Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Fresh bottle: An "old sneakers" smell, like I've found in the HP 12 and Juras.
Nose1: Strange but not unpleasant. Creme fraiche (or sour cream) from a fresh pour. Then the sneakers aroma shows other elusive elements: imagine smoked cheese and cactus. After breathing, some saltiness evokes murky seawater, but more subdued: think cardboard and salted macadamia nuts.
Nose2: If you're patient... the nose improves substantially. Fruits matching the color of the whisky emerge from the "fog": golden raisin, mushy yellow apple, some honey lurking beneath, and subtle pineapple.
Palate (fresh bottle): The flavors also seem fogged, by marshmallow/butter that suppresses the sourish golden raisins and apple. (Grass and pineapple join, after just a day of opening.) It dilutes into smoother banana cream into the finish. Although muted on the tongue, the fruits emerge at the back of the mouth, seeming tart and even a little bitter like almond slivers.
Palate (1 month): Somehow sea salt seems more obvious with age. The malt has now opened up-- packed with the flavors of the yellow fruits, hay, vanilla, and almond. The aging has earned this an extra point.
Finish: Toasty marshmallow in the throat; those tart fruits tickle the tongue. Drier grassiness creeps in, revealing the youth and preventing a higher score.
The overall experience is a mixture of positive and confusing sensations, but overall I think this is a (very) good purchase. The interesting nose does not beckon, but the palate shines: that interplay of vanilla, yellow fruit, and almond provide balance a high quality experience. I will put this away and look forward to enjoying it in the summer.
The first similar malts I think of are the (mentioned) young Juras and the HP12. They share the strange initial aroma and other aspects of character. I prefer the Pulteney to these, because of palate balance and complexity. Look to the Arran 10 (another excellent value) if you want similar but more overt flavors and an improved nose. If you seek intrigue, I could also point to the Glenfarclas 10. The 10yo Glenfarclas and Glenmorangie may be my top young malts, but this Pulteney doesn't fall too far behind; I think it is a saltier and livelier counterpart that provides good value.