Following on from last weeks Highland Park vertical, in which I alluded to the fact that Highland Park 12yo was a drinks cabinet staple, I started to think about other drams that I really don’t want to see my cabinet without. Old Pulteney 12yo is another of those drams that is perhaps overshadowed and by its own omnipotence .
So how do the 12yo and 17yo compare? Is it worth the money to take a jump up in age?
As it turns out…yes it is.
Old Pulteney 12, OB, 40%abv, from my own collection, (available here)
The nose is crisp and fresh. Vanilla notes are here but alongside some zingy citrus and a waft of sea breeze. Theres a deceptive minerality here that passed me by initially. Perhaps some light grass. Green apple pops up at the end.
The palate is nicely oily with a great mouthfeel. The fresh feeling of the nose is fully explored in the palate. The citrus notes fade to leave some floral elements which, alongside a pleasant salinity, leaves a waxy and fruity taste in the mouth.
The finish is where the savoury element lingers the most. The spiced and brine tang leaves a pleasant drying sensation.
Old Pulteney 17, OB, 46%abv, press sample, (available here)
The nose is a heady mix of citrus, custard cream biscuits, lemon sherberts, apricots, and raisins, whilst spice and salt lurk underneath.
The palate is citrus led but opens to reveal some perfume notes, white chocolate, vanilla and some darker fruits such as redcurrants and sultanas. A little deeper, a little darker and more full bodied than the 12. Those 5 extra years providing much more depth and width.
The finish isn’t complex but is rather smooth. The salinity returns as does the waxy fruit element that has been missing so far, leaving you yearning for more.
I’m rather impressed by this. The jump from 12 to 17 sees the price double. After years of drinking the 12 its time to upgrade the whisky cabinet staple to a 17.
Thanks to Old Pulteney for the images and the sample.