My introduction to Old Pulteney was their 21 year-old whisky. So, when Nick Taylor from Taylor and Taylor Whiskey Co. invited us to attend an Old Pulteney tasting at the Haven in Boston, the answer is, absolutely! We knew we’d be in for a special treat, their core range turned out to be as great as their 21 year expression. Sit back, relax and let’s get started.
As we arrived at the Haven we were greeted with an amazing Old Fashion Cocktail using the Old Pulteney 12 year.
The Old Pulteney distillery is located in Wick at the very northern part of Scotland where the North Sea meets the Caithness coast. It’s a whisky range that encompasses the full nature of its surroundings in every dram.
For this event we got the chance to meet Master Distiller Malcolm Waring, who walked us through the range and told us the inspiration behind all of them.
Old Pulteney 12 Year – Paired with Scotch Eggs
- Matured in hand selected ex-bourbon casks, mostly second fill American oak
- Cost: $35.99 (Depending on where you buy)
Nose: brine, citrus and vanilla
Palate: salt, fruit, spices and honey
Finish: light, with hints of sweetness and salt
This whisky was a great way to kick things off. It was smooth, light and had the right amount of sweet and salty balance. I was amazed at how well it paired with the Scotch eggs. Let me be honest, this was the first time I had Scotch eggs and now I need to have them in my life more often. I mean, Scotch eggs and whisky epitomizes breakfast of champions. Just saying!
What’s even better about this whisky, the price! I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I have paid more for shit whisky. This one is a great whisky at a very affordable price.
Old Pulteney Huddart – Paired with Haddock Croquettes, oat cakes and smoked fish dip
- Matured in second fill American Oak, ex-bourbon casks. Finished in ex-bourbon casks previously filled with heavily peated whisky. This whisky is named after the street where the Pulteney Distillery is located.
- Cost: $48.99 (Depending on where you buy)
Nose: apple, toffee, honey and smoke
Palate: vanilla, smoke, peat, wood, spices with hints of sweetness
Finish: caramel with lingering notes of peat
This is a great whisky for those who are searching for a dram that is not too peated. At about 3-4 PPM (Phenol Parts per Million) you get the notes of smoke, but they aren’t overwhelming. This whisky provides light smoke and a warming effect, good enough to rival an Islay whisky.
Out of the four whiskies that we tasted this was my second favorite. What I found fantastic about this whisky is the balance of smoke and sweet. The peat is subtle and harmoniously pairs well with the notes of caramel and vanilla.
This whisky paired very well with the Haddock Croquettes as it helped bring out the smoke notes to the forefront. They were both delicious enough that I had to have two Croquettes.
Old Pulteney 15 Year – Paired with Vegetable Bridies
- Second fill American Oak, ex-bourbon casks. Finished in First fill Spanish oak, ex-Oloroso sherry butts
- Cost: $67.49 (Depending on where you buy)
Nose: fruit, honey, apples, vanilla and citrus
Palate: chocolate, toffee. cake, salt and sweetness
Finish: smooth, sweet and salty
What a great dram! This whisky was hands down my favorite of the four and the one dram I asked for a second helping of. It helped that we were seated next to Steph Ridgway, Manager of Brand Education for International Beverage Holdings Limited. She was kind enough to get up and pour us another dram.
This whisky is complex and amazing from start to finish. There is a good balance of salty, sweet and fruit. If you had to try one out of all the four this is the one I would recommend.
There is something quite special about this whisky. It’s perfect for those cold, snowy and rainy nights. It has a good warming effect that hugs you to the core. It’s delicious!
Old Pulteney 18 Year – Paired with a fried Mars Bar
- Second fill American Oak, ex-bourbon casks. Finished in first-fill Spanish, ex-Oloroso sherry butts
- Cost: $104.24 (Depending on where you buy)
Nose: honey, vanilla, chocolate and fruit
Palate: chocolate, citrus, green apple and spices
Finish: long finish of citrus, herbs and apple
A great whisky that is smooth, full of spices and fruit notes. Although a good dram, if given the choice, I’d pick the 15 year over this one. What was unique about this whisky were the slight herbal notes that kicked in towards the end.
Master Distiller Malcolm Waring shared with us that they strategically place their whiskies in certain locations to help enhance their character. This 18 Year is stored at the top of their warehouse helping it to get, its unique herbal notes.
It’s a whisky that is warming, sophisticated and elegant! It paired extremely well with the fried Mars bars. The chocolate in the candy bar enhanced the chocolate and tobacco notes of the whisky. I did feel like I needed to run about 10 miles after consuming, but hey… it was totally worth it.
To me what makes whisky special is having a good number of people in a room tasting the same whisky and having all those people tell you something different about that whisky. I believe there is something for everyone in this Old Pulteney range.
If I had to rank these in my order of preference my rank would be: 15 year, Huddart, 18 year and then the 12 year.
These are quality, great tasting whiskies that cost you less than many other whiskies out there. Yes, whisky prices are surging, but I’ll take this Old Pulteney 15 year at this price any day.
If you’ve not explored this range I highly recommend trying and if you can only try one, go for the 15 year.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.