Back at the end of last summer, I headed over to the beautiful St Katherine’s Docks in London just ahead of the launch of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. It was a glorious, hot August morning and the boats looked magnificent.
One of those boats was being sponsored by Old Pulteney, which also had a new release hitting the shelves – the Navigator, a NAS whisky made from a mix of whiskies matured in ex-bourbon American oak and ex-sherry European oak casks, and bottled at 46%.
That morning, I managed to try a wee sample and learn more about the distillery from manager Malcolm Waring but the next day I headed off on holiday to Canada for a few weeks and when I got back near the end of September the rest of the year became so swamped that my leisurely morning learning about the new release in the company of many a fine yacht was completely forgotten.
Recently, I had the chance to try this release again and, in doing so, realised that six months had passed without me actually getting a chance to write about it.
So, without further adieu (as, it has already been a rather long time) here are my thoughts on it:
Old Pulteney Navigator: 46%: £40-£45:
(c): Lemon infused honey
(n): Really salty, then a big burst of beeswax, honey, vanilla and green peppercorns. With water, some sour cherries, honey and lemon peel.
(p): A slightly confusing, if intriguing, palate led first by a salty sour note (like you might get in a tequila) before baking bread, caramel, red apples, honey and cornbread. With water, the palate becomes slightly more bitter and peppery – a bit too much for me. Prefer without water.
(f): Corn tortillas. With water, darkens considerably and turns to a black liquorice finish.
In conclusion: Without water, I enjoyed this one, though it’s not my favourite of the Old Pulteney range. It’s well balanced and has a nice mix of salt and sweet, but I personally got too much bitterness at the back of my palate to enjoy the finish as much as I’d like.