Old Pulteney 21
I was absolutely delighted to find a bottle of this on special offer – it’s one I’ve always been keen to try. So, on y va.
Nose: A very Highlands nose, with waxy and maritime (even slightly iodine) character. There’s a clear sherry influence too, which you’d probably expect from the colour, and just a touch of nicely tarry smoke. The overall sense, however, is of clarity and freshness. Some floral hints, plus liquorice, roasting coffee, Moroccan mint tea, soft sweet ginger and marjoram. Really changeable and nuanced, and really nice.
Taste: Sweet and salty with a good hit of pepper and ginger. Nicely balanced with some honey, lemon, under-ripe pineapple, banana and apple.
Finish: Gets saltier as it develops, with the smoke and waxiness coming out more. Becomes more orangey too. Quite roasty, full-bodied and long. Ends on salty honeycomb, green tea, a bit of oak (maybe just a touch too much for my liking, but I’m nit-picking), and slight liquorice.
Another Highlander that’s right up my street – can’t resist a bit of wax. It’s a very “complete” and balanced whisky without being in the slightest bit boring – in fact it’s hugely characterful, and quite old-school. Highly recommended, as long as you’re favourably inclined to the saline.