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Old Pulteney Port whisky revealed: new coastal expression taste tested

The second Coastal Series release from Old Pulteney is a seaside special.

Old Pulteney Port whisky revealed: new coastal expression taste tested
Marc Chacksfield
29 September 2023

Old Pulteney's The Coastal Series is back with a brand-new expression. The series, which will eventually comprise four whiskies, is now two strong thanks to its latest release, Old Pulteney Port.

The coastal area Pulteney Distillery has chosen this time to around to team up with is the Douro Valley of Northern Portugal.

The single malt Scotch whisky marries the two maritime regions together superbly, thanks to being matured in second-fill ex-bourbon casks and then further matured in Ruby Port Pipes and Barriques.

These barrels gives the whisky a good dose of the rich flavours of port, while balancing out the sweet and spice with a smattering of earthiness thrown in for good measure.

ShortList was lucky enough to try Old Pulteney Port out on day one of its release, in the company of Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring no less. Waring oversees the distillery which is on the coast, right in the north point of Scotland.

"We have a release of four coastal whiskies and this is the second release," he explains. "It's an initiative we have been working on for a long time. It is all about the synergy between Pulteney being on the coast and the maritime influence and it is about a tie-up with someone else that has experienced the same thing."

It has made for a fantastic - and varied - range so far. The two limited editions of The Coastal Series couldn't be more different. The first was Pineau des Charentes, where the spirit was transferred into ex-Pineau des Charentes casks. This gave the whiskey a light colour and a lovely sweet taste which was complimented with salt notes.

Old Pulteney Port whisky revealed: new coastal expression taste tested

The Old Pulteney Port, though, is a far more robust whisky.

"It's life started off in American oak in dunnage [the type of warehouse] and we've selected two types of casks: Barrique and Pipe," explains Waring.

"For me the Port is very much a multi-layered whisky. There's the heaviness and the coastal expression, the DNA of Pulteney comes through straight away.

"The Barrique cask is a smaller cask, so faster maturation, and this is all about the fruits, the red fruits and the cherry. Then with the Pipe, you have a slower maturation and this brings in salted caramel, creme brulee, a level of spice. As well as a marmalade, candied fruit.

"Each cask brings in each level and it shows itself in the whisky in a different layer and experience. That was the thinking of using the different styles as they would marry themselves in the whisky."

Old Pulteney Port whisky revealed: new coastal expression taste tested

The Old Pulteney Port is rose gold in colour (the end right in the picture) and delicious. On the nose, I got dried fruits and vanilla, with notes of sultanas stand out. And it is layered, there's a beautiful hit of candied orange and spiced cherries on the palate.

All of this is anchored by the usual lightly sea-salted notes you get form Old Pulteney.

The Old Pulteney Port is out now, available in limited edition from its official site, from £76. The first limited edition is also available but only until the bottles run out.