One of the most northerly Scottish mainland distillery in Wick is the only surviving in Caithness. Named after Sir William Johnstone Pulteney the distillery produces about 1.500.000 litres of spirit a year (2016). Its production capacity is about 3.000.000 litres. Established in 1826 by James Henderson  the distillery continues to distil a malt using traditional methods. The Old Pulteney bottle reflects the bulbous neck and shape of a pot still.

The whisky chronicler Alfred Barnard visited Wick and reported to the Victorian reader of the Harper‘s Weekly Gazette in 1887: „At the end of these buildings are the Kilns, floored with iron plates, and where peat only is used in drying the malt. Adjoining the Kilns are two large Malt Deposits, each capable of containing 4,500 bushels...The dried malt is carted there from the Kilns; the malt rollers will crush 250 bushels per hour. Two shoots from the Mill Room convey the ground malt direct to the Mash-tun. In the adjoining apartment we noticed two Heating Coppers, holding together 3,000 gallons, which vessels are bath heated by steam. Descending to the ground floor, we came to the Mash House, a building used for brewing only, containing a Mash-tun, 12 feet in diameter and 5 feet deep, fitted with revolving rakes and draining plates; also the Underback, placed below the floor.

We then retraced out steps to the level of the Mill Floor, and passed through a doorway into the Tun Room, where there are four Washbacks, eac11 with a capacity of 6,000 gallons. Crossing this floor, we found ourselves on a gallery overlooking the Still House, on which are placed the Wash Charger and two Low-wines and Feints Chargers. From this elevation we noticed below us three old Pot Stills ; one of them the Wash Still, holding about 4,000 gallons, and the other two Spirit Stills, holding about 2,000 gallons, of the oldest pattern known, similar to the old smuggler's kettle, and are all heated by furnaces ; here also are the Receivers, Safe and Sampling Safe, and Pumps.

Following out conductor, we passed the Manager's house and offices; also the Spirit Store, which is opposite, containing a Vat holding 2,500 gallons, and finally reached the Bonded Warehouses, of which there are eleven, capable of holding 3,000 casks; one of them is newly built, and consists of three Boors, which will store 100,000 gallons of Whisky.“

(Alfred Barnard. The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom. London, 1887.)

Old Pulteney 21-Year-Old Single Malt was named 'World Whisky of the Year' in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible Awards. 

Character:  soft, some saltiness, dry, fruitiness, medium body

Distillery Manager: Malcolm Waring (2014)

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Owner: Inver House Distillers Ltd (Thai Beverages PLC)