Would you be surprised if I said that I enjoyed the Old Pulteney 21 Years? No? Yeah, me neither. As a whole I really enjoy what the distillery puts out, except when it comes to their NAS stuff. The age-stated stuff is always quality; it’s hard to beat that crisp fruity and malty essence.
We’ll dig into the review in a minute, but while I was looking up some info about the Scotch to include in here I came across an interesting bit of trivia about Old Pulteney. Did you know it was founded in 1826 and after over 100 years of service to the town of Wick, and Wick’s 81 bars, it was forced to close due to a town-wide prohibition? It was closed from 1930 to 1951 but has been chugging along ever since. Interesting stuff, and so is this whisky… let’s get into it.
Old Pulteney 21 Years Review: Details and Tasting Notes
In Old Pulteney’s Words: Old Pulteney 21 Years
“As with the 17 Years Old, with this expression we marry together Old Pulteney matured in ex-bourbon casks with spirit from ex-Oloroso sherry casks. We mostly use second fill American oak, plus some Spanish oak first fill. However, there is a higher proportion of ex-Oloroso sherry cask compared to the 17 Years Old.”
Old Pulteney 21 Years price, ABV, age and other details
Distiller: Old Pulteney
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Oloroso
Age: 21 Years
Old Pulteney 21 Years Tasting Notes
Complex orchard fruit, dried strawberries, toffee, citrus, cherry pie, malt and a light bit of Smarties and spice.
Complex orchard fruit, dried strawberries, graham, banana, farmy malt, spice and some earthiness.
Long -> Fruit and malt that turns to oak and ash.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, medium body and an oily feel.
Old Pulteney 21 Years Review: OVERALL
I’m going to make a statement here, one that’s often disagreed with, but I like the Old Pulteney 17 better than the Old Pulteney 21 Years. The 21 is missing some of the balance and composure that the 17 has even though their process of creation is quite similar. Both are blends of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks but the 21 uses more sherry which, in theory, means I should like it more… but I don’t.
The Aroma is sweetly fruit dominant and while the palate is more rustic than the aroma, but it’s still not balanced. When tasting it side-by-side with the Old Pulteney 17 it’s a bit off; the 17 is more cohesive and complex.
The extra sherry sweetness is nice, but I kinda miss the earthier malt and sea-side essence I get more of from the 17. Still, it’s a good whisky and I’d never say no to a glass.
SCORE: 87/100 (B+, was able to take a sample home)
Old Pulteney 21 Years Review
- Nose - 88
- Palate - 87
- Finish - 87
- Balance, Body & Feel - 87
Old Pulteney 21 Years Review Summary
Old Pulteney 21 Years is a good tasty whisky, but I prefer the 17.