Monday, December 28, 2009

A wicked dram from Pulteney

Going through Edinburgh airport on my way to the former DDR always has it's pleasures. This time though it wasn't just the duty free but the chance to fly posh with Lufthansa and not the usual trash-class with Ryanair - pirates so brazen that they should have a base somewhere off east Africa. However, on safely negotiating the security checks, a day after another religious nutter almost bombed yon flight to Detroit, i was rewarded by a display advertising the new Old Pulteney expression WK499.

This isn't the whisky merchants of Inbhir Uige up in Caithness - home to yon bigoted cooncillors - trying to emulate Irn Bru's WKD alcopop but a version of Wick's finest export designed for duty free. Why should those who deign to take the most destructive form of travel be allowed the special privilege of duty free whisky? Answers on postcard to Friends of the Earth whose carpark i understand used to resemble Cameron Toll's at the Boxing Day sales. And that includes a certain ex-FoE chief who is now the czar/ caesar/ kaiser for freedom of information or something like that at the Scots' Parly.

On to the whisky though and this expression of Caithness' own Gaelic heritage is something to savour. It comes at cask strength of 52% but has no age statement. Younger than 10 though, i'd bet. Taste is described as 'sweet, soft and delicately complex with chewy vanilla and warm spices, with a lingering warm finish.' I'd go with most of that. There's definately some Chai Tea in there, some toffee and more spices than a shelf in Khushi's kitchen. As to the finish, it's not just warm but firey - though letting it stand for 2 or 3 minutes does tame it somewhat. OP seems to be a quality dram in all its expressions and at £32 for a cask-strength, it's well worth getting hold off. It still has a way to go though to match the SMWS's single cask 7yo OP released a year or so ago whose title i cannot remember.

Let's hope some of this uisge-beatha makes it to those Caithness cooncillors who seek to deny Gallaibh and her Gollachs her heritage and bilingual present. I would also wholeheartedly recommend having a dram of OP WKD whilst reading R.Crumb's brilliant and frightening pictorial account of the Book of Genesis. Whoever said that the bible was FCKD up?


naldo said...

Right serious: i'm gonna fly to India mid Jan.

What would you recommend as the best value barry whisky to quaff wi ma chums in the sun on Burns night?

We shall mainly be stuffin wir coupons wi pakora, veg haggis and mashed tatties.

An Donas said...

Sounds exotic...
Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength is strong stuff at 60% - £30 odd for 1L.

The Pulteney mentioned above is nice.

Balvenie Doublewood is sweet and easy drinking and 43% in dutyfree.

Or a litre of Ardbeg if yous all like the peaty stuff. The standard 10yo Laphroaig is smoky but quite easy drinking. Only 40% though....

All that stuff should be around £30 for a litre. Not bad.

The dutyfree whisky desk at Edin has quite a few samples on offer too - stuff like Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Balvenie.

All the best for the trip. Slàinte.