Single malt Scotch whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has been recognised for its premium portfolio of exclusive single malt whiskies at The Spirits Business 2018 Design & Packaging Masters, securing three ‘Master’ accolades.
Earlier this year Gordon & MacPhail unveiled its streamlined portfolio, comprising five distinct ranges: Discovery, Distillery Labels, Connoisseurs Choice, Private Collection, and Generations. The company’s commitment to the art of Scotch whisky maturation has been passed down through four generations of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail.
Two Design & Packaging ‘Master’ medals were awarded to the Connoisseurs Choice range which sits at the heart of Gordon & MacPhail’s portfolio. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, Connoisseurs Choice has two distinct bottle shapes and packaging, both of which have been recognised with a ‘Master’ accolade. The new premium look and feel rewards whisky drinkers with a thirst for knowledge, incorporating a detailed description of the whisky’s provenance on the label. The Gordon & MacPhail branding is also much more prominent compared to previous incarnations.
The newest addition to Gordon & MacPhail’s portfolio, the flavour-led Discovery range was also recognised with a ‘Master’ award. Launched in May 2018, the range segments releases into three flavour profiles, ‘Smoke’, ‘Sherry’, and ‘Bourbon’. Each Discovery whisky displays a bespoke illustration, designed for each profile in a contemporary linocut style, conveying key flavours.
Commenting on the awards Ian Chapman, Marketing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “This year has been a very important one for Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies. Feedback from our discerning consumers has been overwhelmingly positive. Receiving these accolades from The Design & Packaging Masters is a pleasing endorsement from our peers of the inspiration and hard work which has gone into the huge project of streamlining our entire portfolio.”
Matt Chapman, Founder of Contagious, the creative agency that worked with Gordon & MacPhail to redesign the portfolio, added: “We are all thrilled to have the efforts of the team heralded by these awards. It has been a pleasure to work with such a respected brand and immensely fulfilling that, together, we’ve managed to create products befitting of Gordon & MacPhail’s exquisite single malts.”
For more information on Gordon & MacPhail visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
The Benromach Distillery Company Ltd is releasing an extremely rare and limited-edition Scotch malt whisky matured for 40 years in a single Refill Sherry Hogshead cask.
Building on the popularity of previous vintage releases from the 1970s, 184 bottles of Benromach 1978, from cask number 2608, are available for worldwide sale.
The single cask (56.3% abv) whisky has a deep golden hue with an aroma of honey and vanilla, along with ripe fruits, lime and a touch of butterscotch and fresh ginger, with smooth sweetness balanced by a hint of pepper. To taste, it has notes of pear and kiwi, with chocolate and spices, and a touch of subtle peat smoke on the finish.
Keith Cruickshank, Benromach distillery manager, said: “Over the 40 years that this intriguing whisky was maturing, it drew incredible depth, character and flavours from the wood. Outside the cask, the distillery was evolving and changing. After it closed in 1983, the distillery lay silent for more than 15 years before it was purchased by the Urquhart family in 1993 and reopened in 1998.
“Our carefully chosen Heritage single cask releases give Benromach lovers the opportunity to taste moments in time from the distillery’s rich history. We are confident our 1978 vintage will surpass expectations and are proud to be releasing such a rare and precious whisky during the 20th anniversary year of distilling restarting here at Benromach.”
Benromach 1978 is beautifully presented in a decanter-style bottle with shapes and textures inspired by the distillery. The bottle has a copper-foil embossed label and nestles in a dark oak wooden box, representing the original washbacks at Benromach. The copper cut medallion on the packaging signifies the moment in time when the distillers cut to the sweet heart of the spirit run.
The Benromach 1978 is available worldwide from 5th December 2018 with a recommended retail price (RRP) in the UK of £1,250 (€1,410). Prices in local markets will vary depending on local taxes and duty.
Benromach is one of only a few distilleries in Scotland to use traditional methods, without any automated machinery. The small team of distillers employ all their senses when crafting the classic Speyside single malt Scotch whiskies, managing the process by sight, sound and touch to create the unique, handcrafted and authentic Benromach taste.
For more information on Benromach, and to explore the range of expressions available, please visit: www.benromach.com.
Single malt Scotch whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail has released two stunning new additions to its ‘Private Collection’ range: a 64-Years-Old single malt from Glenlivet Distillery and a landmark 50-Years-Old from Caol Ila Distillery – the oldest Caol Ila single malt ever released.
