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A friend and fellow reviewer from Queensland and I have decided to start sending one another whisky samples. It's a cheap way to experience a wide range of the whisky world with quite a bit less risk of buying a bottle that you sit there and go "That's NASTY!" and helps you find the bottles and distillers that make you go "That's YUM!"
A week or so ago the samples that he sent to me arrived and made me happily giggle!
New whisky is ALWAYS fun to taste and try!
In his little care pack he'd sent me a Glen Scotia distilled in 1992 and bottled in 2009 by Gordon & Macphail, Dalmore 12 yr old, Suntory Hibbiki 17 yr old, Aberlour Abunadh batch 17 and a special mystery malt that very few people have ever got to try.
I'd already tasted the Glen Scotia which I really didn't care for and scored a 75 out of a 100.
Last one I'd tasted was the Dalmore 12 yr old which was quite yum and received a score of 83 out of a 100.
Tonight's one to be tasted was the Old Pulteney 12 yr old!
I was quite eager to try the Old Pulteney because if you've been reading your Whisky Bible 2012 you'll see that the 21 yr old is the whisky that won the World's Best Whisky!
Ive never been a huge Highland whisky fan, tending to stay specifically in Speyside and Islay (I know pretty fun right?), but I'd meandered into the Highland region before a couple of times with Glenmorangie, Dalwhinnie and Dalmore a couple of nights ago.
So as is my evening ritual I sit down with my glencairn and my wife to enjoy dinner and an episode of Masterchef.
As we sit there and nose the glencairn some lovely aromas are coming out of the glass.
Some sea air is wafting through the air with hints of fruit and vanilla. Very lovely and quite complex.
Taking my first sip I'm amazed at how awesome this entry level whisky is. This is a big whisky with bags of flavor!
First is salt, then wisps of smoke, bits of vanilla, peppery at times and quite bitter with oak. The oak almost dominates the flavor profile, but thankfully it pulls back before taking over.
The finish is quite bitter due to what I think is the oak with a lot of saltiness. It's of decent length and fills your mouth with warmth.
This is a very nice dram and makes me very eager to crack open my bottle of the 21 year old which is of higher and obviously greater age.
This bottle can be found in some bottle shops in Australia for around $80 AUS which is a bloody good price considering what you're getting, but you ARE going to have to work hard to find it I believe.