Category Archives: Old Pulteney

Old Pulteney 40yo bottled at 51.3% ABV – the oldest Pulteney bottled to date!


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:

OLD-PULTENEY-40-1Orange 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)…

OLD-PULTENEY-40-2Cedar 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.

OLD-PULTENEY-40-3Salted 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.

OLD-PULTENEY-40-4Rhubarb 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!!

Old Pulteney both 12yr & 17yr versions.

Highlands region – 43%ABV for the 12yr – $35 | £25 | €3046%ABV for the 17yr – $70 | £45 | €53

Just doing a little side by side today of two Old Pulteney whiskies.

The 12yr is picture right and the 17yr on your left.

The 12yr and the 17yr (both award winning whiskies, mind you) are both, in my opinion, good stand-by whiskies.  Something to keep on your shelf at all times.  These whiskies are perfect for those who are not familiar the juice and nice for those who are and want something balanced, full flavored and easy going.

I just need to remark quickly on the bottle shape as I find it to be most strange.  Almost as strange as their stills look.  But hey, their stills produce some fine-fine spirit so let’s not make judgements upon appearance.  Ok?

On to the nosing

12yr A bit forceful (has a bite), yet fresh and inviting.

Honey elements as well as citrus & cream (like and orange creamsicle).

A second nosing offers a salty sea breeze  and some grassy notes.

Fennel seed, vanilla and a good bit of malt.

A fairly balanced nose.

17yr Much softer than the 12yr; the vanilla is creamier in scent.

This is sweeter smelling – like sweet summer flowers also, pressed flowers.

A good deal of tropical fruits.

Something woodsy in here, like white birch bark.

A bit salty like the 12yr but not oceanic, more like food-type salt.

On to the tasting (with notes on the finish)

12yr Big & malty with fresh lemons and very honied.

Nice chewy-ish mouth feel.

Salty, grassy and a touch vegetal (think celery).

Some oak in there (didn’t really get that on the nose).

A good long and dry finish.

17yr A big voluptuous whisky – toying with my tongue!!

A truly fabulous mouthfeel.

Candle waxiness.

Celery (just like with the 12yr) and big old salt lick.

Baked goods with sweet icing.

Spicy as we get close to the finish.

And, speaking of finishes… A big bruiser of a finish!

Long and creamy however, very fizzy (if that makes sense).

In sum These are two solid whiskies.  No doubt about it.  I did not do this side by side to pit the two against each other.  I just wanted to see the differences between the two.  Both are perfect summery drams.  The 12yr is light and very approachable  – almost like an aperitif whisky.  The 17yr is more of an after dinner digestive whisky.  I wont lie here though… the 12yr is really the best bang-for-your-buck whisky of the two.  At about $35 (or £25 in the UK)  in many markets, you can’t go wrong with it.

Special thanks goes out to Kathy Lewis-Flanigan for the generous samples!