Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Old Pulteney 12 Year

Category: Scotch
Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
ABV: 40% (but should be at 43% or above)
Price range: 750ml $79.95 CDN
Nose:  Sea brine, ripe fruits trending towards dry fruits, mineral accents, warm nose of dry wood.  Intriguing and gets much better after sitting for 15 minutes.
Taste:  Salty tangy on the sides of the tongue, gentle alcohol warmth coats the palate.  Its fruit forward with earthy mineral notes.  There is oak dryness and the sweetness from red licorice or Swedish berries supporting the whole thing.  
Finish:  Relatively short but the salty nip adds to the effect and makes it memorable.
Would I buy it again: Sure, but only from travel retail because of the price. Only $50 at duty free for a 1 Liter bottle.
Would I recommend it to a friend: Yes, but I would tell them to buy it in the US so its cheaper.
Worthy as a daily dram: Yes, its an interesting representative of a highland malt.
Collection worthy: Not this one, maybe the 17.
Comments: This is a very interesting single malt.  Its “sea shore” salt influence plays a big role but not like the salt in an Islay malt.  This comes without the iodine and seaweed flavours and is basically a Speyside but with straight table salt added.  Odd but intriguing.  Here is what the bottle says:
“Pulteney Distillery is located in the windswept, rugged town of Wick on the tip of the North-east coast facing the Moray Firth.  This location has a dramatic effect on the maturing spirit.  After its 12 years of maturation, Old Pulteney is intricate and memorable, balanced, with a hint of sea air on the gentle clean finish.  A rich smooth expression, in fact a distinct and unique spirit.”
From Jim Murray, Whisky Magazine issue 12:
Nose - Attractively floral with significant oak input. Polished floorboards and a scattering of crushed hazelnut: firm to the point of being rock hard.
Palate - Hard and bullet-like from the off with an almost Irish pot still firmness.
Finish - Medium length and remains pretty sharp and crisp.
Comment - Pretty impressive and singular in style. First-rate bittersweet balance.

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