Pulteney 1998 (Gordon & MacPhail)

A cask strength Old Pulteney 1998 in the Connoisseurs Choice range from Gordon & MacPhail. There has already been another 1998 bottling with similar specs earlier this year (501 bottles) but that was at the normal 46% ABV. If you look closely you’ll notice that some of the CC bottlings now have a small Cask Strength mention on the bottom label.



Old Pulteney 1998 - G&M Connoisseurs ChoicePulteney 19 yo 1998 (57,5%, Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 2018, first-fill bourbon barrel #1071, 192 btl.)

Nose: slightly prickly with pungent oak spices. Ginger and pepper. Sawdust. A briney edge. Heavy malty notes, breakfast cereals. With patience it shows vanilla cake, yellow apples and gooseberries. Some green banana. Water brings out tart citrus and something chemical.

Mouth: same sharpness, even harshness of the oak. This also brings along bitter notes (grapefruit zest) and a slightly tannic feel of walnut skins. Unripe pears and banana again, a little vanilla. Water makes it smoother, but there’s little besides the oak.

Finish: quite long, but still focused on woody notes, green fruits and a little mocha (not uncommon at this strength).

This is over-oaked in my opinion, about 20 years in first-fill bourbon gives it a harsh edge and takes away complexity. I’ll pass. Around € 160, available from The Whisky Exchange.

Score: 80/100