Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

There’s an embarrassingly low number of Old Pulteney reviews on Malt, with just the Old Pulteney 1989 on here. Yes, I’ve tasted the rest of the core range, just never written them up on the site, so I’m doing something about it with a review of something that represents very good value: the Old Pulteney 17 Year Old.

Sometimes we forget just how modern the single malt phenomenon really is. I mean, single malts have been available since forever. Way back in the 19th Century they were sometimes referred to as “single whiskies”. But Old Pulteney’s single malts weren’t widely available for ages except through the independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail. Inver House Distillers Ltd took over Old Pulteney in 1997 and brought out a proper Old Pulteney proprietors bottling in the same year. That was just 20 years ago!

For years now the various batches of the Old Pulteney 17 Year Old have been considered very good just about the world over. It’s been an award-winning whisky on numerous occasions. Though, in reality, that’s a bunch of people on a particular day though it was pretty good. But to be thought of as particularly good on those many occasions spanning a decade, then they must be doing something right up there in Wick (which is just about as far north on the mainland you can go).

The Old Pulteney 17 Year Old is bottled at 46% ABV, and costs around £65.

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old

Old Pulteney 17 Year Old Review

Colour: old gold.

On the nose: lovely sweet vanilla, citrus and brine to start with. Mellow, inviting. Nutty: peanuts and cashews. Fades to green apples and stewed pears, very fresh, with a dollop of cream on top. Mead like. Grassy after a while, with green tea and light honey. Floral: a brush past old roses.

In the mouth: slightly oily. Again that intense vanilla from the American oak dominates the first impressions, with a gentle peppery heat from the wood. Then come very similar notes to the nose: apples, honey, green tea – maybe even traces of black Assam tea. Again some grassiness, apricots. Fruity, floral and malty.


Just a very nice whisky.

The value remains very good at £65, especially in the current climate. People go on mostly about peated whiskies or sherried whiskies (I’m guilty of the latter), but this is very definitely a different part of the flavour spectrum. Light. Sweet. Gentle. A little oily. Marvellous stuff. Get it on your shelf.

CategoriesSingle Malt
  1. Welsh Toro says:

    I’m just polishing off a bottle of the 17 and it’s always been a good one. The value was just right. It’s been replaced by a more expensive 15 which is not as good and costs more. I’m on record predicting Inverhouse would do this several years ago. I’ll buy very little Old Pulteney, if any, from now on and I’ll be telling everyone else to do the same. Well done Inverhouse, you greedy bastards. You fucked it up for Balblair as well. You can’t have good value whisky anymore. Heaven forbid! If people like it we have to put the price up. (“We can’t keep up demand” – Bollocks)

    1. Mark says:

      I would be intrigued to investigate the new ranges – to do that quality check, I suppose. OP used to be very reliable at most price points. It can’t have changed that much?

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