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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 21, 2014


Two Old Pulteney ex-bourbon

Two Old Pulteney ex-bourbon

Pulteney’s often compared with Clynelish. It’s true that both distilleries are pretty close to each other (when seen from here, at least), up there in Sutherland, and that both can be rather coastal and mineral, as well as similarly fruity, but what Pulteney seldom has is wax. In my experience it’s also a little more… say kind of erratic, depending on the freshness of the wood, but there are also many gems that came out of Pulteney. Let’s hope we’ll find two of them today…

Old Pulteney 1997/2011 (45.1%, Gordon & MacPhail, for Aalborg Whisky Laug, 1st fill bourbon barrel, cask #8038702, 208 bottles) Four stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: erm, this could be Clynelish indeed, with these notes of citron zests, this very faint smokiness (pinewood smoke?) and the rather obvious minerality. Some gunflints, then just traces of bubblegum, which I often find in Pulteney. Becomes much drier after a few minutes, with some ‘good’ cardboard and many dry herbs. Parsley, for example. Mouth: this is pretty perfect, I have to say, and indeed it could be Clynelish. Big and vibrant, as they say, and yet fresh and nervous, as they also say. There’s citrus but also touches of strawberries, which you’ll never find in Clynelish, more wax than expected (I like to prove myself wrong, happens quite often I’m afraid), and then touches of ripe peaches and brine. Finish: long, rather drier, and quite peppery. Must be the first fill barrel. The peaches are back in the aftertaste, rather as preserved ones. Comments: it’s a big and very good Pulteney in my opinion. Tastes stronger than just 45% vol. SGP:552 - 86 points.

Old Pulteney 33 yo 1980/2013 (45.8%, Malts of Scotland, Angel's Choice, bourbon barrel, cask #MoS13066, 98 halves) Four stars Colour: pale gold. Nose: starts very bizarre, with notes of Swiss cheese and white balsamic vinegar, before some much nicer notes of damp earth and eucalyptus are starting to arise, together with marzipan and plain fresh almonds. Also a little liquorice roots, and then touches of brine and just seawater. Remains pretty unusual, I’m very curious about the palate…Mouth: this is different. First, it’s cleaner. Second, it’s very peppery and ‘cinnamony’. And third, it’s very complex, despite the rather heavy oak. A lot of tea, both black and green, grass, notes of carrot cake, perhaps, a lot of cocoa powder, funny notes of gritty calvados, apple peelings… You have to like oak, because this old baby’s got quite a lot, but if you do you’ll like this one. Finish: quite long, with some oak, chlorophyll and unsweetened green tea. Comments: you really feel the oak. Some aspects are really lovely, though, but this time the 17 extra-years (wrt the G&M) did not add any extra-points in my book. SGP:371 - 86 points.

(Thank you Carsten H.)

More tasting notes Check the index of all Old Pulteney I've tasted so far



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