A Quick Dram: Old Pulteney 1994 Sauternes Finish (G&M Private Collection)

OldPulteneyteam back in the day

A high percentage of the time, when I hear about whisky auctions, it’s on a whisky forum, and the general gist of the conversation is “that is an insane price for a bottle!” followed by “the bubble is gonna burst, with these sky high prices, I tell ya” and the such like. Now I’m not saying I disagree with the sentiment behind these statements (some of the prices are mad), but it was nice the other day, when one of my mates messaged me and said “look at this bargain I picked up on an auction website; do you want to try it?”. Just nice to hear of folks buying whisky on auction, cracking it open, and sharing it with me. Was I going to say no? Was I hell.

Just to sing whisky auction praises slightly more, this bottle shows their value for drinkers. It is long gone on the retail market, but I still got to try it, because a whisky collector decided to get rid of it.

This bottling is an example of for me of what is great about independent bottlers like Gordon & Macphail. If they decide to take a cask that they own of Wick’s finest maritime malt, and finish it in Sauternes casks, then they can just go ahead and do it. Independent bottlers can experiment with different casks, and just sell them as one offs. They provide a bit of intrigue and variety.

Now even though I was told this bottling was awesome by my friend, I was a bit apprehensive. My lovely Pulteney, finished in casks that can be a bit hit or miss for whisky. Let’s see what it’s like:

A Quick Dram: Old Pulteney 1994 Sauternes Finish
Bottled By Gordon & Macphail in 2007
45% Abv
Buy it most likely on auction here or here

Nose: Buttery, apricot, melon, raisins and rum raisin. With a bit more time in the glass; blackcurrant, white chocolate, maltesers, Crunchy Nut and honeycomb.

I spent so long nosing it, my mate was already on his second glass. It’s a really nice, balanced nose.

Palate: Apricot, and a spicy, charred oak spiciness on first taste. Followed by lime, lemon, gooseberry, grapefruit. The finish has white grape, kiwi and more of a blackcurrant fruit syrup thing going on.

Overall: A lovely dram. If you can’t get hold of it, buy another weird independent bottling. Maybe even on auction.

Chris Hoban

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