Back in the glory days not many distilleries had the facilities to bottle their own liquid and the likes of Macallan in particular would appoint independent companies such as Gordon & MacPhail with a licence to undertake what occasionally would be a laborious task. The perfect example can be seen with these two handwritten labels which were bottled in the early 1980s. These whiskies may appear the same but they tell two totally different stories. We have one example distilled before the War and another distilled some years after the War. However, what they do have in common is that they were both distilled when the distillery was still running with just two stills. The 1938 is considered one of the finest expressions from this time for its often unique peat flavours. Where the 1950 is equally impressive with more delicately oily and softer fruit complexities and metallic notes in place of the earlier phenolic styles. These older Macallan are not been produced anymore and as the years go by they seem to be getting thinner and thinner in auction.
Fast forward several decades and not only are Gordon & MacPhail still bottling Macallan, they’re also maturing their own stock. Over the years G&M have bottled some mind-blowing whiskies including examples under their Speymalt series which is solely dedicated for Macallan. This series has seriously been underestimated over the years. If you dig deep you will realise the majority of these whiskies are from single casks and are bottled at a significant age. In this sale you will find example from 1950 to 1991.
This months auction features two beautiful and remarkably crisp Bowmore’s. Both of them were distilled on 16th June 1973. The casks selected between both bottles are a run of continuous sherry casks (5173 & 5174 – 5175 & 5176) which are said to be the last remaining butts of the 1973 vintage. 1973 was the very start of a historical change in the style of Bowmore. Whisky produced was still of a high standard but was characterised by a noticeable taming of its previous qualities. As with all distilleries modernisation played a part but, crucially at Bowmore, it was the dramatic increase in production levels that would contribute to what some might argue was a compromise between quality and quantity. If you desire that pure immense tropical fruit character 1960s Bowmore has to offer, we have a rather tasty Sherriff’s.
A Highland Park that certainly doesn’t appear in auction regularly. A 1968 single caskbottled at 35 years of age. This is an official bottling produced for World Duty Free in 2003. Only 546 bottles were bottled at 51.2%. And a 1973 Dalmore finished in what they call the ”King of Grapes” Cabernet Sauvignon from the Chateau Haut-Marbuzet of Saint Estephe. This is a limited release of 1000 bottles.
The 1972 Brora has become a bit of a phenomena in the world of whisky and these examples under the Rare Malt’s label seem to rule them all. Like most whiskies today these are slowly drying up for two reasons. One is down to the fact many of these were consumed in the early days due to their crazy low retail prices and secondly both drinkers and collectors are becoming much more educated. This calibre of whisky deserves the status it has attained over the last 20+ years whereas the same can’t be said about many of the new hyped up releases we see being produced today.
We don’t generally mention modern releases such as this Glenmorangie, however, we’re partial to a bit of golf. And what’s more fitting than Glenmorangie & Dornoch. The whisky is a 16 year old from an ex Oloroso cask that has been specially commissioned by the distillery to celebrate 400 years of golf in Dornoch. Glenmorangie rarely produce single casks anymore so regardless of the occasion this is a great release.
With arguably the best whisky tours operator in the UK, Malt Marketing is in an excellent position to be able to offer exceptional whisky tours across Scotland. Taking in multiple distilleries as well as sampling Scotland’s breath taking natural beauty, each tour can be tailored specifically to your own requirements.
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An exceptionally rare single cask from the 1950s has been unveiled as one of the oldest Linkwood single malt whiskies ever bottled.
Leading single malt whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail today announced the release of Private Collection from Linkwood Distillery 1956 by Gordon & MacPhail. This is the last 1950s cask from Linkwood Distillery in Gordon & MacPhail’s unrivalled inventory; it is believed to be the final remaining 1950s cask globally.
Just 53 decanters of the 60-Year-Old single malt whisky have been released for sale worldwide with a UK RRP of £22,000.
Mahogany and chestnut brown in colour, Private Collection from Linkwood Distillery 1956 by Gordon & MacPhail is an intricately layered whisky. Rich, warm aromas lend to a sweet full-bodied experience with highlights of blueberry, fruitcake, and dark chocolate. This ultra-aged single malt, a testament to the knowledge and expertise curated over four generations, culminates in a resoundingly rich finish.
Filled at the Linkwood Distillery on the 3rd January 1956, Cask 20 is from a defining period in the company’s history. It was one of the last casks laid down by John Urquhart, first generation member of the family that owns Gordon & MacPhail, before he retired the following month. Cask 20 matured for six decades under the watchful eyes of John’s son, George, and subsequent generations until the decision to bottle was made by the fourth generation of the Urquhart family.
