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Right off the nose you can tell this whisky has been matured from bourbon casks. The nose to begin with is quite settled and smooth with very little spice to begin with yet when you add water (around 5 drops and no more) this whisky really starts to open up on the nose. While everything about whisky is personal down to the individual drinking it i must say that i was initially greeted by a pineapple aroma, white pepper and yes a hint of salty lemon zest yet nothing that was overpowering. Anyone who has tried Penderyn will know what i mean by a powerful nose, where as this is quite settled and delicate.
In the mouth there is a slight nip and bite on the tongue but know where else in the mouth... consistently i was thinking about the tastes and over and over again the word tropical fruits came to mind, with a subtle toffee hint in the background, everything was light and full of flavor yet compared to what everyone had told me to expect i have to say i was a little disappointed. Sure this is aged for longer than say Penderyn but in the mouth you could honestly see the similarities... the extra age of the Old Pulteney gave it a smoother delivery on the nose and in the mouth... again water is essential but don't add too much!
The finish is quite smooth and short with the pineapple taste and a lingering hint of spice around the back and front of the mouth. All the time that salty tang remains in the backgrounds which makes it different but to be honest i found it off putting.
I'm relatively new to whisky drinking having only been drinking it for the past 4 months yet i was expecting more from this and having literally just gone through a bottle of Penderyn Madeira i was shocked at the similarity. Yes this old Pulteney had more complexity and yes it opened up more when water was added but the similarities between the two was astonishing to me.
If you like bourbon matured whisky then i'm sure you'll like this. It has complexity and shows its quality along with spice and that salty tang which is unique BUT if you like ex-sherry cask matured whisky (as i do) then i would avoid this as the light natured flavors and the pungent smell is in my view over the top and nothing special.