Thanks to /u/xile_ for this sample. This mystery sample.
Yes, another Mystery review. From the king of fucking up mystery reviews, who can’t have a clue.
This was my newest chance to prove myself. And while no one else guessed it correctly, I didn’t make up for my shortfalls. Don’t think I’ll ever be that kind of whisky drinker. I know what I like and that’s my thing.
Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage is an interesting malt. They’ve taken their standard malt, however matured it in casks that were previously filled with peated whisky from Islay. It’s 26 years old, being pulled from the cask in 2015. Non coloured and non-chillfiltered.
What we were told before drinking it was that it was a peated malt. And that it was a Scotch this time. Not a rum.
At least I had a better chance. Let’s see how I did, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Honey, lemon, smoke, iodine, cloves, ginger, fresh soil
At the time, nosing this reminded me of something lightly peated. The honey, lemon, and brine are the main things here. Given time the peat infleunce pops up. I’m guessing it’s some odd Bowmore/Bunnahabhain remake. Then I change my mind to a Speyside.
Given the right answer, it makes sense. Old Pulteney has heavy aspects of lemon and brine. However typically older ones have grown beyond those notes, thus I was thrown off.
Taste: Smoke, salt, caramel, lots of lemon, vanilla
Now there’s smoke. Lots and lots of lemon though. I want to enjoy the salt and smoke, and wonder if it’s a Bowmore, however the sheer amount of lemon lets it all down.
At this point I still think it’s a peated Speyside.
Finish: Oak, lemon zest, orange zest, earth, sour, bay leaf
Finish has a lot of fruit zest to it. Any trace of peat is gone, leaving some earth at the end and some herbal notes. There’s a big oak note here.
At this point I’m saying one of the anCnoc peated ones, but better than the Cutter. As you can tell, I’m incorrect.
Conclusion: I’m not that big a fan of this one. And not just because I got it wrong.
Personally I have had peated cask whiskies before. I’ve enjoyed them as much as peated whiskies. This… isn’t one of those.
It’s overly simple for the age. The taste is mostly lemon. The finish loses any sense of peat. The idea of an Old Pulteney with peat is something I’d get behind in a second. An old one? You’ve won me over. But somehow this didn’t work. I feel that maybe they should peat the malt, or not water it all down, or pull it earler, or something, but this didn’t work.
It’s certainly drinkable. But the 21 or 17 are much better.
Scotch review #540, Highland review #92, Whisky Network review #899