Booze Review: Old Pulteney

A while ago, my favorite scotch was discontinued. I called it my writing scotch because it got me through more than a few nights of struggling with writing while in grad school. But when I discovered that I would no longer be able to buy another bottle, I set out on mission to find a new scotch.

With some time at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, I was able to sample quite a few single malts that I hoped would make suitable replacements for my bottle of Scapa 12 year old. Unfortunately, many of the single malts that I tasted were out of my price range–I was spoiled by having a scotch that only cost $40 a bottle. I figured I’d have to suck it up and spend a little more–I knew Glenlivet Nadurra fit my palate, but it was a bit more than $60. I really was holding out for something more affordable.

As you can see, I've enjoyed this bottle for the last year
As you can see, I’ve enjoyed this bottle for the last year

I finally found Old Pulteney 12 year old, which is the distillery’s entry-level scotch. When I was told that it retailed for about $44, I was sold on it. It wasn’t quite as smooth as Scapa or Glenlivet Nadurra, but I enjoyed the difference in it.

I’ve never been a fan of scotch with a heavy peat flavor, and this one has very little. I like mild peat and even a mild smokiness. This Old Pulteney has a hint of flavor from the sherry casks that helps mellow the saltiness from the coastal sea air, which you get more of on the nose.

While I have enjoyed this bottle of scotch I bought quite some time ago, I’m not entirely convinced it’s my replacement writing scotch. If I wasn’t moving to another continent for a while, I would probably buy another bottle of it, but we’ll see how I feel when I return–perhaps my palate will be altered by the food on my journey. No matter what, this scotch is a great bargain–I’ve had plenty of more expensive ones that I didn’t enjoy as much. I may even be tempted to upgrade to one of Old Pulteney’s other varieties.

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