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Old Pulteney 12

Old Pulteney 12

Tonight I’m sipping Old Pulteney [PULT’nee] 12 year old from the northern-most distillery on mainland Scotland.  According to the distillery web site, OP 12 is matured “wholly in air dried, hand selected ex-bourbon casks”.  The web site says 40% ABV, but my bottle says 43%.  A recent change?  A difference between the 700ml and 750ml bottlings?  I don’t know, but please leave a comment if you know what’s going on with that.  Local cost in AZ ranges from $33-$40/750ml.

On the nose and palate, OP 12 reminds me more of North American whiskey than any other scotch I’ve tasted.  It doesn’t have some of the qualities unique to a whiskey with distilled corn, but it does share a similar honey sweetness.  There’s also a spiciness that reminds me of a rye contribution.  On the whole, I’d say the similarity is closer to Canadian whisky (Crown Royal) than bourbon.  Not quite as sweet, and with an added saltiness.  I also get a pleasant pepper sensation on the finish, while it goes down very smoothly with no burn.

There’s a lot going on here for an “entry level” product, and this would make a good regular dram at the right price.  To me, that price is closer to $30 than $40.  I won’t have any problem moving through this bottle, and I’ll certainly consider buying another in the future.

Update: Being relatively new to  whisky, and having a current bias towards peaty malts, I recommend checking out these links to other people’s takes on this scotch:

  • Whiskey Magazine – Notes and ratings by Michael Jackson and Jim Murray, as well as links to related threads in the WM forums.
  • Blog (Darin Bradley) – This guy LOVES OP12 and rates it 5 of 5.  His journal entry makes for an interesting read.
  • YouTube (Peatluvr) – I really enjoy this guy’s video reviews, and have subscribed to his YouTube video feed.

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