Thursday, August 4, 2016

Whisky Review: Old Pulteney 17 Year

I've reviewed this whisky before, but that was from a single small sample, so I was glad to get to explore it more in depth.

The 17 Year is put together from a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, then bottled at 46% without coloring or chill filtration.

Old Pulteney 17 Year

Nose: rich mixture of bourbon and sherry casks - caramel, dried fruit, oak, vanilla, malt, earthy, seashore, gently herbal/floral. After adding a few drops of water it becomes creamier and more malt-driven and a little less mature.

Taste: bourbon cask sweetness throughout with a sherried edge throughout, quickly joined by a thick but not overwhelming layer of oak tannins, floral, vanilla, malt, citrus (orange), and fruit ester overtones in the middle, becoming fudge-y and more bitter near the back. After dilution the sherry and oak are significantly toned down, making more room for malt and the top notes in the middle.

Finish: fresh apples, oak tannins and spices, sherry residue, floral malt, distant salinity

This is a well-constructed single malt that is often available at a very reasonable price. With that said, I find myself preferring the 12 Year despite the fact that it's younger and doesn't have craft presentation. While I think the 17 Year is a good value and competes favorably with a lot of other similarly aged OB malts, it feels like too much of the distillery character has been sacrificed for broad appeal. If you're looking for an alternative to the standard older Glens I think this is a great pick to step a little bit out of that groove, but I'll be sticking with its cheaper younger sibling.

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