The newly redesigned ‘Private Collection’ range encompasses rare and exclusive single malt whiskies from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries, all of which have been specially selected for bottling by a member of the Urquhart family that owns Gordon & MacPhail.
Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery was matured in a refill Sherry hogshead and bottled at a cask strength of 52.5% ABV. Warming spice leads on the palate, followed by fruity flavours with a gentle Sherry influence, before a lingering finish of bonfire embers entwined with lemon zest. Available at a UK RRP of £7,500*, only 199 decanters of this extremely rare single malt are available worldwide.
The dark gold Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery carefully balances the sweetness of golden syrup, stewed fruit, and dark chocolate with spicy black peppercorn and mature oak. Matured in Cask 1412, a carefully selected refill Sherry butt, the 64-year-old malt was bottled at a cask strength of 41.0% ABV. Only 222 bottles are available globally, at a UK RRP of £9,950*.
These ultra-rare single malts were selected for bottling by Stuart Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s Associate Director of Whisky Supply and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family. Beautifully presented in hand-blown crystal decanters, each whisky is encased within a handmade wooden veneer box.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family, said: “Our ’Private Collection’ range allows discerning whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy some of the oldest and rarest single malts in the world. These latest releases epitomise the expertise and commitment that has gone into pairing spirit and cask over 123 years and four generations of the Urquhart family. Thanks to the foresight of my forefathers, we have one of the most extensive single malt whisky libraries in the world, with expressions from over 100 Scottish distilleries.”
The latest ‘Private Collection’ releases will be available to purchase from specialist whisky retailers.
For more information on Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘Private Collection’ visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
This unique liquid from the home of the legendary No.1 Vaults, the oldest maturation warehouse in the world, has spent 20 years maturing in a single sherry cask, developing deep layers of flavour. Bowmore ® 1997 offers a rich nose with notes of malty biscuit, dried flowers and a hint of white pepper alongside buttery toffee, freshly roasted coffee and vanilla sponge cake.
On the palate, flavours develop into sweet peat with burnt wood and light barbecue ash notes alongside lemon zest. Gentle vanilla and dried wood complement the peated malt character, with a sweet and smoky finish and lingering herbal and floral notes. Just 198 numbered bottles of Bowmore 1997 will be available to global travellers exclusively from Heathrow T2, T3, T4 & T5 in World Duty Free’s “World of Whiskies” stores, at an RRP of £295.
The expression will be launched on 7 December, when Bowmore® Distillery Manager, David Turner, will be in the World of Whiskies stores in Heathrow T2 and T5 to sign bottles of this limited release. Along with overseeing the day-to-day running of the distillery, David acts as guardian of the precious whiskies that lay maturing in the legendary No.1 Vaults. Using a portfolio of skills developed over his 25-year career at Bowmore®, David carefully hand-selects casks for maturation, keeping a watchful eye on the ageing spirits to determine exactly the right time to bottle the liquid gold inside.
Speaking about the expression, Ed Stening, Global Marketing Director of Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail, says: “Bowmore is a Single Malt with an incredibly rich history rooted in our legendary No.1 Vaults, which has shaped the distinctive character of whiskies made here for over 200 years.
As a brand, Bowmore is growing fast in Travel Retail and is very popular with travellers looking to take home a slice of this history and character. We are very excited to be working with Dufry, a long-term supporter of Bowmore, to offer this unique and brilliant single cask expression to their discerning,passionate customers.”
Matthew Scott-Fairweather, Liquor Product and Promotions Manager UK and Central Europe of Dufry adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with Beam Suntory to offer this exceptional whisky from Bowmore exclusively to our customers. We are confident that this will become an instant collector’s edition.”
For more information, please contact LDR CREATIVE
Another raft of impressive prices were realised in our latest auction. The top item was, as expected, the cask of 1989 Macallan which fetched £90,100 – slightly higher than recent similar Macallan casks suggesting they may well be on the rise again as appetite remains undimmed. Perhaps more tellingly was the full set of Millennium Springbanks which hit £21,100, a record for this set by some distance. Given the way, prices have been going for older Springbanks recently this is hardly surprising. Hard to believe you could pick up a complete set for under £6000 a couple of years ago.
A second edition Black Bowmore was similarly impressive at £13,100. Although, given the track record of this series in recent times, these kinds of results are no longer that surprising. Neither was the £8400 paid for the Sherriff’s Bowmore 8-year-old pear-shaped. A stunning whisky of legendary repute which explains the serious prices people are clearly willing to pay for such a whisky. These kinds of bottles will likely never be cheaper again given their scarcity.
