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Nose: Brine (with a faint metallic tinge), over-ripe tropical fruits (mango, banana, papaya), earthy malt. There's a funky estery note on the nose almost like some rum, but the profile is clearly cereal. The nose continues to evolve over time, becoming more interesting as maritime notes build.
Palate: Sweetly salty stewed fruit on the arrival - baked apples . As it develops more sweetness evolves - Seville oranges (the flesh and the peel), sultanas, Dundee cake sprinkled with oloroso sherry. The texture is light but not watery.
Finish: Medium. Fruity and salty/sweet in the aftertaste with some spicy hints and a touch of nougat. There is a faint metallic note as on the nose, but it's not intrusive - just evidence of youth.
An enjoyable NAS Old Pulteney expression that in comparison to their age statement bottlings comes across as notably "young". There are no particular off-notes, it just seems unexceptional. A dash of water does virtually nothing other than reveal a hint of vanilla and it neither bruises nor enhances the spirit. Take this one either neat or watered, as you prefer.
It does gain some depth with a rest in the glass, but never quite manages to equal the standard 12 year old - let alone any of the older expressions. However you can't bring yourself to actively dislike this whisky and the finish is really pretty good. I don't regret buying this bottle duty free a few years back, but I won't be trying to replace it once it's finished.
The official notes and rating here are bang on target.
"Above Average" : 80/100 (3 stars)