Last month Old Pulteney revealed a brand new look and some new expressions as part of a core range re-vamp. After the discontinuation of the much loved 17 and 21 Old Pulteney drinkers were all eager to see where the brand was going. The good news was that it stayed primarily with age statements and that the drinks cupboard staple, Old Pulteney 12 was staying, along with the iconic bottle shape.
This weeks review will look at the NAS release, Huddart alongside the 15 and 18 year old expressions.
Old Pulteney Huddart, (OB) NAS, 46%abv, press sample, RRP £45.
Named after the street that the distillery sits upon, Huddart is a NAS release which has had a finishing period in a cask which previously held a peated whisky.
On the nose theres a tangy hints of soft citrus and mild malt. There is a touch of dampness here and there. There is a nice fresh gooseberry sharpness mingling with undercurrents of toffee, butterscotch and fresh green apples, all finished off with a top note of sea spray and whiffs of woodsmoke.
The palate is again citrusy as the lemon continues to be prominent, but has a charred edge and feelings of burnt sugar and overly – toasted banana chips. There are some slight light mineral notes and some more sea spray bonfires.
The finish continues with more notes of lightly burnt sugar and toasted oak, lingering gentle smoke and feels rather malty but with a brine twist. Lingering damp fudge (not as bad as it sounds…)
A decent dram, something new for Old Pulteney but not as smoky as I had imagined. Pleasant but not life changing. I’d buy the 12 over this every time.
Old Pulteney 15, (OB) 46%abv, press sample, RRP £70.
New to the range is a 15 year old expression which, according to the launch literature, promises to be “Old Pulteney’s most balanced and smoothest single malt yet”. The 15 has been matured in both ex-bourbon and Spanish oak casks.
On the nose theres a delicious feeling of Marmalade and buttery brown toast, actually its maybe more subtle than that, perhaps more like apricot croissants. Apples baked with cinnamon and clove mix with notes of distant sea spray and touches of butterscotch.
The palate is surprisingly crisp, like a white wine, blood orange, sultanas. Hints of cigar humidor and chocolate mix with apricots and a backbone of pear and vanilla. Well balanced and rather drinkable.
Salted butter, red currants, twists of white pepper and earl grey tea. Pleasantly oaky and drying. Lingers pleasantly.
The 15 is rather special, I really enjoyed this one. Far too easily drinkable…
Old Pulteney 18, OB, 46%abv, press sample, RRP £120.
On the nose its a heady mix of vanilla undertones, bolstered by dried fruits, heather honey and chocolate. Given time there are subtle hints of ginger and balsa wood too. Quite a subtle nose but with good depth. Noses much older that its 18 years.
The palate is full of red berries, sultanas steeped in black tea and some soft spice. Subtle gingerbread with a dollop of butter. Chocolate comes and goes but all underpinned by some tangy coastal air and a slight wood note, perhaps slightly mahogany-esque.
Long, drying, spiced dried fruits and dark chocolate along with some prunes, dates and the omnipresent cedar wood.
Noses and tastes like a whisky much older. At £120 I’d be swithering over buying a bottle but to be fair thats the state of the market and not an issue with Old Pulteney pricing decisions.
Best in terms of value? The 15. Really well put together and well balanced.
Best in terms of quality? The 18. I’m sure there must be some 25 in there with a nose like that…
You can find tasting notes for the Old Pulteney 12 and the discontinued 17 in a comparative review I wrote here.
You can find many more tasting notes and whisky news in the Amateur Drammers Archives.
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