Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Old Pulteney Whisky beats the World

A  whisky from my home town distillery has just been named best in the world by renowned expert, Jim Murray. The 21 year old single malt scored a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100. The whisky is matured in American oak casks and bottled at the Pulteney town distillery in Wick.
' The 21-year-old Old Pulteney malt absolutely exploded from the glass with vitality, charisma and class,' said Mr Murray. Whisky making has had a chequered career in Caithness. Of the three large commercial distilleries, only Pulteney survives. The Gerston and Ben Morven distilleries at Halkirk both closed a long time ago. Even in Wick, the distillery closed between 1930 and 1951 during a 25 year spell of prohibition introduced by the town in 1922 to combat what was seen as excessive drinking in the fishing community.
     The picture above shows some of my personal stock- bottles in progress if you like. There is a 12 year old, a 17-year-old and a cask strength Isabella Fortuna litre bottle, celebrating the eponymous sailing fishing drifter which has become the Old Pulteney mascot. The 21-year-old isn't illustrated, an open bottle disappears very quickly; too quickly at over £80 a bottle retail!
     But Dear Jim, and I don't want to say this too loudly, the local officionados prefer the much cheaper 17-year-old, but maybe that's just the canny Caithness folk.
     Bourbons from the US took the runner-up places. George T Stagg was named second best while ten year old Parker's Heritage Collection Wheated Mash Bill picked up third place.

While we're on the subject of booze, I've just bottled this year's bilberry liqueur. The berries were steeped for three months in a mixture of gin and vodka (50/50) with lots of sugar, then filtered  to give a port coloured slighlty viscous product. It already tastes wonderful with lots of port type notes and sweet fruit. Its still a little tannic though and I'll keep it for a year before drinking.

The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder at willowmoonpublishing.com and amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

1 comment:

  1. ALAN--this wouldn't mean much to me, except my husband I just a few weeks ago toured a bourbon distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. We learned a lot about bourbon...and whiskey...quite interesting, especially the history of the product during Prohibition and the Great Depression. Good post--and I love that little white jar.