This months featured malt is Old Pulteney 12 year old. Pulteney distillery is the most Northern distillery in mainland Scotland situated in the town of Wick. Wick was established initially as a fishing town to chase the ample Herring that school off the Northern East coast. Wick became a wealthy town during the 1800’s “herring boom”. The history of Old Pulteney, Herring and the town of Wick are inextricably linked.
The Pulteney distillery was built in 1826, drawing water from the River Wick. It is believed that this water is the reason that the new make spirit has such a high level of sulphur. When the new make spirit is aged in bourbon barrels with high charring, it produces a butterscotch flavour, quite distinct to Old Pulteney.
Old Pulteney distillery is now owned by the Inverhouse group, who in turn are owned by International Beverage Holdings. The IBH stable of whiskies include Balblair, Knockandhu, Speyburn and Balmenach.
Old Pulteney 12 Year Old uses first fill Bourbon barrels, which are heavily charred. This charred oak has the capacity to absorb lots of unpleasant flavours leaving a very clean clear whisky, but there is complexity there unique to this distillery due to the waters of the Wick and sea spray that fills the angels share in the barrels, which complex to make a rich, unusual, yet delicate intensity. These flavours dance around the pallet, from the first sip right through to the resounding finish.