The Pulteney distillery in Wick was built in 1826, and for a long time was the northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland. Acquired by John Dewar & Sons in 1924, the distillery was quickly forced to close down in 1930, as Prohibition in its hometown was enacted to attempt to curb drunkenness among its maritime society. When it re-opened in 1955, the majority of its output was reserved for blending, although Gordon & MacPhail were licensed to bottle a single malt by Allied Breweries (later Allied Domecq). Its single malt was known as "Old Pulteney" on their labels, and this tradition remained when Inver House, who acquired the distillery in 1995, released Pulteney's first distillery bottlings.
The 21 year age-statement was introduced in 2005 as a limited edition small batch of 3000 bottles, but quickly became a mainstay of the portfolio.
This expression was discontiued in 2017 along with the 17 year old, both replaced by a 15 and 18 year old in a revamped core range the following year.