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Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

Testing the robustness

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@FiberfarReview by @Fiberfar

22nd Apr 2015


Old Pulteney 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Bottle bought on a shopping trip to Sweden, this was one of few whisky bottles with a significantly lower price than in Norway. As is, £19 is a large enough 'discount' to grab a bottle every time you're in Sweden.

The distillery is located in the coastal city of Wick, in the far north part of Scotland. The bottle promises a robust and delicate whisky with a hint of sea air.

Nose: Honey, quite a bit of sweetness, I found the whisky to be quite fruity, with some oak influence. The salt in Old Pulteney is fairly balanced against the other aromas, and nothing seems to be out of place. There is no smoke to be found in this one.

Palate: Once again with the honey, followed by mellow notes of citrus. Salt, they do not exaggerate when they claim this has a hint of sea air, but Old Pulteney is nothing like those bottles of brine that I've tried before. All of this is followed by salted caramel and a nice, clear malt tones. Overall, I find Old Pulteney 12 YO to be somewhat sharp and spicy, and perhaps this is where the aforementioned robustness hails from. The spice and heat in this, while nowhere near as potent, reminds me of what I got from a rye whiskey. This certainly adds a bit to the claimed robustness of the whisky.

Finish: Medium length, the malt is taking the center stage, along with a hint of oak. Salt and malt is gradually becoming the main flavours here, with the sweet notes slowly fading away.

Comment: If this was cheaper in Norway, it'd probably rank as my go-to dram. Old Pulteney got salt, sweetness and loads of character and features I've not yet found in other malts. At the same time, they add E150 and use chill filtering, which is completely unnecessary. That said, this is a lovely whisky – I just wish they would up the percentage.

I really enjoy this, but at the same time, I keep thinking "what if this was bottled at 46%?"

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FMichael commented

Here in the States we're spoiled by getting this fine whisky bottled at 43% abv.

9 years ago 0

Fiberfar commented

Aha, that is indeed fortunate! I bet it also helps that you don't have to pay $68 for a bottle, like I would have to in Norway, haha!

9 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

What are these other bottles of brine you speak of?

Brine is one of my favorite tastes in a whisky, but it seems like it's getting harder to feel that sea blast the more I drink different whiskies. I used to get it big time from Springbank, but not so much anymore. I worry that I'm becoming desensitized to it. Even so, I'm always keen to find a new bottle that promises it.

9 years ago 0

Fiberfar commented

Ah. By brine, I'm speaking comparatively to other, more mineral tasting whiskies. I don't really have any specific bottle in mind, but as you say, Springbank (from what little I've tried), perhaps Talisker and a few of the Islay ones?

How about keeping one bottle of "maritime whisky" for when you're near the sea/on an island or something like that? And only drink it on those occasions. I'm very much considering taking a bottle of Old Pulteney (The 12 or perhaps even the 17) and store in the family cottage by the sea.

9 years ago 0

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