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Old Pulteney Navigator

Average score from 2 reviews and 3 ratings 82

Old Pulteney Navigator

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Old Pulteney Navigator

Old Pulteney is a distillery that does not appear on my blog regularly. This is only my 15th. The Navigator is one of the many NAS releases from this northerly distillery in Wick. This one first appeared in 2014. When I first put my nose in the glass, it was a bit of a scare. My eyebrows shot up and the first thing that crossed my mind was ‘broth’! Quite green and maritime. Reminds me of dry oysters (which I would not recommend by the way), dry oats, freshly sawed planks and rotting cider apples. It does not sound very good, does it? But that’s what I smell. Completely devoid of any sweetness, bar the cider apples. No, that is not really fair. After a few moments, some caramel and coconut kick in. On the palate, it goes in a completely different direction. Orange liqueur, fresh wood shavings, pepper, sweet malt, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Much better, but fairly dry. The rather short finish offers mostly coconut, white pepper and loads of drying oak. The nose left a lot to be desired, but amends are made on the palate. Still far from my favorite Pulteney, though.


Old Pulteney Navigator is a recently released No Age Statement malt which combines whisky matured in both bourbon and sherry oak. The reviewed bottle was opened 18 days ago, sampled then and sampled from a decanted sample from that bottle today

Nose: with just 18 days of air time, perfumed and floral sherry is very noticeable in the nose, together with the typical Old Pulteney significant brine, and the standard Old Pulteney underlying base malt. This is a little different than the 12, 17, or 21 yo Old Pulteneys. Different in what ways? I would say that this is more winey and perfumed than Old Pulteney 12 yo, and not as lush as is the 17 or 21 yo. Despite the floral and perfumed lushness, there remains an astringent sour quality to this Navigator's nose, which I find to be an interesting balance. As with Old Pulteney 12 or 17 yo there is peat here, but it is rather subtle. With water the flavours fuse together, and become quite coherent. I like this nose with water

Taste: the nose flavours do translate to the palate with very sharp barley in evidence, showing significant citrus flavours only hinted at in the nose. There is a strong honeyed sweet balance to the sharp and tart barley, and mid-palate this migrates strongly to the sour side. With water, as with the nose, the flavours fuse, and are quite different than without the water added. Sourness is reduced, but the vividness of the individual flavours is diminished

Finish: long, losing the sweetness and wine flavours in the medium term, becoming increasingly briney and sour, and finishing on a sour note. The death is overwhelmingly sour. With water the finish is softened, less noticeably briney, and less sour

Balance: there is an interesting and unusual sort of balance during most of the tasting experience. The finish ends on a completely unbalanced sourness. I like this Navigator, as I do the other Old Pulteneys I have sampled. This one is a little different, but I consider it an interesting change of pace. Compared with the 12 yo at 43% abv, this has more flavour intensity, but is not as coherent or balanced in its flavours. Navigator lacks the finesse and balance of both the Old Pulteney 17 yo and the Old Pulteney 21 yo

@tabarakRazvi, NO, I think that you would be better off in looking to try a sample of Old Pulteney Navigator than in buying a whole bottle. It IS quite an interesting malt, but I suspect that that interest might be satisfied in 2 or 3 drams. I would sum up by saying that I find Old Pulteney Navigator to be more INTERESTING than DELICIOUS.

As always @Victor, an honest, balanced and well informed review- have just invested in a bottle of this as it was on special offer. I think your comment that it is an interesting rather than delicious dram is on the money. But, Hey! It's Old Pulteney,, even the Beatles wrote a few duff tracks!

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