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Old Pulteney’s 45-Year Single Malt Is Its Oldest Whisky Ever

Old Pulteney Bow Wave Whisky 0 Hero
Photo: Old Pulteney | Rich Maciver

The list is short when it comes to companies that have been around for two centuries or more. 200 years is a long time, so when one of these brands does something they’ve never done before, it causes people to stop and pay attention. While still three years away from its jubilee, Old Pulteney has a long, illustrious history in the world of Scotch whisky. And just this week, it unveiled its oldest single malt expression ever.

Old Pulteney Bow Wave Whisky 1
Photo: Old Pulteney | Rich Maciver

At 45 years old — virtually one-fourth as old as the distillery itself — Old Pulteney’s Bow Wave is set to be sold at the Distillers ‘One of One’ auction on October 5 in partnership with Sotheby’s. Aged for over four decades in Northern Scotland, the whisky embodies the coastal reputation of the distillery, having been bottled in a spectacular egg-shaped decanter, designed and hand-blown by Brodie Nairn and Nichola Burns of Glasstorm. Surrounded by wave-like silverware, the bottle features rippled marks on the side to replicate the motion of crashing waves. Mirroring the feeling of sunlight reflecting on the water, the golden liquid can be seen through the clear glass at the bottom before it transitions to a deep blue up top. To access the hidden cork, the owner must unlock it using a bespoke anchor key. For display, the bottle sits on a single piece of slate that was locally sourced in Scotland.

Spending over 40 years in American oak barrels, the whisky was then finished for five years inside first-fill Spanish oak butts. In the past, Old Pulteney has released 35- and 40-year-old single malts, but the extra aging on this special edition brings out the whisky’s notes of leather and nut, along with hints of dried pineapple, sandalwood, and myrrh.

Unfortunately, only one winner will be lucky enough to own Old Pulteney’s Bow Wave. Benefitting disadvantaged young adults in Scotland, Distillers ‘One of One’ auction will feature one-of-a-kind expressions from distilleries across the country. Register your interest on the auction’s homepage.