As I inch closer to both my 500th Scotch review and my 800th whisky network review, I start looking over my different demi, quarter, and semi bottles. I ponder which order, and then consult the great source I usually do: A monk trapped in a brandy barrel for thousands of years that I swapped four cantaloupes and a Thaiwainese juggler’s contract for.
You know, like we all do.
I’m still confused as to what to make of Old Pulteney, or really why I purchased a portion of a bottle of Old Pulteney 1997 Cask 1636.
It’s not that I think they are a bad distillery. On the contrary, I think the 17 is a solid dram, and the 21 makes up for what little errors it has.
That said… I think it stems back to my childhood… I was beaten daily by a bag of salt.
Wait, no, that’s both not right and not it. It was a bag of oranges.
No, I can trace it back to trying the Old Pulteney 12. Wasn’t my thing. Should have been my thing, Lots of salt, interesting sherry notes, and… oh, wait, I’m not the biggest fan of orange.
So, the question comes down, why did I agree to split a bottle of Old Pulteney 1997 Cask 1636?
Well, for one, it’s exclusive to Kensington Wine Market, picked by them, unlike the LCBO, which let’s the distillery pick their casks. This is also the first barrel bottled for a Canadian retailer from Old Pulteney.
Also I was slightly ‘in drink’ when I agreed and was peer pressured by /u/devoz and someone else, who I can’t remember, on account of this being a few months ago.
So now that I’ve gone around that merry-go-round of mental gymnastics, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: $199.99 (CAD) at Kensington Wine Market
Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon barrel
Outrun: 198 bottles
Age: 18 years
Date Distilled: 1997
Date Bottled: 2015
Colour: 5Y 9/4
Nose: Creme brûlée, brine, cashew, chives, BBQ chips, banana chips
Wow. No orange this time. Maybe peer pressure is for the best? Well, let’s leave that to the side for now.
Big brown sugar notes here. Given some time, it has this dank, deep, rich flavour, as well as some herbal notes. Really nice nose. Probably one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Really tight and well put together.
Taste: Smoked honey, mint, moss, lime squares, butter, swimming in algae
Do I eat moss? Not right now. Have I have in the past? I’d like to plead the 5th. In the US. Where I don’t live. But still.
There’s an odd mixture of sweet and moss. If you asked me before drinking this if I would crave that, I’d say you were insane and I don’t want that.
And now I’m a new man. I identify as a kick ass bike jump. It’s a good life.
Finish: Chocolate pudding, ash, lime zest, rosemary lamb, white wine jelly
Again, the huge chocolate pudding, mixed with the ash, reminds me of cigars. And if you’re a regular reader of these… well, thanks. Really appreciate it.
But yeah, I’m not a cigar fan. Normally. But this works. It’s the exception. I’m allowed to have those. Stop judging. Judgy person.
Conclusion: Does it have memory inducing flavour? Yup. Does it miss out on all the citrus crap I don’t like? Yup. Does it have a unique and amazing flavour combo? Yeah.
Is it complex enough to go above 90? Not for me, probably for you. All in all, this is a well put together dram. No major issues, really good flavour, and love the finish.
Buy this people! It’s still in stock!
Scotch review #491, Highland review #85, Whisky Network review #798