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

June 22, 2020


High-powers Pulteney

There’s really good life north of Brora on the mainland. It’s called Pulteney… And first, a little aperitif!

Old Pulteney 8 yo (100 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, 26 2/3 fl. ozs, 1970s)

Old Pulteney 8 yo (100 proof, Gordon & MacPhail, 26 2/3 fl. ozs, 1970s) Five stars
A magical whisky, there are even miniatures that are quite easy (and cheap) to come by, never miss them! So not the first time we’re trying this baby, but I’m sure this is a different batch or rotation or whatever. Of course it is. Colour: gold. Nose: ah yes, I remember this citric/coastal side complemented with some coal smoke and something slightly medicinal. I don’t think Pulteney have kept this lovely profile since back then. Lemon juice, sea breeze, mentholy humus, soot… With water: a sublime camphory embrocation, very vertical (up your nose ;-)). Mouth (neat): an extraordinary cough medicine that will cure many other diseases. It’s quite heavy and, I have to say, immensely salty. You would believe someone’s added proper seawater, you even feel the salt on your lips, seriously! Even if in theory, ‘there is no salt in whisky’. This is very troubling, perhaps even a little ‘too much’ at times. Spectacular. With water: hugely herbal now. Thyme, bay leaves, green pepper… And indeed, salt. What a beast. Finish: extraordinary, chalkier, lemony, coastal… Reminds me of the beautiful whites by Thierry Michon at Les Clous. Check them out! The salt(iness) keeps playing with you even after the aftertaste and you could believe you just had a big fat oyster. Comments: G&M used to have a few splendours like this – for happy tourists! They still do, of course.
SGP:462 - 93 points.

Pulteney 14 yo 2006/2020 (55.4%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 294 bottles)

Pulteney 14 yo 2006/2020 (55.4%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon hogshead, 294 bottles) Five stars
I know it’s going to be tough after that stunning apéro, but in Campbeltown, they know that where there's a will there's a way… Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: love these batches because you’re really in front of the true well-aged distillate, with no woodfooleries in the way. And it’s lovely, much closer to the G&M than I had thought, zesty and pure, a tad fermentary, a notch smoky (rather coal again), and just pristine. Lovely so far, while we know that it’ll only improve in the bottle, even more so when opened. With water:  raw sheep’s wool, mashed potatoes, beach sand, fresh concrete. Mouth (neat): love it. Mezcal smoked and salted, baguette dough, porridge, engine oil, seawater, lime juice… A sword, really. With water: no, a razorblade! Wonderful gherkiny brine, oysters and other whelks and clams… Finish: long, very pure, chalky and briny. Comments: what a fighter. A bit austere, not unlike a Shaolin warrior monk (what what what?)
SGP:462 - 91 points.

We’re flying very high this time… Let’s try an OB then.

Old Pulteney 11 yo 2006/2018 ‘hand filled’ (63.6%, OB, bourbon, cask #732)

Old Pulteney 11 yo 2006/2018 ‘hand filled’ (63.6%, OB, bourbon, cask #732) Four stars
Seen the strength here? I suppose we need this to stand the pressure after those utterly glorious G&M and CAD… Colour: light gold. Nose: as usual with the owners, and the OBs in general, there is more oak, vanilla, tea, soft tannins, coconut… I suppose water is mandatory anyway at this American strength. With water: that works, even if the vanilla-led profile wouldn’t change hugely. But it's got more coastal for sure, with also touches of raw ginger (oak) and even ginseng. Mouth (neat – with caution): coconut, litchis, marshmallows, rosehip tea, rose petals, perfume… That’s the super-high cologne-y strength In action. With water: ah very good now, beautifully lemony and gingery, with touches of cinchona as well, cinnamon, vanilla, and even a few drops of tequila. Honestly. Finish: long and very spicy, that’s the oak again. Curry, ginger, cardamom… But lemon and seawater are still there, so we’re absolutely fine. White pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: another excellent one, even if I tend to prefer my Pulteneys straighter and rather unoaked. Just like any other maritime malt. I’m sure any Scot distillers, when at their shrinks’, keep talking about wood (even more than about their dear mothers)…
SGP:651 - 86 points.

(Thanks a bunch Jose, Kristin and Tim!)

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Pulteney malts we've tasted so far







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