Tag Archives: old pulteney

Old Pulteney Navigator Review

Old Pulteney Navigator – Distiller: Old Pulteney. Region: Highlands. ABV: 46%.  No age statement. Price: $45-50.

I have emotional responses to certain whiskies that go deep. I can’t have a dram of the Lagavulin 16 and not remember the night before we had to put our Yellow Lab down. I see Macallan and I flash back to my wedding, where Mrs. McDram’s father had stashed bottles of the Macallan 10 all around the reception room. And there’s been one on my mind a great deal as we prepare to take our kids to Scotland for the first time.

In 2002, I was in Edinburgh on a rainy, wind-torn day. I’d climbed all over Arthur’s Seat. I descended into the encroaching dark, soaked, knowing that I’d feel my exertions the next day and that I needed a good dram to start the recovery process. I hauled myself into the White Lion and asked for a whisky. The bartender pulled out a bottle of Old Pulteney and poured a healthy dram. It’s been love ever since.

The Old Pulteney is a Highland malt from the remote town of Wick. In the distillery’s earliest days, the town was inaccessible by land, and the barley had to be brought in by sea. The “Maritime Malt” still retains that characteristic hint of brine. I’m always thrilled to see what the distillery will next create.

Welcome the Old Pulteney Navigator, the distillery’s latest core expression. It’s matured primarily in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, but also incorporates first-fill ex-Oloroso sherry casks. It’s non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV.

The nose recalls a Midwestern fall harvest. Honeycrisp apple, pear, and the tang of a good breeze off Lake Michigan. Very slight Cadbury chocolate on the back. The apple in the palate shifts from fresh to caramelized, atop a roasted pork loin. Very faint pine swirls around a more pronounced dark chocolate, along with tufts of oak and sherry fruits. The finish lingers, bringing the apple-pear-chocolate combination back in full for a lovely encore.

Too soon to tell whether this will be my favorite OP, but it’s absolutely in the conversation. What OP expressions do you all enjoy, and if you’ve tried the Navigator, where do you rank it? – TM

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.

Old Pulteney 17 Review

Distillery: Old Pulteney. Region: Highlands. ABV: 46%. Price: $85.

I’ve long been a fan of the Old Pulteney. Maybe it’s the Winslow Homer fan in me, or the fond memories I have of my grandfather’s Old Spice, but from the design on the bottle to the taste of the dram, the whisky has always spoken to me of life on the sea and making a living with your hands. So when the good folks at this Highland distillery offered to send us a sample of the current Old Pulteney 17-year-old, I was thrilled. And I gotta tell you, the dram does not disappoint.

There’s a woodsy nose to it, with scents of honey, dried apricots, and maybe a touch of dark chocolate. The palate is immensely fun. The oak from the nose serves as the base of the palate, over which you get splashes of butterscotch, blackberries, and more of that lovely honey. All the elements dance together without ever getting in each other’s way. And the finish, man the finish. It’s sustained without overstaying its welcome–and the whole time it lingered, I kept thinking about the next sip.

It’s a terrific whisky, and at this price, it’s a must-have. Here’s to people doing their jobs well. Cheers, friends! – TM

A company representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.