Old Pulteney 12 year Single Malt Scotch
Finally, I get a Scotch Whiskey to review. Don’t get me wrong, I love bourbon, beer and cigars and have been happy to write those articles, but Scotch is my first love. I began my love affair with the “Water of Life” when I was a mere lad of twenty. Whilst performing in the musical “Brigadoon” I decided that, in order to fully understand my character, I should develop a taste for his native spirit. Well, next thing you know, I had tried dozens of blends, scores of single malts and started painting my face blue and killing Englishmen. Forget that last part, I have no quarrel with the English, but I really, really love Scotch Whiskey! But I digress.
The reason that I have called you all here today is to share a few observations regarding Old Pulteney 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, one of the many premium whiskys featured at the Universal Whisky Experience. I’ll begin with the color which to my eye is golden with a slightly rosy cast. Moving on to the nose, I found an obvious but not overpowering Sherry presence, a dash of clover honey, a wisp of smoke, a pinch of peat and a sprinkle of salty sea mist. That’s beginning to sound a lot like a “recipe” for success!
And now, to taste the precious, golden nectar! The first thing that struck me upon sipping the spirit is sweetness. Not generally my favorite quality, but it quickly yielded to a slightly cinnamon-slightly peppery spice. This is going better than I expected. The next wave brought a buttery Sherry note with a bourbon chaser. The old Pulteney wasn’t finished with me yet. On the back of my tongue, peat, smoke, brine and finally, just a little bitterness.
It’s been a long time since I last enjoyed a dram of this whisky. In between, I’ve had some extremely good, and in some cases very expensive Scotch but I have to say, Old Pulteney holds up pretty well in comparison to many of them. Then when you take price into account, it looks even better.
I can’t find much negative to say here, but I’ll try anyway. If you like a classic Highland, the thinly veiled Islay qualities of it might throw you off. If you love Islay, the sweetness and Sherry might take some getting used to. It may have been a little warm for only 43% a.b.v.. Well, that’s the worst I can come up with to say. I’m at risk of losing my rep as the hard-ass of the review staff. At only around $40.00 a 750ml, you almost can’t afford not to try it.