Old Pulteney Single Malt 12 Years Old (Review)

by on August 10th, 2010
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The Pulteney Distillery was founded in 1826 in a specially designed village of “Pulteneytown.” This town with a colorful history came into being as a place to house fishermen around Wick. This distillery is the most northern on the Scottish mainland. It is said that this unique locale is transferred into the whisky’s flavor.

The Whisky

With the history of the Old Pulteney rooted in the fishing trade, I was initially a bit worried that this would be a malt rife with fishy flavors. I am happy to report that it is not (in case you were also worried too). On examination, this is a light-colored whisky. It has the look of honey or light coloured mead, with a faint orange hue.

On first sniff, I find this whisky to be quite floral and fruity. The light delicate bouquet reminds me of wildflowers but without a suggestion of honey. Underneath this floral festival, there is a faint hint of wood, perhaps oak. Together they give a hint of nuttiness.

On first taste, the fruit is definitely present. The whisky has a sweet melon flavour. Despite the lack of honey scent to my nose, there is definitely a honey note on taste. It’s intermingled with nuttiness, perhaps like honey-roasted nuts. It quite light and fiery, with no sign of smokiness or peatiness I usually associate with the northern Scottish whiskys.

As this settles in my mouth, which does take a bit of time, the sweet flavours are first to slip away. I am left with an oily, salty essence, perhaps the input of the distilleries fishy history. It is intriguing that this malt goes from very sweet to very savoury. It’s an interesting bittersweet balance, and Old Pulteney’s 12-year-old single malt certainly provides an experience very different to other whiskys from that region.

Price Tag $30-$40

Other Notes This malt won double gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition in 2005.

Quick Notes:

Scent: floral, fruit, nut, oak

Taste: melon, honey, nuts, salt, oily.

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