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Old Pulteney 17 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
Old Pulteney has discontinued their 17YO & 21YO expressions due to a lack of stocks. While there has been no official statement from the distillery itself, the rumour has been confirmed by a company spokesperson who added they’ll be replaced by new age statements. The move comes as a surprise for some - a shock to others - especially since the steady enthusiasm for this North Coastal benchmark peaked when the 21-year-old was named ‘World’s Best Whisky’ by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2012, forcing allocations world wide. Volumes on the 17yo are slightly better with it expected to finish up around mid 2018 (it’s anyone’s guess as to what the value will be inflated to by then). Get in early and get in fast while opening prices hold. Needless to say, both whiskies are outstanding should you want to keep one and savour another. Any way you look at it, buy with confidence. This is a rare win-win opportunity that will reward those quickest on the draw.
Established in 1826 in Wick, Pulteney Distillery is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. In its early days, the distillery was only accessible by sea. The barley was brought in by boat, the whisky shipped out and many of the distillery workers were also employed as fishermen. Sadly the herring fishing industry is no longer part of daily life in Wick. Gone are the days when one could walk from pier to pier with dry feet, crossing on the decks of a Herring armada and barrels of silver (Herring) accompanied barrels of gold (Whisky).
Pulteney Distillery continues to operate with its unique wash still (legend has it the goose neck was cut off by the distillery manager when the newly delivered still was too tall to fit in the building), now part of the Inverhouse group. The heritage of Wick is strongly portrayed in the presentation of Old Pulteney, with its distinctive, still shaped bottle, screen printed with a traditional Wick herring drifter. The latest release of the 17 year old is a non chill-fitered, ex-Bourbon expression, with a dash of PX and Oloroso matured spirit that adds complexity. Shy at first, it is a whisky that rewards those who contemplate and savor their dram patiently.
Tasting notes:  [from a bottle one third full] A marked improvement on our last tasting with none of the frustrating sulphury notes evident but the complexity retained. The nose has the same beguiling, chamelion like quality. Some sweet Sherry influence at first? Now definitely fruity with an amazing burst of peppermint. The fruit / mint interplay continues with time in the glass but then more oatmeal / biscuity malt emerges. A medium to full bodied palate, pleasantly spicy, with a delicious, restrained sweet fruit burst. Stays focused and dry through the finish. Perfect balance. Spices persist into the lengthy pear, vanilla aftertaste - and not a trace of sulphur. Stands in the shadow of the 21YO, but during our tasting many considered it equal to or better than the whisky of the year. Top stuff! 46% Alc./Vol.
Other Reviews: (95 Points) - (n22) Tight, but does all that is possible to reveal its salty, fruity complexity with pears and lemons to the fore; (t25) one of the softest, most beautifully crafted deliveries in the whisky world. Absolutely faultless as it picks the most fabulous course among the honeyed vanilla and barley which is so delicate, words cannot do it justice; (f24) near perfect balance between the vanillas and delicate honeys (b24) the nose confirms that some of the casks at work here are not A1. Even so, the whisky performs to the kind of levels some distilleries could only dream of. - Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2013
Awarded: 'Best Single Malt Aged 16-21 Years (Multiple Casks) - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013