...tonight, not now. Will it be just another hyped one or is it that good - we will see in a few hours (a good friend called me already to check how it is - hey, this whisky world really drives crazy these times).
Now that it is dark outside I comfort myself with a (hopefully) pleasant dram ... and yes, this is nice stuff which reminds me of the sadly long gone 21-years Old Pulteney standard edition. This one got even more power due to the cask strength abv but maybe is a little more simple than the best batches of the 21-years old. No need to hype this whisky (according to my taste buds) but nonetheless this is a very fine dram both to explore and quaff.
The colour is quite dark for a bourbon maturation at deep copper and the nose is rather shy first but it quickly enfolds upon breathing. It offers the trademark honey-floral-grassy Pulteney profile with a lot of additional interesting impressions like maritime notes (seaweed, salt), unused gauze, vegetable oils and spices. The wood takes its time to show up but when it does it provides the perfect backbone to all the different aromas to enjoy. Actually, this dram requires quite a lot of breathing time (more than 20 minutes) - it started with 88 points right after serving and slowly climbed to 90 points now with additional waxes, green tea and heather flowers. By the way, opposite to most other drams I like this nose out of a standard Glencairn glass better than that out of a big spheric blender's glass.
The taste is creamy and chewy with a fine combo of honey-sugary sweet and spicy-bitter wooden flavours. The trademark Pulteney maritime impressions (e.g., salt and oysters) join in quickly while the fruits stay in the background. In later layers the sugars combine to tasty toffee and milk chocolatey notes which are enriched by different spices (peppers, chili, nutmeg). All is nicely balanced without any single off-note, hence very quaffable.
The initial mouthfeel is warming and instantly coating with some minor bitter moments from the tannins which are not distracting. The finish is of medium length and adds both more toffee-sweet and hot-spicy flavours without distracting moments. Water opens up the nose greatly, now it crosses the 90 points barrier with additional machine oils, pine needles and dunnage warehouse impressions. The taste turns smoother but the layers are gone, unfortunately. I like to nose this dram somewhat reduced but prefer to drink it neat (using two glasses).