The Highlander of the Sea – Old Pulteney 12

This review completes my reviews of the Old Pulteney core expressions. I have previously reviewed the Old Pulteney 21 and the fabulous 17 year old, and have now come to the entry level 12.

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Of all the monikers distilleries adopt, I think that Old Pulteney’s “The Maritime Malt” is the most fitting. The salt is ever present throughout the core range, and the sea is truly part of the DNA of this distillery.

The 12 year old  is a good expression to introduce the distillery style, and is overall a nice basic entry level expression. I would venture to say, though, that Inver house should take a page out of the Burn Stewart playbook, and stop chill filtration, the use of artificial coloring and up the ABV to 46%. I think that would catapult this expression far beyond the “nice” into the “stellar” category.

Old Pulteney 12 (40% ABV)

Appearance: Deep gold, slow and thin legs with residue.

Nose: Honey, heather, salt, a note of cereal, sherry, sea breeze, cinnamon. The salt gets stronger on the nose with time, as do the sherry notes.

Palate: Honey with notes of sherry sweetness, pepper, shortcake (sans the strawberries), wood spices (clove and nutmeg) and the lightest saltiness.

Linger: The sweetness and spiciness linger for a long while, with cereal appearing in the latter part of the linger. The spice is felt both on the tongue and in the back of the throat, with sherry dryness on the inside of the cheeks.


This is a very good entry level expression, which could easily be tweaked into perfection. Nevertheless, I really like Old Pulteney core expressions, and would gladly enjoy a dram of them.

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