Single malt whisky - tasting notes

25 Nov 2010

Old Pulteney WK499 ‘Isabella Fortuna’

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Old Pulteney

Old PulteneyIsabella was the name of a sailing ship launched in 1890. Later on, it was fitted with an engine and its name was changed to Fortuna. The herring trawler has been restored under the name Isabella Fortuna and it is currently the last drifter in Wick Harbour.

The sales figures and popularity of Old Pulteney have gained a lot in recent years. Their products are marketed as the “genuine maritime malt” and in January 2010, they launched this WK499 (the registration number of the boat) as a tribute to the Isabella Fortuna. The whisky doesn’t have an age statement, but is said to be less than 10 years old and is only available in travel retail.


Old Pulteney WK499 - Isabella FortunaOld Pulteney WK499 ‘Isabella Fortuna’ (52%, OB 2010, 18.000 btl., travel retail, 100cl)

Nose: fresh and crisp start with vanilla and quite some fruits, mostly apples and pears. Some citrus. A hint of sweet coconut and more vanilla. After a while, the typical Old Pulteney saltiness comes through with notes of wet grains and limestone. Slightly youngish but really attractive. Mouth: fierce attack on dry grassy notes, salt and lemon. A bit harsh in that respect – like the salty first sip of a margarita cocktail. There’s a malty sweetness but it’s not big enough to find a pleasant balance. Maybe still a hint of vanilla in the background? Hints of peat as well. Finish: really dry and fairly bitter, with lemon and salt again. Medium long.

This Old Pulteney WK499 took a great start with a characterful and attractive nose. Unfortunately it goes a bit downhill after that. The tangy salt and dry, bitterish notes are a little overpowering. Around € 40 for a litre bottle.

Score: 85/100

Old Pulteney WK499 ‘Isabella Fortuna’ 3.5 Ruben Luyten 2010-11-25

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  • Tony: Well the 1401 batch 8 could be found easily in most places for £200 - indeed I got one for £180 with a discount. The £225 price was a bit high and
  • WhiskyNotes: Don't just look at the UK - it's not always representative for the rest of the world. The last 1401 for Europe was batch 8. I bought that one for €
  • Sam: Nicely written notes, not rated this myself yet. Just to confirm, it's nowhere near a 40% price rise though. The last 1401 released in the UK was at

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  • Macduff 1980 (Golden Cask)
  • Karuizawa 45 Year Old (cask #2725)
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
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  • Port Askaig 19 Year Old
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1659 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.