Old-Pulteney-1990-Vintage

Old Pulteney 1990 Vintage (Official Bottling)

46% ABV, £120 from specialist whisky shops

Score: 91/100

What they say:

We are delighted to today [15th November 2013] announce the latest addition to our distinguished portfolio, the limited edition 1990 Vintage. Only 900 cases of this exceptional single malt will be rolled out globally from November 2013 with a retail price of £120 per bottle.

Matured in American ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-sherry casks which previously held heavily peated whisky, each 700ml bottle is non-chill filtered at 46% ABV.  Amber in colour, on the palate this full bodied expression is sweet to start with a touch of spice and a long and intense smoky finish.

To reflect the our rich maritime heritage, the 1990’s striking packaging features a ship decking effect on the outer tube, a porthole stamp and Old Pulteney’s classic herring drifter, which has become a symbol of the brand.

Old Pulteney Senior Brand Manager, Margaret Mary Clarke commented:

“After a very exciting year for the brand, which included a global partnership with Clipper Round the World Race, it’s great to finish off 2013 by adding a very special expression to our award-winning portfolio. With its eye catching maritime design and rich intense taste, we are confident that the 1990 vintage will be a hit with global whisky connoisseurs.”

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What I say:

I tasted the Old Pulteney 1990 Vintage as part of the #PulteneyTT twitter tasting, directly after trying one of my all-time favourites the Old Pulteney 12 Year old. The 1990 Vintage expression has been constructed from 23 Years Old spirit matured in American ex-bourbon and Spanish ex-Sherry casks that once held heavily peated [Islay?] whisky. The result is astounding! I wondered about the provenance of the whisky casks and their previous inhabitants, perhaps it is just coincidence that OP’s parent company within the 12 months previous to this distillate leaving the stills had acquired a particular Islay distillery, fortuitously allowing them access to some pre-used casks…

Colour:

Gold, with an amber tinge

Nose:

Orange, peach, toffee, salt, smoke, sourdough – like Herman cake

Taste:

cherry, eucalyptus, slight raisin, little cocoa and malt (bournvita?), Black forest gateau. With a drop of water the smoke comes rolling out, very mellow and OP toffee, but loses the cherry and black fruits in the body.

Finish:

all the peat smoke is on the nose and just into the finish, long smoky salty caramel

Would I buy it:

Sadly way, way out of my budget, but a fantastic experience to taste and review it all the same. This is clearly aimed at the luxury market and it would be interesting to see if this is a one-off or the start of a stable of expressions aimed at the upper end of the price range? Either way a superlative whisky and if you have money to burn – one that I would happily recommend.

Thanks to @OldPulteneyMalt for the sample