Though Pulteney is no longer mainland Scotland’s most northerly distillery its stills remain the country’s oddest. It is possible that they retain a similar design to that installed by James Henderson which were described as being similar to those as used by smugglers, though these are considerably larger.
Pulteney’s wash still has a massive boil bulb almost as large as the base of the still and a flat top. This helps to produce high levels of reflux and separate specific alcohols. The spirit still has both a purifier pipe and a very convoluted, coiling lyne arm. Again, reflux is maximised here, with that purifier conceivably adding oiliness to the character. Condensing takes place in worm tubs which add weight.
Old Pulteney (as the brand is named) demonstrates this balance between the heavy, leathery and oily, with a fragrant almost ozonic freshness.