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Pulteney Pairing

by Gavin D Smith, 03/08

Pulteney is the northernmost mainland distillery in Scotland, and is situated in the historic Caithness fishing port of Wick. Pulteney was established in 1826, and takes its name from Sir William Johnstone Pulteney, Governor of the British Fisheries Society. Unless one includes Glen Grant, this is the only Scottish distillery to be named after a specific person.

For many years, Old Pulteney, as its 'make' is known, was only available in independent bottlings, but since Inver House Distillers acquired the plant in 1995, a great deal of money and marketing effort has been put into making Old Pulteney a high-profile single malt. A 12-year-old is the core expression (see Tasting Notes), along with 17 and 21-year-old variants.

Recently, Inver House has developed an innovative presentation of two Old Pulteney whiskies for the World Duty Free market. Both are 23 years old, but one has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks, while the other has been fully matured in ex-Sherry wood.

According to Iain Baxter, Brand Manager of Old Pulteney, "This new release is part of our ongoing ambition to keep introducing
new and interesting expressions of Old Pulteney. One of our main focuses, as we continue to expand the Old Pulteney range, is to encourage consumers to try different ways of experiencing our whisky. We are very excited about the Old Pulteney pairing concept as it not only prompts the drinker to consider the ways in which the whisky has developed but it also presents a unique offer to the duty free market, which is an important area for our business and one that we are keen to invest in."

The two limited edition bottlings have been selected by Pulteney distillery manager Malcolm Waring, and are stylishly presented, along with an eight-page booklet explaining the influence of wood on whisky maturation.

Old Pulteney, 1984 (American Oak) (Scotland)
Quite light and fruity on the nose; malty, with a hint of peat smoke. It becomes more floral with time, and water releases effervescent notes of heather. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, with apples and pears, delicate malt, a touch of honey, and spices. The medium finish is spicy and drying, with some oak. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, 150.00, Duty Free & Travel Retail.
Old Pulteney, 1984 (Spanish Oak) (Scotland)
The nose is fuller than that of its American Oak companion, with soft leather, fresh fruits, a herbal note and a suggestion of salt. Fresh and supple for its age. Again, late floral aromas develop, and water releases discreet notes of wood polish. Full-bodied, spicy and dry on the palate, with Sherry, raisins and ginger. The finish is long and spicy, dry, with old leather and oak. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, 150.00, Duty Free & Travel Retail.


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