It’s Mari-time for a dram!

Taste Review 21 – Old Pulteney 12

After a wee bit of consideration I thought I’d go to the north Highland region and try an Old Pulteney. I had a couple to try from, and I decided on the 12 year old offering over the now discontinued and well revered 17 year old single malt. Don’t worry, I’ll do the 17 year old dram later.

Old Pulteney Distillery – credit below

What is there to know about Old Pulteney? Until 2013, it was the most northerly whisky distillery on the Scottish mainland until the rebirth of Wolfburn distillery in Thurso, Caithness. Situated in the town of Wick, also in the Caithness region of Scotland. The distillery is is only about 500 yards from the harbour and makes the most of its slogan – the maritime malt.

The miniature

You can visit the Old Pulteney distillery. I recommend taking the train to Wick from Inverness if you have a couple of days to spare. This goes through some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland on the Far North Line, including the ‘Flow Country’, the largest blanket bog in Europe. The views are absolutely stunning.




12 y.o


40% a.b.v


Amber with pink hues


Fruity, citrus, maritime notes


Dry, Vanilla, citrus and a hint of brine.


Quite short and salty at the end. Just the ticket for a coastal distillery

The Dram


Mmmmm, don’t know where to go with this one. It’s nice, but not a grab you by the testicles nice. However, it does exactly what it says on the tin – it is indeed a maritime malt, as the after taste is heavy on the brine. Adding water didn’t do too much to it for me.

There is a slight bourbon influence in the vanilla, the fruit may becoming from a longer fermentation period, but here is where I make a surprising observation: – bottling at 40% was probably a good idea. I think any stronger would overpower the delicate flavours here. It seems to be more spirit driven rather than flavour coming from the cask, and any extra spirit would be a no-no. The label describes it as robust, but I would definitely disagree. But as we know, taste is a subjective concept.

You can buy a bottle of Old Pulteney 12 for around the £30 on various online sites and whisky specialists. This miniature for tasting was won at auction and so I cannot give you an accurate price.

Would I buy it again? Probably not, but to be fair, if a light coastal dram is your thing and you love the brine notes, this has it in spades.

Slainte Mhath!

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Picture Credits

Old Pulteney Distillery – Bill Henderson / Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0

Other photos by the author

2 thoughts on “It’s Mari-time for a dram!

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