In fact, the whole upper end of the auction was a string of examples of these kinds of serious yet unsurprising prices for remarkable bottles. The UK version of the famed Samaroli Springbank 12-year-old at £10,100 is another perfect example. As is the Jura 1964 Cadenhead Dumpy for £3300. It seems these days that any bottle of seriously perceived whisky that rarely sees the secondary market is bound to fetch a hefty four-figure sum minimum. With many increasingly entering the five-figure range – some jumping there with rather staggering speed in recent months.
Of course, it isn’t only malts that impress. Famous blended brands such as the Islay Mist also do exceptionally well whenever they turn up – the 1950s bottling at £3600 being a particularly rare and pristine example. Given the repute of these whiskies, I’d almost say this price was on the soft side but it’s probably best not to start getting into the mindset of £3600 for a bottle of whisky being cheap.
The Macallans were all as you might expect price wise, as was the 1970s Laphroaig 10-year-old at £2150. Perhaps more interesting was the Ardbeg Provenance at £2250. It has taken a slow and winding time for the Provenances to reach this price point and they do seem slightly out of kilter with the more expensive sibling Ardbeg bottlings from the late 1990s. Given the quality of the Provenance whiskies, I wonder if they aren’t going to jump up another level in price within the next six months or so?
One of the most beautiful bottles in the sale was no doubt the Old Pulteney bottled by Cadenhead in the 1960s at 85 proof. A stunning and rarely seen whisky, this one is one of a few of this bottling that have found their way to market over the past year or so which explains it’s slightly softer £1800 result. However, this is still an impressive price which demonstrates the demand for older bottlings from the famous bottlers such as Cadenhead. Especially unusual ones such as this Pulteney.
The Lagavulin Syndicate 38-year-olds are all holding well at £1550. Once the initial supply of these bottles to the market has dried up I suspect the price of this one will start to climb fairly significantly. Something of a surprise at the same price tag was the Littlemill 1964 32-year-old distillery bottling from the 1990s. No doubt the recent uptick in interest for Littlemill and other closed distilleries, in general, helped this one along its way.
Demand for older Gordon & MacPhail bottlings also appears to remain undimmed with the Talisker 1967 100 Proof and the Highland Park St Magnus fetching £1550 and £1500 respectively. These are hefty prices, but given the great filling levels, general condition of the bottles and stunning reputations of the whiskies, these seem like fair prices for these whiskies in today’s market. If you can afford to bid at these price levels I think these are no-brainer bottles to go for.
Other notable results around the £1000 mark were the 1966 Macallan Speymalt by Gordon & MacPhail at £1300. A strong result for this bottling and maybe a sign of higher interest in Speymalt series – an inevitability given their repute, content and the price of similarly aged official Macallans.
There was the Laphroaig 1968 Hart Brothers at £1250, the Ardbeg 1974 Signatory at £1300 and the Springbank 1979 Cadenhead white label at £1150. All of which were strong results for these particular bottlings.
Going down through the middle of the sale stand out results include the Signatory 1974 Bowmore at £825, the Glendronach 1960 23-year-old Connoisseur’s Choice at £825 and the Glen Garioch 1970 27-year-old single cask for £825. All of which are something of a climb on recent results for these bottlings.
The Lagavulin 1984 – 1995 SMWS 111.3 bottling at £800 also demonstrates just how powerful the combination of a big name distillery and a rarely seen SMWS bottle number can be. A similar whisky of that age and vintage from another bottler wouldn’t have climbed that high. Just as a 1960s bottle of Jameson Crested Ten Irish Whiskey at £725 demonstrated that demand for older Irish Whiskeys is starting to increase significantly. No doubt the surge of excellent older bottlings on the market, coupled with increased global interest and many new distilleries starting up is fuelling new collector interest.
Even in today’s market Macallan can continue to surprise. A pair of standard 1990’s 10-year-olds at £575 apiece seems eye-wateringly daft. Especially when there’s a Highland Park 1973 SMWS 4.87 just beneath it for £525.
All in all, this was a strong sale with a wide spread of excellent bottles – quite a few of them scarcely seen in today’s secondary market. As a result, prices were pretty high across the board. Even for bottlings, you might not think much of on the face of it. For example, a 1978 21-year-old Glenlossie at £310 seems pretty steep. But this just demonstrates the breadth of the buying audience that exists around the world for good old malt whiskies these days. It doesn’t look as if things are going to change anytime soon. Until next time.
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