Scotch Whisky
Scotch Whisky

Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Pulteney Distillery
Huddart Street, Wick
Caithness KW 1 5BA Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1955 602 371 / Fax: +44 (0)1955 602 279
Viewer's Comments about Old Pulteney

Established in 1826 in Wick, Pulteney Distillery is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland and at that time was only accessible by sea. The barley was brought in
by sea, the whisky shipped out by boat and many of the distillery workers were also employed as fishermen. Sadly the herring fishing industry is no longer part of daily life in Wick but Pulteney Distillery continues to operate, distilling one of the finest Highland malts available.

The heritage of Wick is strongly portrayed in the presentation of Old Pulteney. The distinctive still shaped bottle is screen printed with a traditional Wick herring drifter. These boats were used to catch herring at the beginning of the 19th century. The first herring drifter to sail into Wick was ‘The Content’.

The distinctive Old Pulteney bottle is presented in a specially created oval canister, which is printed inside and out to give a premium product finish. The canister bears the traditional Wick herring drifter on the front with striking rustic shades in the background. An ancient map of the north of Scotland is printed on the inside, pinpointing Pulteney Distillery – the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland.

The consistently Highland malt produced at Pulteney is much admired by connoisseurs, who refer to it as "the manzanilla of the north" recalling a particular type of sherry which also matures at the sea. Apart from the salty air, no doubt the curious design of the copper pot-still plays an important role in shaping the character of this superb malt whisky.

Courtesy of Old Pulteney Distillery

Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Appearance: Deep amber, red gold (with a slight pink hue).

Nose: Medium to high intensity and complexity. Dry with a hint of sea air.

Taste: Dry, medium bodied and smooth with a clean, dry finish: faintly salty with a slight sherry note

Tasting Notes by Old Pulteney Distillery

Old Pulteney 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Appearance: Golden amber with straw highlights

Nose: Full bodied with traces of fruits (apples and pears); slightly fragrant with spicy overtones

Taste: Sweet to start with a light fruitiness; hints of honey and vanilla followed by a dry finish

Tasting Notes by Old Pulteney Distillery


Old Pulteney Reveals their Oldest Whisky
Old Pulteney Very Rare 30 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyOld Pulteney single malt whisky has announced the launch of their oldest and most exclusive super-premium whisky. This very rare 30 year old single malt was distilled at the most northerly distillery on the UK mainland and embodies the wind-swept and rugged character of the far north.

Matured at the distillery for 30 years in American White Oak, it offers connoisseurs of fine spirits and luxury scotch whisky enthusiasts an intensely complex single malt.

Already renowned for its 12, 17 and 21 year old whiskies, Old Pulteney’s 30 year old is perfect as an after dinner dram or to celebrate a special occasion. It is presented in a lacquered walnut burr box which is lined with sailcloth, reflecting the brand’s unique maritime heritage.

Old Pulteney’s senior brand manager, Iain Baxter: “We are really excited about the launch of our oldest ever Old Pulteney. This whisky has been looked after at the distillery for 30 years and the age contributes a huge amount of complexity. It has all the hallmarks of Old Pulteney; spice and green apples, and sweet vanilla and coconut notes from the American Oak. But unusually for such an old whisky there’s a remarkable touch of tropical fruit on the nose – some people have picked up guavas and mangos! I’d say that for a malt whisky with so much age and depth, it’s still incredibly approachable.”

To tie in with the launch of the whisky, Old Pulteney is running an online competition where visitors can win a bottle of this exclusive whisky. Each month for the next six months, visitors to the Old Pulteney website can guess where they think bottles of a missing crate of the 30 year old went missing around the coast of Wick where the distillery is based. You can find the competition at (

Old Pulteney 30 year old retails at £250 in the UK, and due to limited supply it will be available from specialist stores only.

Pulteney Whisky Distillery
Old Pulteney Distillery
The Pulteney Whisky Distillery

A visit to Caithness and Wick is not complete without a visit to the Pulteney Distillery. Telephone the number below or call in to arrange a tour. You will be taken on a voyage of discovery,a journey, back in time to discover the history and art of Scotch Whisky making. A full range of goods and products are available for sale in the distillery shop.

When you step into the distillery itself it is like stepping back in time, due to the fact that the traditional ways of operating are still used today. You will not see any computers or electronic gadgets just Stillmen and Mashmen that have a great knowledge of the whisky making process and a great affection for the Pulteney they produce for others to enjoy. Even in the stillhouse modern condensers have been frowned upon and the traditional worm tubs are still used. These condense the spirit at a snails pace as it winds around up to 90 metres of copper pipe before ending up returning to the stillhouse via the highly polished brass spirit safe. Here it sits in a vessel until the stillmen /mashmen have time to put it in the finest oak casks, then off to the warehouse where it rests and matures for 12 years. Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky is then made available so you can all savour the uniqueness of the Pulteney distillers caringly created Dram.

