Awhile ago, we had a community review for Old Pulteney 12 that I took part in . And while I was happy to try out this specific dram, as you can tell, I wasn’t the biggest fan.
Granted if you’ve been following along, it’s a bitter, salty Highland. And as a person who is already pretty mean to Highlands. Not like I have some sort of vendetta against them, like I’m the son of a Scot who was asked to leave a Highland clan for not being part of a revolution.
I mean really, we were, but it happened about 100 years ago and we’ve done pretty well for ourselves anyway, so no worries, no angry me coming back to bad mouth a region because of something that we did. Also it wasn’t a revolution, it was the Jacobite Uprisings, so still major, but not technically a revolution in name, it was a group of uprisings, and they were important.
While in the U.K, I was lucky enough to sample a nice dram of the Old Pulteney 21. This is a dual casked (ex-bourbon and ex-sherry cask) whisky, with the distinction from the 17 year being that the sherry cask has American Oak.
I’ll have to try the 17 year at some point, however for now, let’s look at the Old Pulteney 21. For… well, me, actually, since I’m not that into ancestor worship.
Price: $229.95 (CAD)
Colour: Tarnished gold
Nose: Sea air, mango, caramel, little nutmeg, peach pie filling, smoke, bakeapple berries (cloud berries), toffee sauce
Very fruity, some iodine, and a nice amount of balance between caramel and spiciness. I’m enjoying this quite a bit more than the 12, as it’s not super bitter and has upped the sugar smell.
Also, have cloud berries if you ever have the chance. They taste like little balls of apple pie and happiness. SO good.
Taste: Salt water taffy, caramel, tart apple, mango, orange, ice wine syrup, maple, smoke
Back to a tart flavour or bitter from the 12, yet it’s tempered this time into some more sweetness. I’m not getting that strong of a flavour from this one, so it’s a subtle sweetness. I want a little bit more from it though.
Finish: Orange, salt, peach skin, marmalade, earthy meat, mesquite smoke, rough caramel
Very, very tart and rough at the end. It’s a little too strong in the tartness for me to really enjoy it, which is too bad. I can see why they used American Oak, as it has less fruitiness flavour imparted, and as such they probably had to dial it down.
Conclusion: A much better impression over the this one than the 12. It is a lot less bitter, the salt fits, and it has some nice balance in the taste. The finish, however, is now too tart for me to really score it too high.
Scotch review #96, Highland #13, Whisky Network review #123
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