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#620

A NEW OLD PULTENEY

28 Mar 2019 By

The heritage single malt whisky from the northerly, weathered coasts of Wick, Scotland voyaged south to the shores of Singapore for an exclusive tasting session of its new core collection. We take a much anticipated sip.

Old Pulteney’s lauded 21 year old was one of the rare single malts to receive the World Whisky of the Year by the prestigious “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible” in 2012, and only the 2nd Scottish distillery with the distinction. So it was quite a shock to many a whisky aficionado when the Wick-based whisky maker announced that its new core lineup would see the departure of the award-winning liquid, together with its 17 year old.

 

The good news is, their departure makes room for 3 new additions on the roster. The Huddart, the 15 year old and 18 year old joins the newly repackaged 12 year old to form Old Pulteney’s new core collection. We sat down with distillery manager Malcolm Waring for an in-depth tasting of the maritime malts.

We started with the classic Old Pulteney 12 year old. Restaurant Jag, the Savoie-inspired setting of our civilised imbibement, proposed a four-cheese platter with granny smith jam to bring out the whisky’s soft, creamy sweet notes. Created in distillery’s house style and aged on site, there was also a gentle but distinct sea salt note, enhanced by the umami of the cheese.

The Old Pulteney Huddart, a no age statement, is comparatively smokier. Aged in American oak and finished in heavily peated casks, the whisky was named after Captain Joseph Huddart, a British hydrographer, engineer and inventor, who provided maps and charts for the British Fisheries Society who were the builders of Pulteneytown and its harbour. Paired with scallops, it was rich and complex, creamy and somewhat peppery.

A sip of the Old Pulteney 15 quickly turned up a positive consensus at the table. Aged in both American oak and oloroso sherry casks, it was beautifully balanced with chocolate notes and raisiny sweetness. With a higher brine on the palate, it was well-accompanied with squid risotto, but what would Malcolm have paired it with back home on the coasts of Caithness, a former fishing port? “I love the crab in Scotland,” he smiled. “Simple preparation, sea water boil.” And it’s worth mentioning that it was recently awarded a high score of 95.5 points in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019.

The highlight of the afternoon was the 18 year old. The dark amber liquid was rich and complex, the perfect foil to the gorgeous venison and parsnip. Aged near the sea in a damp, old warehouse, it really captured the earthiness of its surrounds; the microflora giving the whisky a lovely depth and nuance.

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