Single malt whisky - tasting notes

09 Jan 2012

Old Pulteney 12 Years

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Old Pulteney

Old Pulteney 12yo – the benjamin of the range – is matured wholly in air-dried, hand-selected ex-bourbon casks. Contrary to the more upmarket / single cask Old Pulteney releases, this is still caramel coloured and chill-filtered.

This is the 2010 release – in 2011 the packaging had a slight makeover. The spirit is probably more or less the same (a new batch I guess).


Old Pulteney 12yoOld Pulteney 12 yo (40%, OB 2010)

Nose: quite a big maltiness coming out, with some coastal notes and a little brine. Rather big beefy elements as well, which I personally don’t like too much. Also a sharper, walnut-style note. It benefits from a bit of airing in the glass. Mouth:
a bit underpowered. Full of malt, slightly bitter Seville oranges, sourish apple. Liquorice. A dash of honey and quite a lot of caramel / toffee flavours in the end. Caramelized nuts. A bit too much of the caramel flavours for me. Finish: zesty and oily with a slightly herbal and salty ending. Drops dead all of a sudden.

This may not be a special dram, but let’s not forget we’re in the entry level market here. At this price point, it’s a decent introduction to this uniquely coastal distillery. Around € 30.

Score: 78/100

Old Pulteney 12 Years 2 Ruben Luyten 2012-01-09
  • aw

    Personally I found it a rather nasty introduction to the distillery. I didn’t touch OP for a long while after trying it. But as I gained more experience with single malts, I came to understand that there is often a world of difference between the entry-level 40% job, and the next-level-up 46%+ effort. Recently I tried the OP 17 and 21… and they’re great!

    It’s sad when the entry-level effort is pretty rubbish, and it puts people off the distillery. Or if it doesn’t put people off, then people may settle for the entry-level, unaware of how much better the slightly more expensive expressions are.

    I salute those distilleries like Ardbeg and Bruichladdich (the new ten!) whose entry level expressions are at 46%, NC2, and which are absolutely fab. No-one is ever left in any doubt as to the quality of those distilleries.

  • Ruben

    I would personally also save the money and go for OP 17, but I didn’t think it was really nasty.

  • Drini

    I’m a fan of this malt. I think it’s a very nice entry level whisky with a very interesting, lightly coastal, character. However, I do tend to think, that this is a malt that would improve a lot without caramel colouring and chill-filtration. I haven’t tried the older expressions yet, but I hope to do so in the near future.



March 2015
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1751 notes by Ruben

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