Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 7th June 2016
This older style version of the Old Pulteney (OP) 12yo is sometimes classified as 1990s at auction but Malt Maniacs and Whiskybase list it as a bottling from 2000 onward. The next version is listed as 2007, which is where I get the date range for this classic single malt. Older doesn’t always mean better, which seems to be the case for this OP. In the Whisky Bible 2016 the latest OP 12yo scores 90.5/100 but back in 2006 my vintage bottle scored a less impressive 84/100. Nevertheless this is still “good whisky worth buying” and the author Jim Murray says “much changed from the last bottling, with greater emphasis on brown sugar sweetness and spice: still duller than one might expect.” There’s no use of the word “dull” in Mr Murray’s review of the latest OP 12yo, which he classifies as “brilliant”.
I bought this bottle of OP 12yo because Old Pulteney is a family favourite. I also wasn’t drinking whisky between 2000 and 2007 so I feel I’ve missed out. Scoring 80.33/100 on Whiskybase is a point less than the 81.39/100 for the latest OP 12yo but still a good score. The new bottling has 313 votes compared to only 3 for my auction purchase, which makes it feel quite unique and exclusive. That’s one of the pleasures of acquiring older, discontinued whisky, as the chance to taste it becomes increasingly rare.