Two months ago I tried a rather young Old Pulteney from a Bourbon cask bottled by indie bottlers Cadenhead. That one was already quite nice for such a young whisky. As could be expected, the whole was rather clean and probably showed the characteristics of the Old Pulteney spirit. Rummaging through my stash, I found a sample of another Old Pulteney. This time one bottled by the distillery itself. Twice as old as the afore-mentioned 8yo ánd from a single Sherry cask. Thus some similarities and some differences. Both are super high strength Whiskies.
Color: Copper Gold
Nose: Creamy sherry. Very rounded out. Mild ánd spicy. Nice perfumy wood, that isn’t announcing obvious sourness, but smells like it will be sweet. Milk chocolate, powdery and some sea air. Very good balance.
Taste: Yeah! Hints of wood, with toffee, caramel, menthol and perfect sweetness, but there are some raw edges here and there. Mild woody spiciness completes the whole experience, where the whole is definitively more than the sum of its parts. Great warming touch in the finish. By the way the finish is also drier than one would expect. But still, this is really a stunner! The balance returns in the taste as well, so the whole is pretty fabulous.
This is so tasty that at this strength it is just to easy drinkable, dangerous stuff.
One point of criticism though. This bottle shows how great Old Pulteney can be. For me several Old Pulteneys bottled by independents also show this. Why then don’t I like the standard bottlings? I tried the 12yo and the 17yo (no notes available yet) and I didn’t like both that much. The first higher strength Isabella Fortuna bottling was a bit better, but still…
I’ll keep trying, but for the time being I will be more interested in the single cask bottlings of Old Pulteney, than their standard range.