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.
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.