Old Pulteney WK217 ‘Spectrum’ ~ 46% (Travel Retail Exclusive)

OP wk217

Old Pulteney WK217 ‘Spectrum’ (Travel Retail)

NAS, 46% ABV, £42.99 for 1L

Score 78/100

What they say:

This is the third and final expression in our series of single malt whiskies related to extraordinary boats from Wick. The WK217 ‘Spectrum’ was built in 1920 and was one of the first Wick drifters to use a pioneering way of fishing called Anchor Seine Netting. She was also used during World War II for harbour service duties. Matured in ex American and Spanish ex sherry butts


Deep amber with bronze highlights


Full bodied, sweet and spicy with traces of vanilla, green apples and raisins in the background


Sweet to start with notes of citrus fruits and sherry; complex and well-balanced with a long lasting finish

What I say:

After the success of WK209, I couldn’t resist this alternative sherry-matured offering from Old Pulteney. I’m still a huge fan of the Old Pulteney 12 Years Old and think it is one of the best bargain-price whiskies money can buy. Would the WK217 prove to be different enough from the WK209?


Copper bronze


Oaky with hints of grass hay


Grape and raisins, new oak wood, apples and salted caramel


Long sherry flavours and seaweed

Would I buy it again:

The WK217 certainly gives out much more of the core Old Pulteney flavours than the WK209, the sea air influence and sherry are much more evenly matched in this whisky. Overall I would be hard-pressed to say which one I like better and will need to try them both again back-to-back. At least the WK217 is still available [though possibly only for a short time more] as Old Pulteney have released a new range of expressions switching from fishing trawlers to lighthouses for the naming inspirations.  Overall I think WK217 goes a long way to establishing what a ‘typical’ sherried Old Pulteney should be like, and as such I find it very enjoyable. From the new range it appears that WK217 is replaced by Duncansby Head and the WK209 by Pentland Skerries, the Skerries seems to be the one I would favour first.

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About Barry Bradford

I am a research scientist working at the Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) school of veterinary studies, the University of Edinburgh. I live with my partner (and nose) in Livingston, together we are self-confessed whiskyphiles and love everything about single malt whisky. I also love to eat, drink, travel, run, fish and play guitar.

One response to “Old Pulteney WK217 ‘Spectrum’ ~ 46% (Travel Retail Exclusive)”

  1. Barry Bradford says :

    To determine which we liked best out of WK209 and WK217 we did a back-to-back tasting of each. The WK209 fruity nose, raisin and dark chocolate taste and suede like finish finally won vs the WK217 musty oak fizz on the nose and bounty (coconut/chocolate) developing into Reese’s peanut butter cup (chocolate, nutty, salt and butter) with vaporous finish. I guess this is mostly down to the fact that I love sherry-finish, chocolate and of course Old Pulteney whisky!


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