There was a lessening of the tension over the hall, and almost an audible sigh of relief in the gallery as Colum drank from the quaich and offered it to Jamie. The young man accepted it with a smile. Instead of the customary ceremonial sip, however, he carefully raised the nearly full vessel, tilted it and drank. And kept on drinking. There was a gasp of mingled respect and amusement from the spectators, as the powerful throat muscles kept moving. Surely he’d have to breathe soon, I thought, but no. He drained the heavy cup to the last drop, lowered it with an explosive gasp for air, and handed it back to Colum.
“The honor is mine,” he said, a little hoarsely, “to be allied with a clan whose taste in whisky is so fine.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Chapter 10 – The Oath Taking)
Old Pulteney was the second bottle of fine, single malt whisky that I bought after I started Outlander Kitchen. That was a few months back, but I can still remember what drew me to it.
The price. It was on sale — $20 off the last bottle in the store.
Not necessarily the best way to choose your single malt, but in this case it worked out very well.
I loved it even before the first dram was poured. The bottle is aesthetic (I like a pretty bottle, don’t you?), and shows off an incredible Solid Gold hue that drew me right in. The more of the stuff I drink, the more I understand the effect Claire’s whisky-coloured eyes have on Jamie.
Light on peat with a subtle but distinctive nose, Old Pulteney 12 YO makes a very good first impression.
And it goes down just fine — it’s dry, very slightly salty — with a unique finish that has completely swept me off my feet. Rather light and lovely, OP remains a top favourite of mine, even after months of sampling over a dozen fine single malts from all over the Highlands.
Old Pulteney Distillery was founded in 1826 in the town of Wick, during the herring boom. It is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, and originally relied on the sea for its supply of barley and the transport of the finished whisky.
For more information about Old Pulteney, visit their website.
The quaich is available here.