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This is certainly not my first Old Pulteney 12, in fact, thinking about it I could have bought more bottles of this than any other malt . . . hmm? Maybe. Now the second most northerly distillery on the bonnie Scottish mainland - Wolfburn now has that particular title - Old Pulteney is generally known for a 'Maritime' profile.
This review has a literal 'wee drop' of water and is from a recent batch straight off the supermarket shelves for Father's day! It's sat about twenty minutes before getting stuck in . . .
Nose: Very slightly spirity, honey, salt with a coastal air, as opposed to seaweed/rock pool, tang. Quite fruity with pineapple, green apple and a touch of ginger. I believe this is unpeated and from 100% bourbon casks but I do get a red fruit or berry note as well. Vanilla, toffee (hint of Werther's) and some soft oak. Malty biscuits.
Taste: Quite sweet arrival and the pineapple tickles the tongue, then the toffee begins to emerge and then the ginger. Some of that digestive biscuit's there as well. I've almost inadvertently swallowed a thirsty fly on that last sip but it stuck on my lip . . . lovely . . . pressing on . . .
Finish: Medium-ish. Brine and fairly tanninic oak but it's not overly bitter - just this side of the line for me.
You can only judge a malt on what's in front of you, and how you're tasting/nosing at the time; but I will say that whilst this isn't quite as stellar as my last bottle was it's still very enjoyable. It's easy drinking but also has enough complexity and balance to keep an enthusiast interested and engaged. It is also widely available and usually retails at around £25 in the UK, so excellent value for money at this end; shame about the presentation but, to be fair to OP 12, it doesn't seem to diminish the quality all that much. I would love to try this in a craft presentation though . . .