass on the nose. Some butterscotch and toffee too, with the expected notes of oak and barley. A fruity edge with pear and pineapple.

The palate is just as fruity as the nose is, pear, pineapple and crisp apples. Some toffe and a hint of oak, straw and a bit of coastal salinity. Marram grass too.

The finish is more of the same. Not too long, and a bit less fruity than the palate. It does become a bit more generic.

If memory serves, this whisky is very similar to the regular 12 year old Old Pulteney. A slightly coastal, and rather fruity whisky. That’s all good, and especially at less than € 50 for a liter this is actually quite a steal. Of course, it won’t blow your socks off in any way, but it still is a rather tasty dram. It’s just nothing special.


Still quite easy to get.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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