I will be hosting another whisky tasting today, featuring the entire Old Pulteney core range (age statement versions), starting from the 12 through the 17,21 and then reaching the awesome 35 year old I reviewed in the past, this 1989 however is a whisky I’ve not yet reviewed, having liked the 1990 which is also a peated version, I was quite sure this one is going to be a cracker, and guess what – It is ! You might think that this peated version was distilled from peated malt , but this is not the case here (as in other peated malts such as the Balvenie peated cask). Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage is matured in hand-selected, American oak ex-bourbon barrels, which previously held a peated malt, which gives it the distinct smoky aroma / palate.
Nose : Starts dusty and waxy with a smoky edge, a rather dry sort if smoke. Then a citrusy note is evident with zesty orange, and maybe candied peel as well. After letting it rest in the glass for a few minutes it gets more creamy with vanilla , dough and spice.
Palate : Starts very earthy and peaty (but not the medicinal Islay peat, but the real earthy muddy kind of peat, with some moss) . Dirty and dark. Then it gets woody with deep old wood, mossy wood and spice. The malty vanilla follows just to give way to pepper and more smoke. Maybe some mocha.
Finish : Double espresso. Smoke. Mocha. Dark chocolate and orange peel. Long. Smoky. Earthy.
As I expected this dram did not disappoint, and while it lacks the maritime notes some OPs are associated for, the earthy delicious peat makes up for that, with the citrus and the wood, pepper and espresso, this is a delicious complex dram. Highly recommended, and certainly one of the better expression in the OP range. I feel the 1990 vintage, is slightly better than this one, but only marginally. At any rate, this one is still available here, so OP fans, better get one. I know I want one.