Old Pulteney 12 Year old

Sour maritime highland malt

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



30th Dec 2015

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 21
  • Taste: 19
  • Finish: 21
  • Balance: 23

The average score for this whisky is 80.

Tasting Notes by jack09

I opened this 70 cl bottle in March of 2015, and took notes during different stages of bottle levels. At first opening, the nose and taste were subdued, and I wondered why I bought it. But after a few weeks it opened up. The first and second thirds of the bottle were the tastiest. At its best, it is a rich, somewhat briny and sour, powerful highland malt.

Color: light gold, medium running legs

Nose: briny sweet malt, hints of pineapple, grapefruit and honey. Later stages of the bottle yielded a bouquet of tangy citrus (maybe lemon), sweet fruit, a mineral note, cola, hint of sherry, ghosts of oak, vanilla and wood smoke

Taste: oily buttery feel, medium bodied, sweet and sour fruit, could be pineapple, cinnamon, pepper, slightly bitter but not unpleasant. I find the taste to be pretty sour, too sour for my liking. Gave me slight heartburn. Maybe its and acidic whisky, I don't know.

Finish: medium length, peppery, tongue coating sweetness, sour

I'm down to my final quarter of this bottle, and finding it difficult to finish. But overall, it was an educating malt experience.


Whisky details


Old Pulteney









Victor wrote:

@jack09, thanks for your very nice review. It is always good when a reviewer can give perspective by commenting on a bottle over its lifetime. I prefer when possible to do this sort of review myself. I wish that all of my reviews were of this long-term perspective variety, but it is a very big commitment to buy and consume a bottle of every whisky we review,...and to wait patiently over long periods of time before commenting upon them.

I like Old Pulteney products quite a lot, but I have found some significant variation in Old Pulteney products at times. This sour theme you mentioned is one of them. Not all Old Pulteneys, nor all Old Pulteney 12 yos drift toward the sour. The ones which do so have lost the sweet balance, and are not as desirable to my taste. I also once had a taste of Old Pulteney 17 yo which was overpoweringly briney. Old Pulteney 17 is a whisky which is usually great, but that particular bottle also had lost any semblance of balance among the flavours.

Every batch, every bottle, of whisky is its own world...and that world changes and evolves over the course of the air contact that that bottle has.

30 December 2015 18:02

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