Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #172

Old Pulteney 1990
Gordon and Macphail Cask Strength
Cask 5470, 15/10/1990 - 21/4/2005
Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky
58.8% abv

Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Whisky was clicked for the 100,000th time yesterday. If you are the reader from Tampere, Finland who poked around Dr. Whisky yesterday at around 7:40am GMT, then I have pretty cool a prize for you as visitor 100,000. Everyone else, if I don't hear from him/her by Friday it will be first come first served for the goodies. Please be in touch (contact info through pic on left). And again, thanks to all of you for reading, sharing, linking, emailing, etc.

In his 1967 "The Whiskies of Scotland", Professor Emiritus at University of London
Dr. R.J.S. McDowell wrote, "It is to me quite surprising that such a good whisky could be made in this grim, windswept fishing town on the North Sea. Caithness is indeed a bare country and needs a good whisky to warm it up." Having tasted this before (and stashed a few bottles myself) I can say that wherever you are as winter approaches in the Northern hemisphere, if you need something to warm you up grab a blanket or make a fire... and keep this whisky nearby should wool and wood combustion fail you.

Back in McDowell's drinking days, Old Pulteney was only available in the Highlands, particularly around Wick, but also through Gordon & Macphail. James Gordon and John Macphail began bottling whiskies as single malts in an age when blends dominated the whisky world, mainly in the Highlands of Scotland, out of their shop in Elgin in 1985. By 1914, they were exporting abroad. After over 100 years as independent bottlers, Gordon & Macphail has one of the most envied supplies of maturing stock and a list of past releases that make up some of the worlds most collectible bottles. More on G&M's history HERE.

Time to revisit this sherry monster.
Other Old Pulteneys had on the mission can be read HERE.I will include some notes on this whisky I took from folks at a tasting I held.


Walnut and honey sweetness, marmite and furniture cleaner.SHERRY. Chocolate and maraschino cherries. There is a floral sweetness, too, like roses, and some fishing gear/rubber trousers. "Smells like my grandmother's breath at Christmas."

Spicy like ginger, sweet and sour. SHERRY. Leather shoes, rubber soles and toffee. Vinyl, old records, rum, buttery/dairy sourness, bittersweet and pretty drinkable for the abv%.
"What the fuck is this?"
"(Odd face) So not right."
Finish is smoky with Honey Nut Cheerios, SHERRY, a little mintiness, and more marmite.


SHERRY. I am not a sherry freak, but something about this lights my fire... Not an everyday dram by any means, very moody and heavy, but it has depth and a gentle creaminess unexpected after so much oloroso influence and at such a high abv%. I don't think this same treatment would work with every whisky, or even with every cask of this distillery's make, but this one does... for me. The quotes above indicate the other extreme. Like marmite, its a love or hate thing.

Malt Mission #171
Malt Mission #173
Malt Mission #174
Malt Mission #175

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