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Old Pulteney is the quintessential coastal distillery. Unfortunately I haven’t tried much of their core lineup. I’ve been enjoying a bottle of the 17 that I bought a few months back. In fact, I need to rewrite my review for the 17 with a higher mark, as it’s grown on me quite a lot. Anyway, I’ve only recently gotten my hands on the 12, in the form of a 50 ml sample bottle. I took this opportunity to taste the 12 and 17 side by side. The 12 has some pretty big shoes to fill, so let’s see how it stands up. This review will largely be a contrast between these two presentations.
Nose: Crisp honey and gentle apples. Lovely maritime saltiness. Cream. Considerably more fruity than the 17. Cereal and orange. Really nice and crisp.
Palate: Quite spicy and sharp, but never biting. Creamy, buttery mouthfeel. Deep, rich honey. Like the 17, there’s heaps of salt and white pepper in here. A subdued malty note also makes an appearance.
Finish: Fruit kicks in here. Apples and pears, mainly, with a hint of pineapple. This dram has quite a buttery character. The peppery note fades gradually throughout the medium-long finish. Meanwhile, the malt note seems to persist. The lingering flavours are malty and salty, with a fleeting honeyed sweetness. Great.
This is definitely OP. The salt, the malt, the coastal notes, the gentle sweetness, the white pepper. All of these components are crisp and clean. Is it as good as the 17? I think it’s as good, yes. The 12 is a bit more loud and proud. The 17 is also absolutely delicious. It’s more rounded, calm, and mature. Where the 12 is sharper and spicier, the 17 is smoother and oakier. Where the 12 is dynamic, the 17 is more steady. Despite the differences, these are very much of the same ilk. Brilliantly salty, coastal, and charming. At this point, I’m just itching to try the 21 yo. Gotta love OP.