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Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

Simple Pleasures

0 888

@WhiskyBeeReview by @WhiskyBee

11th Oct 2013

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    88

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Wrote a review of Old Pulteney 12 yo about eight months ago and tonight realized I’d never done a formal review of OP 17. (Formal? I write most reviews late at night while in my robe and slippers, with my dog snoozing by my chair. That’s as formal as it gets around here.)

This bottle was half of a two-pack of OP 12 and 17, each of the 375ml size. Always wished more distilleries would offer packages like this. The bottle’s been opened for quite a while—at least ten months, I’d say. It doesn’t seem to have changed much since the last time I had it (I can’t recall exactly when, but I do remember snow on the ground), so maybe the smaller bottle size helps stave off the oxidation. The bottle code, for those who keep track of such things, is L12-116-IB-12/5059-14:15. Not sure how to decipher most of that, except that it’s a 2012 (June 11??) bottling.

Nose: Fruits (mostly citrus and bananas), nuts, and honey, mainly. Traces of oak and vanilla. There’s also something here that I don’t quite know how to describe, like a head of lettuce rinsed in cold water. There’s no discernible odor to it, but it screams “Fresh!” A nice touch of something ethereal and abstract, if you will.

Palate: The arrival is stinging, peppery, and full of fruits (tart apples, pears, and melons). I don’t know if it’s this particular batch, but I don’t get the richness in the development that others rave about. Seems to turn bland and watery as it sits on the tongue, in fact (and I’m drinking it neat). Three well-spaced sips, and the same results each time.

It comes alive in the long finish, however, as I get a nice balance of sweetness and spice. Some apples and pears as it goes down, followed by salt and hot pepper once it’s passed the gullet. A little dry chalkiness at the very end, which is a nice slam-the-door sort of goodbye.

I don’t find OP 17 as complex as others might, but I don’t mind fewer aromas and flavors if they’re pleasant and balanced. Not spectacular, but a solid, B+ whisky. I might even consider investing in a 750ml bottle once I’ve polished off the last couple of drams in this li’l thing.

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8 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

My only comment is that EVERYONE I have ever given a drink from my bottle of Old Pulteney 17 goes bonkers over it. The only other whisky I own that gets such a universally positive response is Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX.

7 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

@Victor - I like it, obviously, but it's a level or two below "bonkers" for me. But then, I don't get the same complexity that others have described, so perhaps it's a batch or bottle issue?

Ah, the Sonnalta PX. I think it was already sold out by the time I started taking whisky seriously. One of those that will probably remain as elusive as that mythical Malt Mill cask.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@WhiskyBee, yes, batches can really vary a lot. I have to say that the first taste of Old Pulteney 17 I had a couple of years ago was so salty that I found it difficult to enjoy. My current bottle tastes nothing at all like that sample did. When my friend gave me my current bottle I really did not know what to expect. I would describe my current bottle of Old Pulteney 17 as lush and sweet,and in a very good balance, whereas that earlier sample was rather astringent and austere. So, really, I need to sample from your bottle to see what it is that YOU are drinking.

7 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

@Victor - As mentioned, I don't think the bottle's changed or opened up much over time. I made some preliminary tasting notes when I wrote a review of OP 12 back in February, and they pretty much match what I tasted last night. I don't think I gassed it eight months ago. It's a smaller bottle and I didn't think it would last this long!

There's slightly too much left to decant into a 50ml bottle, so the remaining couple of drams have been gassed. I'll save some for you. ;-)

7 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Last time I drank this one, I got a hint of gauze bandages on the nose. It was quite strange but the rest of the nose/palate/finish was quite nice. Still, not quite as complex as I had expected from previous experience with this whisky. It seems to be growing less complex with later batches. Not sure if that's just my imagination or not. Perhaps there aren't different batches. I'm really not sure if there are. Or perhaps my taste is growing more complex as my experience tasting and rating scotches matures.

7 years ago 0

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

Great review! I wrote an amateurish review about this a while ago. I think I need to re-visit it and update my views!

7 years ago 0

Lifewaterforce commented

I have tasted the 12 on numerous occasions and i have hesitated to pick this one or the 21 up, but the thought of having missed my oppurtunity when they were (presumably) at their best 2 years ago. Very good & enjoyable review whisky bee, thank you!

7 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

Slight correction that may not be correct: April 26 is the more likely bottling date.

7 years ago 0

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