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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.