We've reviewed Old Pulteney expressions before, and we know the story behind the name of the brand, and maybe it's the "17" after it, but we can't help thinking this one could be a colloquial name for an infectious disease. Or better yet, for a rather particular sort of life turning point.
She's gone. She's been gone for a good while now. You're done cryin' and mopin', and you stop for a moment on the precipice, ready to step off into a new stage of your life. Standing there with several fingers' worth in your glass (as you should always have at such moments), you inhale the aromas blossoming from the elixir therein. Ah yes, so nice. Much like your feelings at that moment, the nose is not terribly complex, but it is nonetheless solid and warming and strong. You pick up notes of mandarin orange oil--and not just because you've finally gotten around to cleaning the house again. You take a healthy slug. The oily viscosity hits you in all of its three dimensions, and there's a brief stale change from liquid to cotton candy made of flavored graphene. Rather appropriately, it stiffens your upper lip, and you light the match in your hand. With a near effortless flick of your finger, the cedar chest that holds your wedding day tuxedo goes up in flames. You stand there and breathe in the smoke, the finish ironically intermarried with the aromas of charred cummerbund, blistering patent leather, and smoldering suspenders. The finish, like the blaze itself, is balanced and long and satisfying. You step back from the tuxedo pyre and add some water to your glass. Immediately, you're reminded of the dried boutonnières in the closet you'd meant to burn alongside the chest. Amid the floral explosion on the nose now, you find yourself experiencing one of the possible futures that's just opened up to you: pomegranates and jasmine in a sealed Ziploc™ tucked within your monk's robe while being re-screened by airport security. Then for a moment you taste another possible future, but this one having just closed behind you: a wedge of pecorino romano with grapefruit slices on it, made with haste during an unexpected and unwelcome visit from your in-laws. You smile and pick up distinct notes of oiled sulfur toward the finish, and it's like you can smell the poorly maintained brakes from Satan's Edsel as he stops momentarily to pick up the last of your baggage and whisk it away to where it belongs. If you've ever felt anything like this, you've experienced "The Old Pulteney 17."
The Old Pulteney 17 Year-Old is the Seven Year Itch--It's a rating befitting this dram's finish, only things turn out better with the whisky. Well, usually, anyway.
Our thanks to Brian Johnson and InterBev Group for the sample!