Old Pulteney Distillery – a Pure Maritime Malt Whisky
I do like a fine malt whisky! In 2012 Old Pulteney 21 year old was awarded “World Whisky of the Year” by the prestigious “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.” Scoring a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100, it is only the third time that a single malt has ever won the prestigious award, and they were just the second Scottish distillery to do so. Why is all this relevant to a photographer? Well, you may recall my recent post about being on location in Wick – well that is where the Old Pulteney Distillery is! So obviously what did I do on my day off in Wick, I went round the distillery. I actually did the tour then asked if I could come back and just take photos purely for myself. The people at the distillery were so kind and said I could have free reign to wander around and take pictures. I naturally offered them the use of the images afterwards.
The process of whisky making goes back a very long way and is, in essence, quite simple. The machinery has developed over the years but even though the scale is large the simple mashing of fermenting barley, brewing of basic alcohol and the distillation of the spirit remains the same. Old Pulteney has recently upgraded its big stainless steel vats into a room that looks a bit like a NASA rocket centre. I love all the pipes, copper and gadgets that the modern distillery has. The main still here has a very large bulb shape on it that is reflected in the distinctive bottle shape used by the distillery. You can even fill your own numbered bottle from a single cask for a special occasion.
I had a great time at Old Pulteney and got chatting to many of those that work there as I walked around. All the staff very very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their wonderful product and the history of the most northerly mainland distillery in Scotland. I got to try the award winning 21 year old as well – an amazing journey through taste!