Old Pulteney 1989

Old Pulteney 1989 vintage

This the Old Pulteney 1989 which recently won the World’s Best Single Malt award at the World Whiskies Awards 2016.

It has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels which previously held peated malt – this should result in a lightly smoky dram. See the Old Pulteney 1990 for some context.



Old Pulteney 1989 (peated)Old Pulteney 1989
(46%, OB 2015, peated cask, 255 btl.)

Nose: no immediate peat at first. Instead it is a creamy nose, high on vanilla, with some apricots, roasted pineapple and oranges. Honey. Leafy notes in the background, and indeed a roasted note as well. Hints of lemon-scented wax candles.

Mouth: very nice texture, with the creamy fruits in the first row (yellow plums, pink grapefruit), as well as some honey and vanilla cake. It’s countered by a slightly acrid, burnt note and something vaguely hoppy. Funny but quite successful. Leather. Some grassy / mossy notes too, as well as a coastal edge. Good complexity.

Finish: fairly long, still some oranges, beeswax, mocha and smoke.

Indeed this doesn’t disappoint. Better than the 1990 as well. A fine, complex dram but the tangy, bitter side that seems to come along with the peated cask makes it hard for me to score higher, let alone pick this as the malt of the year. Around € 180, I find that expensive but it’s sold out anyway.

Score: 88/100