Old Pulteney - Single Malt Scotch Whisky
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10th April 2014
Wherever we go, we take Old Pulteney 21 Year Old with us. It never fails to cause a bit of a stir. Named by Jim Murray as the 2012 World Whisky of the Year, a couple of years on it isn't showing any signs of relaxing its grip on whisky enthusiasts' imagination.
To celebrate the global success of Old Pulteney 21 Year Old we've decided to take a closer look at just what makes this expression so loved and suggest three great ways of enjoying a dram.
That's right. Often the simple ways are the best and the 21 Year Old certainly proves that sometimes all you need to create a perfect sensory feast is a glass and a bottle. We'd recommend trying Old Pulteney 21 Year Old later in the night when the house is quiet. Pour a slightly bigger dram than you would be served in a bar but take your time and let the whisky open up in the glass. Highly viscous whiskies, like the 21 Year Old, often benefit from that little bit extra patience and attention. Remember to swirl it around a bit if it's not already your second nature and, if you like, add a few drops of water about half way through your dram to give the whisky that kick of energy and help it release new aromas. Look for the big, oaky backbone with all its spicy and fruity nuance and observe how it changes and develops as the time goes by. That's savouring at its best.
This is not something we recommend every day but it's important to remember that no whisky exists in vacuum. If you're a fan of big, robust single malts, we would be surprised if you weren't also partial to amazing food and the two often go hand in hand. In our Burns' Supper post we recommended pairing the 21 Year Old with a rich cranachan and, indeed, using the whisky in the recipe. Today let's try a different approach. If you feel like a bit of seafood, try Old Pulteney 21 Year Old with great quality oysters. It may not seem at first like the most intuitive fit but trust us. The sweetness of the whisky contrasts with the lemon juice you're going to drizzle over your shellfish and the rich texture and complexity of the dram perfectly complements the tender and flavoursome nature of the coveted oyster meat. A treat for a special occasion.
If you're a single malt purist, look away now. Half'n'half, a traditional bar order consisting of a dram of whisky and half a pint of beer, popular especially along the East Coast of Scotland, is often pictured as a nip of blended whisky and a few refreshing gulps of 60/- or 70/- (Shilling). But the concept can easily be taken to the gourmet level as proven time and time again by whisky and beer aficionados in Scotland and beyond.
As the half'n'half is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in Scotland right now, we thought there wouldn't be any harm in finding the right beer companion for our mature malt.