Gordon & MacPhail, the single malt Scotch whisky creator, has unveiled a new addition to its ‘Private Collection’: Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery. At 70-years-old, it is the oldest expression from the Speyside distillery ever bottled.
The latest release closely follows the acclaimed 50-year-old Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery, the oldest single malt ever bottled from the Islay distillery.
The rare and exclusive Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery was matured in Cask 2154, a first fill Sherry butt filled on 11 June 1948 – six years before barley rationing restrictions were lifted following the Second World War. Only 210 decanters of this highly sought-after whisky are available to purchase.
The ‘Private Collection’ comprises a selection of rare single malts from celebrated, little-known, or closed distilleries personally selected by members of the Urquhart family, owners of Gordon & MacPhail.
Members of four generations of the Urquhart family nurtured Cask 2154. John Urquhart selected the cask with his son, George, back in 1948. George oversaw storage of the cask in the fabled Warehouse No. 5 at Glen Grant Distillery. His eldest son, Ian, monitored the whisky and, in May 1968, arranged for the Sherry butt to be moved to Gordon & MacPhail’s Elgin warehouse. Ian’s nephew, Stuart, the company’s Operations Director, selected Cask 2154 for bottling on 19 October 2018.
Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, reflected: “Our family has matured single malt whiskies for 123 years, each generation passing on its knowledge of how to combine spirit and oak to create exquisite whiskies. Four generations of my family have carefully nurtured Cask 2154 over its 70 years to produce this unique whisky.
“My great-grandfather, John, selected the first fill Sherry butt in 1948 to fill with new-make spirit from Glen Grant. My family has patiently watched over this cask, regularly monitoring and sampling the whisky, recognising the right moment to bottle it at its ultimate peak. This masterpiece epitomises the skill and craft involved in matching a cask to new-make spirit, as well as our dedication to creating unique and intriguing whiskies.
“Thanks to the notable influence of the Sherry butt on the spirit over the years, the elegant whisky displays flavours of dried fruit, orange zest, and cracked black pepper whilst maintaining a long, smooth charred oak finish. The remarkable 70-year-old malt also has delicate smoky notes, a reminder that, in 1948, the distillery would have been using traditional practices on their floor maltings and local peat as a fuel.”
Bottled at cask strength (ABV 48.6%), the amber coloured single malt is presented in an exquisitely engraved, hand-blown crystal decanter. The stunning whisky is framed in a striking wooden presentation case, with doors which smoothly slide open to reveal the precious contents.
In April 2018, Gordon & MacPhail streamlined its portfolio of single malt Scotch whiskies. Over recent months, the company has unveiled several remarkable ‘Private Collection’ releases: Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery and Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery.
Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available for purchase worldwide from selected specialist retailers* (UK RRP £17,500**).
For more information, please visit www.gordonandmacphail.com.
*Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available to purchase in the US in spring 2019.
**Prices in international markets may vary due to local taxes and import duties.
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.
Glen Scotia distillery in Campbeltown is set to host one of the first performances of an exciting new opera set in a distillery and featuring music by Scot indie stars Admiral Fallow.
Navigate The Blood, which is written by Sian Evans, is about a couple whose son has disappeared in mysterious circumstances, with the action taking place in a small family distillery.
The new production combines singing, music, theatre and storytelling, and has been created to reflect the lives of the distillery community in Scotland. By being relevant to those based in Scotland’s distilling regions, it also aims to encourage new audiences to experience opera.
Distilling is an industry that employs, directly and indirectly, 41,000 people in Scotland and attracted two million tourists to various Scottish distilleries last year.
The contemporary opera features music by top Scottish indie-folk band, Admiral Fallow, who joined forces with composer Gareth Williams to push the collaborative boundaries and form this exciting new partnership. Working with Gareth, Sian and classical opera singers, they have embraced an intense writing process, resulting in a compelling first new work of modern opera by the talented and versatile musicians
The production will tour Scotland’s traditional distilling regions, from the Highlands, to the Lowlands, via Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown, where Glen Scotia will host the sole performance. Glen Scotia is one of only three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, formerly known as the Victorian capital of Scotch.
Iain McAlister, Distillery Manager at Glen Scotia, said: “Navigate The Blood has been created to showcase Scotland’s distilling industry and we can’t wait for it to be performed here at Glen Scotia. Campbeltown, one of Scotland’s five official malt-producing regions, has a rich distilling heritage, with over 30 distilleries based in the town during its Victorian heyday when it was known as the Scotch capital of the world. We are extremely proud of our role as the sole host for Campbeltown.”
James Robert Carson, the founder and artistic director of New Opera in Scotland Events (NOISE), which is producing Navigate The Blood, said: “Scotland has a deep and historic involvement with the art of distilling. By performing Navigate the Blood in each of the five distinct distilling regions, NOISE has designed an opera that reflects and celebrates the success and continued innovation of this remarkable industry. The band Admiral Fallow and composer Gareth Williams have created a truly magical and original score, with a story set in a distillery.
“NOISE is delighted to be able to tour this new production to audiences who live and work in some of the country’s most important and unique working communities, such as Glen Scotia in Campbeltown.”
Navigate The Blood is to be performed at Glen Scotia Distillery on November 9. Tickets are available from www.seeticket.com.
The Macallan has unveiled its next Masters of Photography edition in collaboration with the world’s most famous photographic cooperative, Magnum Photos.
