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I was bought a bottle of Old Pulteney as an anniversary present and was really delighted with the taste. Being a fan of Heather Cream, a Bailey's style cream licquere made by the same distillers, I'd always wanted to taste the whiskey that makes it so special. Old Pulteney certainly didn't fail to deliver. Produced by Scotland's most northerly mainland distillery, in the fishing town of Wick, Old Pulteney has gained a much higher profile in recent years, thanks to the marketing efforts of its current owners, Inver House Distillers. The nose presents pleasingly fresh malt with a strong hint of sherry. I'm assuming they store the whiskey in former sherry casks, as is common amongst other producers. According to the packaging, the palate will also get a hint of sea salt, given it's distillery location so close to the northern coast. However, I've got to be honest, I struggled to get that in my palate. All in all though, this would make a brilliant gift for any occasion.
In our modest drinks cabinet we like to be able to offer guests a selection of single malt Scotch whisky. With the established taste for Islay whiskys such as Caol Ila and Laphroaig, a brief trip to the home of the Old Pulteney distillery in Wick inspired us to get a bottle of their reasonably priced 12 year old malt. First off, there couldn't be a more diametrically different Scotch to anything from Islay. The south-western island produces an incredibly famous variety of smoky, peaty and even medicinal malts. Old Pulteney, however, is quite different: sweeter and slightly smoother, although not necessarily as easy drinking. This might be because of the sherry barrels used in the maturation process, but like the distillers themselves I'd like to think that the North Sea air has something to do with it. The distillery sits on a hill above the old fishing port of Wick, and the strong, sweet and rich flavour makes for a brilliant warming dram as soon as you come in from a cold rainy Scottish day. That sweetness can put you off - but it makes for an enjoyable change from the drier and smokier whiskies from other regions of Scotland.
The Pulteney Distillery / Single Malt Scotch Whiskey