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Ah Old Pulteney, my salty old flame from Wick, so familiar yet still largely uncharted territory. Though I regularly stock a 12 or 17 in the cabinet, I never ventured any further in the wonderless world of this Northern Highlander, aside from a few independent releases. The 21 was built around a recipe similar to that of the 17yo. Only with a higher percentage of first fill Oloroso sherry casks in the mix and four extra years on it.
Description: matured for 21years in both 2nd fill bourbon and 1st fill Oloroso casks. Bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: a simple coastal profile: briny and earmarked by oak tannins. A core of grain with fruit notes of pear and touch of caramel to sweeten up the ensemble.
Mouth: a thick round highland body with a subtle rich but salty palate: old wood and varnish go hand in hand with a lick of honey, seaweed, white pepper and some lemon squash.
Finish: medium long with a fade on wood polish.
Verdict: born in salt and smoke, matured to perfection. What’s not to like about this grand and refined Old Pulteney. The fruit from the 17yo has made room for a polished wooden profile. Most enjoyable, she handles the strong influence of oak quite well.