ABV: 40% Distillery: Old Pulteney Region: Highlands
Old Pulteney 12 year old was first released in 1997 as part of Inver House Distillers repositioning of Old Pulteney into a single malt brand. The entry-level whisky is primarily matured in ex-bourbon barrels.
Nose: Fresh and lively with lemoncake, candied orange and marshmallows and a very noticeable salty sea breeze.
Taste: Fresh again, but oily and full in terms of mouthfeel. Malts and cereal notes mix with sweet honey and citrus. Herbalness can be detected in the back of palette. Salt again – in the form of a tang on the tip of the tongue.
Finish: Medium with wood spicing coming through, but still emphasising salts and citrus.
Many moons ago, this 12 year old was my first foray into the world of Old Pulteney – and I didn’t really care for it much. The maritime salty tang was quite unlike anything I’d tried before and I just wasn’t sure about it. But, I persevered with the bottle and over time grew fonder and fonder of its appeal. Now I need no convincing: this is a great everyday drinking whisky - well balanced, vibrant and highly indicative of the OP house style. You, like me, might need to develop an appreciation for the high level of sulphites in the malt spirit (which lead to that appreciable salty tang), but in terms of well-priced, well made entry level whiskies, this is right up there in my book.