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Old Pulteney Navigator

46% ABV - Highlands, Scotland

Nose: Sweet fruits, apple, and orchard fruits, with a slight lemon citrus astringency.

Taste: Quite sweet and fruity, with prominent apple notes. There is a chalky grape must, and light citrus character to this dram. I am looking for something to describe the tangy quality that mulls about, but I can’t settle on a particular flavour – passionfruit?

Finish: Fresh fruits and citrus lead this medium-short finish. Very small amounts of salinity or minerality in the background.

Old Pulteney Navigator has been matured in both ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks. It was originally released in 2013 to commemorate the sponsoring of a yacht in the Clipper Round the World Race. An unknown number of bottles were distributed and I have read suggestions that it was bottled for a number of years. I’m not sure when this one was bottled, but, if you know how to decipher lot codes for Old Pulteney, it has ‘L15/209 R15/5318 IB 11:18’ stamped on this bottle. It is now listed with other ‘Archived’ whiskies on the official Old Pulteney website.

This is a great lightly fruited Highlands single malt that really touches on that green apple part of the flavour wheel. Old Pulteney Navigator has bits and pieces that remind me of Glenlivet 12-Year, although there is quite a prominent layer of other fruits – probably imparted by those ex-Sherry casks. Overall, this is quite a departure from the Old Pulteney expressions that I have tasted to date, and it is a welcome addition to my shelf. Decent value as this one only set me back $75 CAD.

Tasting Notes (Official): Aroma: Sweet and crisp: tangy apples and dried fruit with hints of chocolate and fresh vanilla. Taste: Full bodied and rich: a burst of cocoa, honey and oranges with a long-lasting, spicy finish and suggestion of the sea at the end.

Tasted 30, 31 May 2020. (Posted 31 May 2020.)

84/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies – I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Great bottles to have stocked at all times.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would gladly order at a restaurant or buy a bottle.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to mix it with soda or in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle