Seek and you
shall eventually find. That’s been the case with the 21 year old release of Old
Pulteney ever since Jim Murray awarded it the ultimate accolade of 2012 World
Whisky of the Year. Stocks were immediately ransacked, making this formidable
malt very elusive even in its homeland.
to say I’ve managed to snare a bottle of this commended malt simply because I
was intrigued by the hype surrounding it. I’m familiar with the 12 year edition from this distillery and it is perfectly drinkable; albeit it a little light
for some (including my own) palate. Initially I thought the 12 year old was watered down,
lacking real depth of flavour and as I drank more the salty air rose from its
slumber to provide some sense of finish. Yet there is still an air of
disappointment here. This young malt was lacking punch and enough guts to
provide a satisfying conclusion. Any suggestion of greatness was not
forthcoming from this release or what lay in store.
So how does
it elder brother compare? Well, forget about trying comparisons as apart from
the bottling and packaging these are two totally different entities. My first
taste of the 21 year old malt was like an explosion within my mouth. Flavours kept on
coming, rich and strong, one after another. Oh yes, this was truly something
special and totally unexpected. This is
an Old Pulteney? What have they been doing up there all this time? A superb
balance and brilliant poise with the caramel and honey interaction sending
shivers down my spine.
This bottle rips
through some of the best malts I’ve had the pleasure of tasting including the
heavyweights such as an 18 year old Highland Park. Believe me this is high
praise from these quarters, and shows Jim Murray’s choice is completely
warranted. 21 is the new 18 and there’s a new king in town!
Labels: 2012 world whisky of the year, 21, jim murray, malt, old, old pulteney, single, whisky, year