Old Pulteney’s travel retail offering received a much needed overhaul in 2018. They went from a range of nondescript NAS releases named after lighthouses to a shiny new lineup including a 10-year-old, 2006 vintage and the 16-year-old I’m reviewing today. That one originally matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and was finished in ex-Oloroso Spanish oak casks.
Old Pulteney 16 Years Traveller’s Exclusive (46%, OB, 2019)
Nose: A quick hit of vanilla followed by some spicy oak, but then there’s room for gentle oranges and lemon curd with touches of a damp meadow. Finally some butterscotch. Somewhat chalky, but lacking a certain coastalness. Taste: Classic spicy Pulteney arrival, with some white pepper and fresh ginger, as well as a nice nuttiness. Of course the bitter lemon zest and slight saltiness—a staple of any Pulteney—are here. Finish: Lingering saltiness and soft spices. Medium in length.
Lacks a little bit of oomph on the nose but makes up for it with a classic Pulteney palate. You’d do well if you pick this up at an airport. Although maybe not right now but when it is safer to fly again. Surprisingly, you can find this at the same price or cheaper than the core range Old Pulteney 15-year-old.