Thursday, October 21, 2010

Whisky review: Old Pulteney 17

I've already raved about how much I like the Old Pulteney 12, the flagship whisky of the "Genuine Maritime Malt" that is Old Pulteney, and how I think it's one of the best value whiskies on the market. Maybe I was a sailor in another life. Either way, how does its older brother, the Old Pulteney 17, compare?

Well, it's a bit unfair to compare the two. The two whiskies are not meant to just be a younger/older combo. The 12 is matured solely in ex-bourbon casks, while the 17 uses mostly ex-bourbon casks with some ex-sherry Spanish oak casks. The Old Pulteney website touts the 17 as an after-dinner drink but makes no mention of the appropriate time for the 12 - I guess that means any time is appropriate! (In all seriousness, I think you should skip the dinner and get right to the whisky. Or make the whisky your dinner.)

Anyway, har she blows...

Old Pulteney 17, 46% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (Highlands)

Appearance: Amber.

Nose: I can smell this from a mile away (the glass isn't even in my hand yet - it's on the table next to my computer). It has that great Old Pulteney saltiness. Now, after actually nosing the glass, I find raisins, cranberries, more salt, young wood, and green apples. Pepper. This rabbit hole just keeps going. Outstanding.

Palate: Honey, red apples, milk chocolate, light sherry notes, and some peaty/earthy tones. Soft and tender like a warm evening with a lover. But it's got a little kick left in most lovers after a warm evening.

Finish: Maritime with sweetness (floral) - perhaps just a bit too sweet. Smooth and lingering firmly on the tongue. This lover will call back tomorrow.

Rating (of 100): 96. Just plain sexy. This bottle contains an excellent balance of pretty much every good flavor I've had in whisky - salt (which I like), sweetness, and some earthy tones. Clocking in at around $75/bottle, they are giving this stuff away.

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