...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, June 30, 2023

Old Pulteney 14 year old 2004, cask 128 for TWE

After ex-bourbon casks on Monday and Wednesday, I bring ye a review of a first-fill sherry cask to wrap up this Old Pulteney week. Its color dark and ABV high, cask 128 is certainly a contemporary thing, with lots of—

Wait, how about I do the notes first before all the words words words?

Distillery: Pulteney
Ownership: Inver House (via Thai Beverages plc via International Beverage Holdings Ltd.)
Region: Northern Highlands (Wick)
Age: 14 years (2004-2018)
Maturation: first-fill sherry butt
Cask #: 128
Outturn: 612 bottles
Exclusive to: The Whisky Exchange
Alcohol by Volume: 62.1%
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off with black raisins, milk chocolate, almond skins, and tar. With time, notes of butter, cinnamon raisin bread, and blueberry pie appear. It's quite the sweetie pie on the palate. Cinnamon raisin bread, brown sugar, dried blueberries, and mint leaves are all wrapped up in milk chocolate. It concludes with brown sugar syrup, sour citrus candy, and that cinnamon raisin bread.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

A different nose here: chili powder, cocoa powder, sultanas, and okonomiyaki sauce! The palate has shifted, as well, leaving behind much of the sweetness. Yes, there's plenty of milk chocolate, but there are more raw nuts, tart limes, toasty oak, and some savoriness. And the finish matches that palate.


Though this beast is certainly a crowd pleaser at full power, I like it better once it's reduced. At cask strength, it is very sugary and completely anonymous. It's yet another sherry monster that could be from nearly any distillery in Scotland. All butt. But at 46%abv, it shifts into something much more interesting, becoming more of a thinker than a drinker.

There's a note in the nose that had me stuck for a long time......it was something I'd smelled quite a bit of recently......but not around here......then one of the few remaining functioning neurons in my skull said, "Dude, okonomiyaki." That neuron has since taken a nap and will only wake up when I return to Japan, again, someday.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???

Rating - 85 (diluted only)