February 9, 2017

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old is largely considered to be one of the best value drams on the market, but somehow many still have never heard of it. Aged solely in ex-bourbon casks; what makes it unique is the impact of the maritime environment of the distillery’s warehouses along the North Atlantic coast. The salty, brine sea air is said to influence the flavours of Old Pulteney’s whiskies… let’s find out how much.

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old

Whisky Info

Distillery: Old Pulteney
Region: Highlands
Category: Single Malt
Style: Unpeated
Price: $$
Bottler: Distillery Bottling
Bottled: 2016
Bottle Code: L16/024 R16/5029 IB 14:04
Strength: 40%abv
Age: 12 Years Old
Mashibill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Ex-Bourbon Cask Matured

Review & Tasting Notes – Old Pulteney 12

3 Whisky Fiend
Try Before You BuyVerdict

Colour: Gold.

Nose: Opens with a punch of sweet and umammi notes. The nose opens with oak and briney vegetal freshness that together remind me of seaweed and driftwood. Next comes a light marzipan sweetness and some lime peel that with the oak remind me of chardonnay. Pretty bold notes to this whisky.
The addition of water brings out more citrus and tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Nicely crisp and dry without being sharp.

Palate: Opens with strong citrus and oak that tapers off into a comfortable nutty, maltiness. There’s a pleasant zestiness midway.
The palate becomes more rounded and balanced with the addition of water.

Finish: Short finish. Starts sweet and dry but becomes more vegetal (green tea) and ends with oak.


I like my whiskies to have bold flavours and complexity. For an entry level malt, the Old Pulteney 12 Year Old offers enough to hold my interest. I could see myself drinking this from time to time and I’ve recommended it to some friends unfamiliar with it.

With that said, I’m sure many people would scratch their heads at the flavour rollercoaster. I suggest you try this one before you buy a bottle.

Personally, I would love to see the flavours amplified in a cask strength bottling.

About Old Pulteney

Old Pulteney was built in 1827 in the far Northern Highlands to supply local fishermen with a few drams after/while working. The area is well know for the combination of strong gusty winds and the briny sea air from the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Old Pulteney’s warehouses are located along the coast, where the salty sea air and wind are said to directly affect the flavours of the whisky, leading to the nickname the “maritime whisky”. I like to think of it as “pirate whisky”.

Old Pulteney is also known for the unique shape of their bottles, which are designed to replicate their stills with the distinct boil-ball design.

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