Old Pulteney 1998 ‘Spirit of Scotland’
Old Pulteney is without a doubt one of my favourite whiskies. It started with the standard 12 year old, which I find excellent, but their 17 year old really clinched it for me. To me it’s better than the heralded 21 year old expression. During my trip to Scotland last summer, I made sure I scheduled a visit to the distillery in Wick, the most northern on the Scottish mainland. It is not as difficult to reach as Highland Park or as the great distilleries on Islay, but you have to really be a fan of Old Pulteney to go there.
In short, you can make me happy if you have an Old Pulteney for me to try. This past weekend a friend offered me the Old Pulteney 1998 ‘Spirit of Scotland’ bottled by Gordon & MacPhail for Dutch distributor and bottler Van Wees. It was bottled in 2012 at 46 per cent abv. Here are my tasting notes.
Nose: It’s a very light nose. A hint of salmiak, a salty licorice candy very common in The Netherlands. There is some of that trademark Old Pulteney see air and fruitiness. Some sweetness in the nose as well, but not much.
Taste: Some coconut, but also salt. I like some salt in a whisky, but this is a bit too much. Seaweed lingers somewhere in the back.
Finish: This whisky lacks a finish. It is very short. I’d like to tell you more, but there really isn’t anything else to add.
This is an okay whisky, but the finish disappoints. You’re better off buying an original 12 year old.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.