Contact Us
Pulteney Distillery Visitor Centre
Huddart Street
Wick Caithness
KW 1 5BA Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1955 602 371
Fax: +44 (0)1955 602 279

Getting There
There is no easy way! Old Pulteney is the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland. It stands in the suburbs of Wick, about 18 miles from John O'Groats, in a rugged, windswept, sea-pounded area with ancient ruined castles all around. Entering Wick on the A99 from the south, look for Northcote Street on your right, then go left into Macrae street, then immediately right into Rutherford Street. From the center of Wick, follow the south side of the harbor and turn up the hill at the end.

Parking / Reception
The best place to park is outside in the street as the courtyard is restricted. Enter from the street, pay in the shop and move through to the visitor center, along a passage reminiscent of a sailing ship's bridge, complete with wheel. Expect a quiet friendly welcome and look for the exquisite central wall hangings.

History Timeline

1589 Wich was granted Royal Burgh status.

1665 The population of Wick was around six hundred. .

1729 William Johnstone was born. Later in life, he married a wealthy from Bath and adopted her name, which was Pulteney. Johnstone was a "herring baron" and a founding member of the British Fisheries Society. His vision of a vast modern harbour capable of anchoring a thousand boats and of attracting a settlement of Dutchmen, drove the project forward. The British Fisheries Society commissoned Thomas Telford, the famous Scottish engineer, to build the harbour and the town. Telford was also responsible for building the lade which carries water from Loch Hempriggs to Pulteney Distillery.

1805 The first bridge in Wick was completed, coinciding with the year of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of William Johnstone Pulteney.

1811 The harbour was completed at a cost of £14,000. Telford planned a new village and the whole area was named Pulteneytown after Sir William Pulteney. Bonnie's Prince Charlie's failed revolution was kind to Wick. It was money confiscated from Jacobites Chiefs which paid Telford to build the harbour, the bridge and the new town of Pulteney, harnessing the herring season and allowing Wick to develop from a poverty stricken, coastal village to a thriving industrial town.

1822 The Illicit Distillation (Scotland) Act was introduced.

1826 Pulteney Distillery was founded by James Henderson. Henderson was already an accomplished distiller with 30 years experience further inland. After the The Illicit Distillation (Scotland) Act in 1822, his small pot distillery at Sibster was closed down. Henderson moved closer to the sea, due not only to the distilling laws, but also because of the increasing demand for his whisky from the provincial towns of Scotland. The only means of transport to the south was by sea via the port of Wick.

1830 Wick was being augmented by an influx of 7000 workers.

1850 The herring fleet in Wick reached its peak to one thousand boats. When all were in the harbour, it was possible to cross dry-shod from one pier to another. The itinerant workforce sought lodgings where they could find them and at times ten or twelve were crammed into one room. The unsanitary conditions resulted in outbreaks of disease. Typhoid, smallpox and cholera were common.

1920 Pulteney Distillery was sold to James Watson & Co Ltd Dundee who were subsequently acquired by John Dewar & Sons Ltd.

1925 Pulteney Distillery was passed into the hands of DCL.

1930 Pulteney Distillery closed as the whisky industry entered into a difficult period.

1947 Prohibition was lifted.

1950 Herring fishing finally ceased at Wick.

1951 Production resumed at Pulteney, under the new ownership of Robert Cumming, a Banff lawyer, who also acquired Balblair Distillery in Tain.

1955 Pulteney Distillery was sold to Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd.

1995 Pulteney Distillery was purchased by Inver House Distillers.

1997 Old Pulteney 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky was launched in the UK.

2003 The town of Wick remains an important white fishing port. Seine net boats go far afield on week-long voyages, across the North Sea to Norway and Denmark or west into the Atlantic towards Rockall. Foreign vessels frequently call at Wick to land fish or seek stores and repairs.

To many people, the name Caithness is synonymous with glass - smoky tumblers, elegant lilac vases or intricate paperweights. But nestling snugly in the quiet, urban confines of Pulteneytown - there is a distillery.

Pulteney Distillery continues to distill the finest Highland malt whisky using the same traditional techniques passed down from the 19th century. The distillery has two stills, one wash still and one spirit still, producing approximately 1 million litres of whisky a year. The spirit still is very unique in shape due to there being no actual head and swan neck. This is due to the still being delivered and being too tall for the stillhouse. The manager at the time instructed the coppersmith to cut the top off thus creating the unique shape, often described as looking like a smugglers kettle.

Courtesy of Old Pulteney Distillery