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Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

21st Mar 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    82

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I tasted this entry level Old Pulteney almost two years ago, but since I will be trying a whole range of the whisky from Wick this week, I felt it smart to return to this 12 year Old first.

The nose is pretty grainy (malt) with caramel and some sea salt. Light hints of beeswax and a touch bitter as if from walnuts. Leave it to breath for a while, it does wonders for the nose. A bit of oak and some ginger. Soft.

The attack is somewhat thin, again grainy, but also mildly bitter. Pomegranate and grapefruit, but not in a grand way. The fruitiness is somewhat overpowered by liquorice and caramel.

The rather short finish develops on some salt and pepper.

This is a nice visitor card for an entry level malt, but the high score I gave it two years ago was a beginner’s mistake. Around 30 EUR.

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3 comments

Rigmorole commented

I went and looked up your old review of OP12. Why? Out of curiosity. You seem to think that rating it with a mere 4 points higher was a "beginner's mistake."

The average score is only 79. My question is this: I wonder if OP12 was better in 2009, Mark, when you first rated it? Perhaps the batches were better back then? Who knows? It seems to me that Highland Park was better in 2009 by way of comparison.

Here is your first review. I actually find it to be quite good and very articulate:

Environmentalist at Pulteney! They actually have a project going in which the excess heat of the production process is used to heat some 270 local homes. How about that? And next to the distillery is a small factory that processes up to 30.000 tonnes of wood into green electricity.

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old is their best known expressions, selling about 600.000 bottles a year (half of which are exported). It is non-chillfiltered and uncoloured, matured on bourbon barrels.

You might almost confuse it for a fine Islay because of the light peatiness. But it is so sweet, with honey and flowers.

On the palate, nothing but caramel - again with light peat - with chunky malt and citrus and a tad of sea salt. Surprisingly nice.

The finish, nice and long, offers more saltiness. The dram dies in the arms of bitter chocolate.

I didn't know Old Pulteney before I got a taste at my favourite whisky restaurant last weekend, but to be honest, I feel this dram is essential for every cabinet.

6 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

Hi @rigmorole and thanks for your comments. Scoring is a much debated topic (see the very long thread elsewhere on this forum), but in my book the difference between 86 and 82 is quite large (even though as you pointed out only 4 points). Having said that, I tasted it from the same batch, so that is not what makes the difference here. The big difference is that I tried the first one in a restaurant with nothing to compare it with. This one, I tasted in a line-up of Old Pulteney's where this was the first dram of 7. Lastly, two years ago I had only just started writing tasting notes and giving scores. That may also have been of influence.

6 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Wow, very cool. Interesting info. Great reviews and website! Thanks!

6 years ago 0

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