The colour is old gold and the texture shows many small tears that do not move at all and slowly consolidate into a fat sticky ring at the top of the glass. Some slow legs appear very late. The nose offers these great maritime coastal aromas (iodine, salt, seaweed) Pulteney is famous for and that I really enjoy. It is like walking on a north scottish beach in winter time and taking deep breathes of the clear sea breeze. Some shy fruits (green apples) and lots of herbs (peppermint, eucalyptus) join in together with a spicy woodiness. All balanced and in perfect harmony. The initial mouthfeel is exactly as the great oiliness promised: instantly mouth coating and warming with slight peppery moments (remember it is 57,7% abv). I like that! The taste is even better: Layer on layer of barley sugary flavours are complemented by herbs (peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor) and spices (salt, white pepper, nutmegs, horseraddish) and liquorice and some oriental fruits (figs and the like). All in a perfect wooden framework and not a single flavour that dominate any other. One to explore for hours (until you get drunk) with a lot of "oompf" and boldness. The finish is very, very long and vanishes nicely in several waves. It is saltier than the taste what is funny as scientists have never found any salt (NaCl) in any whisky. So where does the salty taste come from? No one can really tell but it is a great taste for my buds!
Water opens up this dram and turns it more approachable (sweeter, smoother) both in the nose and on the palate - but to be honest I like the raw power of the neat dram best. Nevertheless I recommend to play a little with water as the profile changes nicely and it is very interesting to follow that. Wow, what a great dram and now I know why I was flabbergasted 12 years ago. This is Pulteney at its best!