Founded in 1895 in Elgin, Scotland, Gordon & MacPhail is the curator of many of the oldest and rarest single malt whiskies in the world with an unrivalled stock inventory. For over 120 years, generations of the Urquhart family have matched new-make spirit from distilleries across Scotland with carefully selected oak casks, patiently maturing these to achieve the perfect harmony between the spirit and oak.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family, said: “Private Collection from Linkwood Distillery 1956 by Gordon & MacPhailencapsulates the company’s dedication to the art of single malt whisky maturation and tireless pursuit of perfection. This incredible whisky is the culmination of the unrivalled knowledge and skills passed down and strengthened, over the decades, through four generations of my family.
“It is the deep understanding of the relationship between the oak and the spirit that has allowed Gordon & MacPhail to nurture this cask for six decades while retaining the unique distillery character.”
Private Collection from Linkwood Distillery 1956 by Gordon & MacPhail is the second of four exclusive single casks unveiled as part of the ‘Private Collection’ range. The first, Private Collection Glenlivet 1943 by Gordon & MacPhail, a rare wartime cask, was released in October 2017.
Beautifully packaged using an award-winning design, the landscape surrounding the Linkwood Distillery inspires the unique contours etched into the gold base and stopper of each bespoke decanter. All 53 decanters are hand-blown and individually numbered with a certificate of authenticity signed by Stephen Rankin.
Whisky writer and rare whisky specialist Jonny McCormick, author of the commemorative book that accompanies each bespoke decanter, said: “Amidst an exalted world of luxury and prestige, Gordon & MacPhail commands the one inherent quality that every whisky connoisseur desires: rarity.
“As this remarkable cask completes its journey, this alluring Linkwood whisky is exquisitely presented in a manner that does justice to the craftsmanship of the whisky makers and the custodianship of the Urquhart family. In the years to come, opportunities to experience world-class whisky exhibiting this maturity and complexity from the Fifties will be very scarce indeed.”
Private Collection from Linkwood Distillery 1956 by Gordon & MacPhail was matured in a first fill Sherry hogshead for sixty years. Only 53 decanters, bottled at cask strength (49.4% ABV), have been released for sale worldwide. A number of decanters are available for purchase directly from the company’s ‘spiritual home’, the South Street retail shop in Elgin at an RRP of £22,000. Prices may differ in international markets due to local taxes and duty.
For more information, please visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
The UK is preparing for a time of great change as we approach Brexit. Leaving the European Union will undoubtedly have a major impact on British industries and exporters, including Scotch Whisky.
We have a team of specialists at the Scotch Whisky Association working hard to ensure the industry is ready for Brexit and that our voice is being heard. One area of great importance is looking at what Brexit might mean for the legal protection of Scotch Whisky, including its geographical indication (GI) status.
Our Director of Legal Affairs, Alan Park, considers how Brexit might affect the legal protection of Scotch Whisky.
Scotch Whisky has been defined in UK law since 1933. Brexit is not going to change that. Scotch Whisky is also recognised as a GI and has been since the concept was introduced by World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules in 1994.
A GI has unique characteristics and a reputation associated with its origin. Brexit will not alter the fact that Scotch Whisky is a GI. There is an obligation on members of the WTO, the vast majority of nations, to protect GIs from misuse. Some WTO members do that by providing a register for GIs in the same way countries provide a trade mark register. Scotch Whisky is recognised as a GI in this way from the Dominican Republic to Thailand.
Other countries choose to protect GIs in other ways and the SWA has taken advantage of those different approaches.For example, Scotch Whisky is specifically protected in the domestic legislation of many markets, such as the recognition given to Scotch Whisky in the US Federal Code. Brexit is not going to affect that either.
Where Brexit will have an impact is in the protection given to Scotch Whisky in some bilateral agreements between the EU and third countries. We want the UK to negotiate the continued benefits of those agreements but, in the meantime, the SWA is already taking steps to ensure that Scotch Whisky is recognised and protected in those markets in the range of ways available to it.
The key fact to remember is that the SWA has been protecting Scotch Whisky around the world before GIs were defined by the WTO in 1994, and before the EU existed, so whatever changes Brexit brings, the SWA will continue to do what it has done for many decades: stop the sale of any products unfairly taking advantage of the reputation of Scotch Whisky.
This means the consumer can continue to enjoy Scotch Whisky knowing that it is a well protected and high quality drink.
Article courtesy of: Scotch Whisky Association
05 Mar 2018
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