About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, 14 March 2013


Making your way all the way up to the town of Wick to visiting Old Pulteney is a long drive in itself and finally reaching the distillery makes you wonder if you're really in the right place...

Located in residential neighbourhood and not that far from Wick harbour, the whole thing still looks a bit bleak - even on a sunny day, but the spirit from there is not - it's great!

Old Pulteney offices and visitors centre - August 2009 © The Malt Desk
The review this time is a single cask sherried Pulteney - something you don't see alot of out there. It's bottled by Elgin based Gordon & MacPhail who's cask management is something of a work of art in itself. They have - or at least have had - contracts to have their own carefully selected casks filled at the distilleries and with that ensuring a minimum of dodgy casks in their stock - although you can never be sure how a casks matures your whisky - but you can minimize the risk by good wood management.

In early 2011 I picked a cask from several samples to be bottled for our local whisky club - also a 1997 and also from Gordon & MacPhail - although a lovely single bourbon cask. Lovely stuff! My review can be found here. If you would like other people's opinion on it, have a look at whiskybase.com - the direct link is here.

Now, back to the sherried Old Pulteney - this version is selected and bottled for Mike Drury who owns the incredible well stocked shop 'The Whisky Castle' in the village of Tomintoul high up in the Speyside hills. It's a shop I can recommend you visit as Mike and his wife Cathy are the friendliest of hosts and there's always a dram ready almost the minute you come in the door... and then there's the well stocked shelves there... bring a well stocked wallet or be sure you're credit card can be charged a bit - it's another place I always visit when in Speyside!

Old Pulteney 1997 13yo (25.09.1997/xx.04.2011) 58,9%, refill sherry hogshead#1180, 273 bottles, Gordon & MacPhail Exclusive for The Whisky Castle in Tomintoul

Colour is amber

Dark fruits, and brown overripe banana, salted pork, burnt creme brulee crust, polished hardwood and remarkably fresh

Spicy oak, lovely oloroso sherry coating, caramelised apples, a nice malt base mid palate, some Pulteney saltiness, nuts and chocolate.

This improves very much with oxidation. I wasn't terribly impressed with it when I first opened the bottle, but that changed after about 1 week - and now the bottle is empty!



  1. Very nice dram. I hope to go to Scotland in 2 years and won't forget The Whisky Castle!

  2. Thanks again for the sample of this one. Great stuff!