Highland region – 51.3% ABV – 493 bottles – £1399 (or £85 for a dram at Master of Malt)
Forty years old. This whisky is forty years old.
It’s a strange thing to drink a whisky that is older than you. Perhaps what’s even more strange to me is that I will be turning forty this year. It’s actually really messing with me that I’ll be forty. Half way to 80 as it were. Ugh.
I don’t feel forty so, that’s good, right? They say you’re as old as you feel, right? Well, when I think about what happened ten years ago I think about the early 90’s. Not the early 00’s. That’s a bit disconcerting and makes me feel old and a bit disconnected from the new and hip things of the world.
All of my heroes are getting old too! (I.E. Ian Mackaye just turned 51, Jello Biafra is 54, Willie Nelson *just* turned 80.)
Hold on a sec, I seem to be typing myself into a bit of a depressing cul-de-sac here…
Mayhaps it’s best we talk about fun things? Let’s talk about a 40 year old that is way sexier than I’ll ever be. Yup, this Old Pulteney is one sexy beast.
On the nose – Wow. Just wow-wow-wow. Initial thought? Screw nosing and tasting notes, this smells as lovely as can be and all I want to do is stop thinking and enjoy this whisky. The age is there yet it’s lively and juicy and moreish smelling right from the go. Yum.
I suppose I should try to dissect it though – try and get the most out of this and give it the respect it deserves. Begin:
Orange essential oil and savory herbs meets paraffin and the tiniest hint of smoke and what is really tough to explain: the smell of time in a cask.
Let me try to pick it out the time in the cask (good time in a cask, not tiring/tired time)…
Cedar humidors meets old time men’s cologne meets an old study with fine polished wood and leather chairs. Now take those scents and remove the old and tired element from that scenario and there you have it!
Apple slices with cinnamon and orange with touches of clove, filberts and ground nutmeg on the side. Boy, this is really lovely and very hard not to taste!
On the mouth – Very drying upon first sip but the second sip corrects that misstep. Quite ooey with orange syrup, cinnamon and hints of molasses.
Salted black licorice and more of the spiced wood and wood polish element I touched upon with the nosing.
I can’t tell if it’s honied or it’s the mouthfeel that’s tricking me into thinking it’s honied. Nah, it *IS* honied and it’s delicious.
Rhubarb jam/pie filling, moist pie crust.
Finish – Toasted almond slivers and dark chocolates. It lasts and lasts.
In sum – This has to be up there in the category of best of 2013 (best whiskies I tasted in 2013, that is).
This is oh-so-good and obviously, at almost £1400 a bottle, one to break out at the most special of occasions.
Special thanks to LD of Alembic for the sample!!