Old Pulteney has launched a new range of whiskies called the Coastal Series, which is perhaps redundant on account of all of Old Pulteney’s whiskies are coastally born — but I promise there’s some logic here. The Coastal Series will comprise four different whiskies with different finishes, each from locations which are also coastal in nature. The plan is for each of the four releases to be dropped on an annual cadence.
First out of the gate is Old Pulteney Pineau de Charentes, which starts out with non-age-statement, bourbon-barrel-aged Old Pulteney that is then finished in Pineau des Charentes casks, which is of course made in France’s (almost) seaside Charente region.
Let’s dig in to the first release from this new series.
Old Pulteney can often present itself as a heavy experience — it truly does taste like the barrels were stored in a storm-battered coastal warehouse for years — and it can often feel like it would benefit from some tempering elements. It definitely works here, with the sweetness of the Pineau playing an effective foil to the hearty, toasty core of the Highland whisky. Lightly smoky and salty notes on the nose are tempered by hints of honey and a gentle floral note, a spray of potpourri that’s nodding at saffron.
The palate is objectively sweeter and more fruity, with citrus, apple, and baking spice notes moving toward coconut and more honey notes. The effect creates something similar to a more rustic Speyside whisky, effusive with fruit and light touches of sweetened breakfast cereal, increasingly showing off layers of perfume as it develops in the glass. The finish is cohesive and sweet, but surprisingly clean, layers of nutty nougat and spice informing the fade-out.
This is a fun — and surprisingly affordable — expression from Old Pulteney. It’s already whet my whistle for what comes next in this series.