Marking the seventh limited edition release, The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition celebrates the opening of the new Macallan distillery and visitor experience.
The creation of the new distillery will forever change the landscape of The Macallan Estate and this special release documents this historical moment, telling The Macallan story in a new and compelling way, as some of the world’s leading photographers record the next stage in the journey of the world’s ultimate single malt whisky.
This awe-inspiring collection of images, taken by six world renowned Magnum photographers – Steve McCurry, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Mark Power, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Alec Soth- captures different aspects of the iconic distillery. From the landscape and the materials from which the distillery is born, to the character of the workers and protagonists who have brought it to fruition, artistic portraiture of people and casks complement more abstract representations of the building and its unique structure.
This magnificent and world class collectible set of images comes together as a limited edition objet d’art, presented in a stunning archive style gift box. It comprises a special limited release whisky; a selection of six signed prints, one from each photographer, and an exclusive book of photography. The box that holds the collection was influenced by the classic photographic portfolio boxes on display at the Magnum studio.
By immersing herself in the photography, The Macallan Whisky Maker Sarah Burgess has created a single malt crafted from a combination of eight casks, all differing in character to reflect the photography style of each of the Magnum photographers and to represent Magnum itself.
A spicy gingered cask reflects McCurry’s bold and brave style; a cask of age where oak influence prevails over individual characteristics symbolises Parr’s oblique view of the world; a classic cask with an intense black cherry note complements Pellegrin’s forceful black and white pictures; two casks reflect Power’s photography which captures the familiar, but from an often obscure point of view; an ex-European red wine cask imparting a rich mahogany red colour represents Pinkhassov’s contrasting and brightly coloured work and a first fill American barrel with its delicate citrus notes captures Soth’s heritage and spirit of adventure. The final cask is an intensely sweet yet classic Macallan with edge and depth, bringing the whole creation together and representing the imagination and brilliance of Magnum.
Ken Grier, Creative Director for The Macallan, said: “Magnum are the ultimate masters of their medium, offering incredible diversity and distinction within their ranks and capturing all aspects of human life around the world with an unparalleled sense of vision, imagination and genius. They are the greatest collective of documentary photographers in the world and their partnership with The Macallan reflects our shared values of craftsmanship and commitment to excellence.
“For the first time in The Macallan Masters of Photography series, we are working in partnership with multiple photographers to tell the story of the new Macallan distillery and the people behind it, taking it from genesis to completion. This coveted edition shows history in the making against the backdrop of The Macallan’s ongoing commitment to mastery.”
Tim Paton, Global Head of Commercial Assignments for Magnum Photos, said: “This project has been a wonderful assignment for both the photographers and the Agency. To be given this amount of creative freedom on a commercial project is very rare. The photographers were literally shown the building site and told to shoot whatever they liked.
“Both myself and the six Magnum Photographers have loved visiting The Macallan and witnessing this amazing building grow out of the ground. We first visited the site when it was just a hole in ground so we all feel very connected to this wonderful piece of architecture. All the staff and contractors have been great to work with and very welcoming. This beautiful part of Scotland will forever be a big part of Magnum Photos history.”
The Macallan Masters of Photography: Magnum Edition will be available globally from September 2018, priced at £2,700 and limited to 2,000 editions worldwide.
For further information visit www.themacallan.com
Whisky Makers Notes:
Colour: Deep amber with rose gold hues
Nose: Light hints of peat layered into warm spiced ginger with mellow oak notes. Gently coming behind these notes, are an almost tangerine citrus and caramelised apple
Palate: Candied dried fruits and a butterscotch sweetness with a tickling of spice that moves into a honeyed nut note
Finish: Medium to long finish ending in sweet earthy peat notes
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Highland Park is excited to introduce you to VALKNUT Special Edition single malt Scotch whisky. In partnership with renowned Danish designer Jim Lynvgild, Highland Park VALKNUT is the second in a series of three VIKING LEGEND releases inspired by our rich Viking history and mythology.
Jason Craig, Highland Park brand director, commented: “Valknut is an intensely balanced whisky with an ABV of 46.8%. It’s been matured predominantly in American sherry seasoned oak casks with a slightly higher phenolic level, compared to Valkyrie. We’ve also used a small amount of Orkney grown Tartan barley which adds to its smokier edge and lingering sweet, spicy finish.”
Designer, Jim Lyngvild commented: “The story of the Valknut is compelling and I wanted to ensure that the design feature of this packaging was a fitting match to the whisky created by Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion.
“Also, as VALKNUT is part of a series of three expressions, I made sure that there is continuity in style of the packaging – for example, the frieze design at top is consistent in look but the story of the symbol has been brought to the front panel.”
Jim’s inspiration came from two important Nordic sources in Gotland, Sweden – the first of the four Stora Hammars stones and the picture stone at Tängelgårda.
VALKNUT means ‘knot of those killed in battle’ and its symbol of three interlinked triangles is closely associated with the Norse god Odin who guided the spirits of the dead to Valhalla.
Norse mythology tells of the VALKYRIES, Odin’s female servants, who combed the battlefields for the bravest fallen warriors. Vikings who met an honourable death were marked out by the symbol of the VALKNUT and spirited away to VALHALLA to join Odin’s mighty army and prepare for RAGNAROK, the battle of the end of the world.
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