ABV: 58.2% Distillery: Old Pulteney Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Flavour Profile: Spicy & sweet Region: HighlandsAge: 17
A strangely categorised Old Pulteney that describes itself as highly coastal and then eschews that dedicated category for the Spicy & Sweet profile. Hmmm. 17 years in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel for this one.
Nose: Rosehips and wood lacquer join with orange peels, melon balls and pancake batter whilst chalkiness sits with marzipan, gingerbread and wood sap. Reduction emphasises floralness further with potpourri, rosewater and almond paste. It also brings out some additional fruitiness with lemon zest and under ripe pears.
Taste: A textural arrival with plenty of oils and waxes. Spice is upfront – chilli, cinnamon and black pepper. It sits on top of spiced pears and highly aromatic wood – cedar and rosewood alongside doughy bread rolls and a very slight mineral rockiness. Water soften things up considerably with peach slices, lemon peels, porridge and a touch of coastal quartz.
Finish: Medium in length with drying cinnamon and peppery spices.
Despite the outturn description suggesting an archetypal OP maritime character, that’s not what I’m finding here. On the nose – perfume – fragrant, but almost cloying. On the palate – spice – pungent and penetrating. The addition of water returns this to some semblance of normality with mineral cues and a wider fruit complement, but overall I’m not really convinced.
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