Old Pulteney 12

I WAS introduced to this single malt by one of my closest friends, who also just happens to be a bit of a whisky aficionado. He lives in England these days, so we don't often see each other. But back in May, we met up in Manchester for a gig and before we headed out for a few drams and some live music, he unveiled a selection of whisky samples.
    Among his fine portable collection of jingling spirit bottles was an Old Pulteney 12 and, before my glass was empty, I had fallen in love with this excellent spirit. So much so, that when I jumped off the train back in Glasgow the following day, I immediately bought a bottle - and it didn't last long.
    Situated in Wick, Old Pulteney was, until recently, the most northerly Scottish mainland distillery, before being upstaged by those rascals at Wolfburn. The rugged wind-swept location in the north-east gives the single malt a coastal tang, which might sound unpleasant but it is anything but.
    The 12 is bottled at 40% and on the nose there's orange peel, vanilla, grapefruit, apples, grapes, gooseberries, honey and pineapple - all held in check by an ever-present salty sea breeze. Stunning.
    Take a sip, and lemony marzipan is immediately obvious, before it slips away to leave a nutty, salty note on the back of the tongue.
    That first bottle of Old Pulteney 12 lasted me a couple of weeks - a bottle usually lasts months in my house - but I just couldn't get enough. It is a fabulous whisky and without question one of my favourites and it's safe to say I will always have an Old Pulteney in my collection.
    Supermarkets also regularly have a sale on the 12 - usually reduced to £25 - so keep your eyes peeled. In fact, it's on sale right now at Tesco, so what are you waiting for?


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