Tag Archives: 55.8%

Old Pulteney 2006 11-year-old (Cadenhead)

Bought: Cadenhead, 5th December 2017

84.78/100 – Whiskybase (average from 11 member votes)

When you look at Old Pulteney (OP) in Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible 2018’ you realise how rare it is to see independent bottlings from this illustrious distillery. In fact Mr Murray only mentions Cadenhead and Gordon & MacPhail. Of these only the two bottles by Cadenhead are cask strength. The distillery itself rarely releases a whisky that hasn’t been diluted down. But if you’re a fan of a particular distillery it doesn’t take long before you want to try the raw liquid straight from the barrel. And as a fan of OP, this 11yo by Cadenhead gives me my change to do just that. It’s Old Pulteney au naturale.

My OP 11yo is made from a combination of two hogshead casks distilled in 2006 and bottled at 55.8% in 2017. It comes from ex-bourbon barrels, which is the standard wood used by the distillery. 570 bottles were produced. Although Jim Murray doesn’t review this particular dram he scores a similar Cadenhead 2006 11yo a very respectable 87/100. This was also an ex-bourbon hogshead but only one barrel was used to produce 294 bottles. It scores 82.39/100 on Whiskybase from 25 votes. My 11yo scores a fantastic 84.78/100 from 11 votes so far, which suggests a marginally better dram.

Cadenhead release cask strength Old Pulteney quite regularly so if it’s something you’re interested in then keep an eye on their website. My 11yo was bottled in 2017 but Cadenhead have already bottled two OP 12yo cask strengths in 2018 (one of which is still available on their website for £54.30 from a run of only 282 bottles, so cask strength AND single cask).

Tasting notes by Cadenhead:

Nose: Toffee popcorn, cereals, barley sugar, developing rich notes with this coastal dram. The nose is great now into the palate!
Palate: The palate is driving in some incredible richness with some fresh ground black pepper, haggis crisps, cardamon pod. We also find a sweet note after this dram is left to open in the glass.
Finish: The finish is really good with a hint of red liquorice, banana loaf and marshmallow, the finish coats the palate with a lingering sweetness before the spicy mid note on the palate comes back in for a few moments.


Linkwood 2000 14-year-old

Bought: Bartels Whisky, 18th August 2015

83.67/100 – Whiskybase (average from 20 member votes)

I’m a big fan of the independent bottler ‘Bartels Whisky’ (formerly ‘Malts of Scotland’). I’ve bought from them several times and the customer service is second to none. There have been a few glitches but every time I’ve contacted them they’ve bent over backwards to make things right. Getting this Linkwood was pure luck. They’d run out of the item I ordered but offered me a choice between a Fettercairn 22yo, Benriach 18yo or a Linkwood 14yo. These were only available to retailers so didn’t appear on Bartels Whisky’s website. Although the ancient Fettercairn seemed the best value, reviews weren’t favourable. My head said Benriach, which I knew would be an excellent dram but my heart said Linkwood, so that’s what I got. Whichever I picked it was only going to cost £47, which is what I’d already paid for the Deanston that was out of stock.

83.67/100 on Whiskybase is a very good mark although not all the comments are favourable. One reviewer remarks “nice but uneventful by Linkwood standards” but a more positive voter says “if you like the fresh, mellow, floral, summery flavour profile, you will like this. I know I do. I seem to be a bit above the average rating here (88/100), but this really suits me.” And as a fan of the Linkwood profile I’m sure I’m going to enjoy this Speyside dram.

Linkwood 2000 14yo 70cl