Even though I went to visit Old Pulteney in October, and bottled two bottles when I was there, I’m reviewing a different one. This one was bottled by Thijs (of Words of Whisky fame), all these years ago and has been sitting on my shelf for ages.
Of course, as things work with samples, there’s a ‘last in, first out’ system. So, when new samples arrived this got pushed to the back, and was completely forgotten about until recently. Well, to be honest, it was still forgotten, but found. Not remembered.
So, bourbon cask Old Pulteney. The type of cask that works best with that spirit, if you ask me. But then again, that goes for most distilleries and most whiskies. It’s a 15 year old, which is a good age at which the new make has sufficiently matured and the alcohol has mellowed, but it’s not typically so old that the cask dominates everything.
Hay and salt from the get go. Some lemon and vanilla custard too. Marram grass, sandy beaches. After that I start getting white pepper and oak. More vanilla after a while.
It’s pretty sharp on the palate, with a lot of white pepper and heat. Very light on the oak and vanilla, a very light palate. It mellows after a little while and you get a very straight forward Old Pulteney with quite a lot of fruitiness on top of the coastal salinity. Some apple, white grape, pineapple.
The finish is rather gentle, with the fruit being present still, and the grassy, hay like notes being slightly less pronounced.
A very decent dram. Not spectacular, but one that is highly drinkable. The ABV holds that back a little bit, it’s a tad sharp on the palate. But the fruity notes are quite lovely. To be fair, this is textbook Old Pulteney, and that’s quite a good thing!