Truly great spirits are generally the ones most intimately tied to their terroir. Artisanal gins are increasingly being produced with botanicals from hyper-specific parcels of the planet. Bourbon is as tied to Kentucky as thoroughbreds and juleps. Tequila, depending on where the agave has been grown, can express itself in a dizzyingly wide range of obvious and subtle ways.
And then, of course, there’s single malt Scotch, the best of which literally breathe in the air of their home, and continue expressing that character until the last dram is poured and savored.
I recently had the very good fortune to taste a remarkable--and utterly delicious--bottle: Old Pulteney 17-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, lovingly crafted at the northernmost distillery in mainland Great Britain. It’s a whisky whose character is intimately of a sort with its land of birth, the wind-swept breath of the sea making itself known with each inhale and sip. Like the best single malts all do, Old Pulteney 17 unfolds throughout the course of a glassful, and continues to reveal new and unexpected nuances with each sip.
Old Pulteney 17-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Aromas of spiced hard pears and hay laying out on a crisp day are joined by hints of wax and candy corn, and lead to flavors of white pear and peach, flowers, pastry shell, sea air, vanilla, and a hint of smoke. There’s real grip to this whisky, and the concentration continues through to the honeydew- and spice-tinged finish. Gorgeous stuff. Highly recommended.
[Note: I love drinking whisky from the Stolzle Glencairn glass, available here.]