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Old Pulteney 21 Year Old

Nozinan Mini and Sample Series - 5

0 577

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

27th Dec 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a sample received from @Paddockjudge in early 2014. The sample bottle was half full (not a reflection of stinginess on his part - I had tried it a few months ago) and preserved with gas.

I review a 15 cc pour. The notes are in standard sequence. Nosing and tasting with water occured after the notes were made neat, and 3-4 drops of spring water were added to the remaining 12-13 cc and left for over 5 minutes.

The sample labelling states that this is not chill filtered but I did not see the appearance of Scotch Mist in this one.


  1. Neat: Caramel, granny smith apples, white wine (oaked chardonnay).

  2. With water: Caramel is a little more prominent. Fruit notes a re a little more powerful as well, wine smell is subdued. With even more water and a bit of time I get a hint of pineapple


  1. Neat: alcohol with slight burn. Salty, sour. No other discernible flavours. a little thin.

  2. With water: I get a hint of licorice in the arrival. Still has an alcoholic burn. Mild fruity sweetness. The addition of more water does not add to the experience.

Finish: A little vanilla

I can’t rule out that this sample is past its best before date, or perhaps my nose is still recovering from last week’s cold. I’ve heard great things about this expression but they were not apparent in my glass.

This is not the type of whisky I usually reach for so I’m happy I got a chance to try it, but I won’t be spending $200 for a bottle.

Related Old Pulteney reviews


talexander commented

Very interesting - I thought this was a beautiful scotch but most people I know share your opinion of it.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

So many variables there are in whisky evaluation: the whisky, the specific batch of the whisky, how the sample was stored and handled, the taste of the reviewer, the experience of the reviewer, etc.

I've had samples of Old Pulteney 21 yo which ranged from wow-me great to just about what @Nozinan has described here. Jim Murray made a big point of pointing out that the Old Pulteney 21 yo released a year after he named it World Whisky of the Year was not of the same quality as the batch to which he gave the award.

Even to very accurately contrast personal tastes I really think that two reviewers have to compare notes on samples taken from the same bottle tasted at the same time. One of the reasons I especially like tasting with friends is the opportunity to compare notes on the very same beverage, norming sample origin and bottle storage and handling questions. "What do you think of this stuff I just poured you?" is a far more specific question around which contrasts of taste can be observed, than is "How do you like Talisker 10?" If someone asks me how I like Talisker 10, my short answer has to be, "It varies a lot." My only complete and fully accurate answer I can give is long and complex, because I've had a lot of very different experiences of it with different drams of it from different bottles. If you ask me about the Talisker 10 you just poured me, I can answer that question rather quickly and directly.

5 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

The provided sample of OP21 was from batch L12 044 18... it was one of two bottles purchased in July of 2013 at Rothesay, NB., $133CAD.

I found this to be a delightful whisky - extremely enjoyable - scored 92. I have often lamented over the fact that I didn't obtain more.

5 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@paddockjudge and I'm indebted to you for giving me an opportunity to try it. I know our tastes differ and intersect in different places, and it could be that I didn't preserve the sample well.

5 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, Luckily, our tastes do differ; otherwise, our whisky interactions might be fewer and farther between. Some bottles are just meant to be emptied quickly. I will certainly present you with another sample when the next bottle of OP21 is opened.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

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