Old Old Pulteney 17

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One of the more interesting stands at Whisky Live Tel Aviv last week wasn’t an importer or a distillery, it was a for a local group organised by some whisky fans to try and increase give a little boost to the increasing interest in quality spirits. The guys behind the group had brought some interesting and unique whiskies from their personal collections to show people what good whisky can be and what it has to offer. One of those whiskies was this older version of Old Pulteney 17 (from the late 2000’s/early 2010’s), which is probably my favourite of their standard range, or was since it’s been discontinued :(.  I’m not sure if the recipe changed when they changed to the most recent label design but I know at some point they stopped using PX in the mix of sherry casks, this one should still have that.

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Bowmore 17 SMWS 3.271 The Perfect Cure – BTC 2017 #17

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Image pilfered from the SMWS website because I was silly and forgot to take a picture for this one.

I smelled Islay on this right away but it was odd because it was quite subdued in its peat profile, yet obviously cask strength. The only thing that came to mind was one of Kilchoman’s Cask Strength 100% Islay realeses. I didn’t even think about good old Bowmore. Bowmore is quite notorious for having sub-par distillery bottlings but an excellent base spirit, a lot of the damage being done by chill filtration and low ABV and this is an example of just how good the spirit can be if just left to do its thing.

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SMWS 37.38 Perfumed Elegance – Cragganmore 1999

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Now and then I’m lucky enough to get hold of a sample of some of the stuff that the Scotch Malt Whisky Society puts out. They buy and bottle casks for their members and have something of an eye for good stuff. This one was distilled at Cragganmore, one of Diageo’s classic malts from the Speyside region, of which I’m quite a fan.

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Islay Mist 17

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Islay Mist is a blend bottled by MacDuff International. It it supposed to be based on a blend made for the 21st birthday of the Lord of Margadale in 1920, the idea being to cut the local favourite Laphroaig with some milder mainland and grain whiskies for something less intense. According to the packaging this is still a Laphroaig dirven blend.

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Balvenie 17 Peated Cask

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I’m not a huge fan of Balvenie, I find their whiskies overpriced and underwhelming, but like any good peat head, you mention the word ‘peat’ and I’m all ears. This one was finished for an undisclosed period of time in a cask that previously held peated whisky (something a few distilleries are doing now with varying degrees of success). Anyways it had me interested and I’d been dying to try some. Thanks again to the VIP area at Whisky Live Tel Aviv for making my dreams come true.

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Ledaig 1998 Cooper’s Choice

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This is a real treat. Over the past year and a bit I’ve tried several Ledaigs (and learned that it’s pronounced Le-chig and not Le-dayg, because Gaelic), mostly  younger malts, 10 years and under, and have developed quite a liking for it.

About a month I ago I tried the 18 year old distillery bottling and was very impressed, so when the chance approached to try another older Ledaig, and this time from the single cask Cooper’s Choice range, which seldom disappoints, I jumped at the chance.

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SMWS 66.82 Gritty Turned Pretty (17 year old Ardmore)

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This is the first independently bottled Ardmore I’ve ever tried. I like Ardmore’s profile, a lightly peated highland malt, but find the NAS distillery bottlings a little weak (aside from the 12 year old Port Wood Finish), so I was very excited to try a cask strength, non-chill filtered Ardmore, and from the SMWS no less.

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