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.
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.
Scotland is a country famed for its history, beauty and culture as much as it is respected for its scotch whisky distilleries and world class golf courses. Being home to both, you would expect it to have whisky distilleries and championship golf courses in abundance and well in thinking that you would be correct. Like each distillery, every golf course has its own personality and character and provides its own unique memories to those fortunate enough to experience it. Luxury tour operator Aura Journey’s offer clients the chance to enjoy experiences such as these in comfort and style through their bespoke chauffeuring service.
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HIGHLAND PARK is proud to introduce VALKYRIE Special Edition single malt Scotch whisky.
In partnership with renowned Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, VALKYRIE is the first in a series of three VIKING LEGEND releases inspired by rich Viking history and mythology.
Having once been part of Denmark and Norway, Orkney became the raiding headquarters for Norwegian Vikings in the 8th and 9th century, shaping a unique past for the island. Magnus Eunson, who founded Highland Park in 1798, was a direct descendent of those first Viking pioneers. Even today, 1 in 3 Orkney islanders bear Scandinavian DNA and share a fierce pride for the rich Nordic ancestry woven into the islands’ traditions and culture.
It is this enduring culture and legacy that is the inspiration for VALKYRIE, set to launch in April 2017.
Highland Park approached Danish designer Jim Lyngvild, himself a modern day Viking and expert in Norse mythology, to design striking new packaging for the three special edition whiskies.
Valkyrie’s unique one-off design is inspired by two important Nordic sources – a typical Viking pendant from around 300-700AD discovered in Uppland, Sweden and the ancient Hammar Stone of Gotland which details the epic journey of the Valkyries,
In his distinctive style, Lyngvild has interpreted the ancient legend of the Valkyries – avenging horse-backed angels who combed the battlefields for the bravest of their fallen warriors – in an expressive, story-telling illustration for Highland Park.
Noticeably different from the traditional black and silver Highland Park packaging, the re-imagined design maintains the distillery’s ongoing references to Viking design whilst updating the graphics with a bolder, hand-drawn aesthetic.
Using embossed metallic detailing, he represents the Valkyries as shield-maidens of Odin, offering their god a drink of mead from a curved horn. The larger illustration features a winged Valkyrie with coiled hair and a necklace that pays homage to the goddess Freya’s magical Brísingamen torc (necklace).
Jason Craig, Highland Park brand director, added: “We’ve enjoyed delving deeper into Orkney’s history and heritage for the Viking Legend series, culminating in this exciting new collaboration with bona fide 21st century Viking Jim Lyngvild. Jim’s knowledge about Viking history and the Viking way of life is rich in detail.
“The whisky itself, created by our Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion, dials up more of our smoky notes by incorporating more of our heathery peated malt. This creates a richer, fuller phenolic note that has balance due to the sweeter, heathery character of our moorland peat but it is a slight departure from our core 12 Year Old whisky.”
Issued by Big Partnership on behalf of Maxxium UK
Call Gabbie Roscamp on 0131 557 5252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky is proud to announce plans to collaborate with legend of British crime author Ian Rankin and The Orion Publishing Group to help mark the thirtieth anniversary of John Rebus, one of crime fiction’s best loved creations.
To help start the celebration in style, a very special edition of Highland Park is being produced – Rebus30, a 10 year old single malt Scotch whisky, that will be available for Rebus fans to buy exclusively from Highland Park.
Jason R. Craig, Highland Park, Brand Director, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to produce this exclusive bottle to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a great crime icon.
“This is a very special partnership for the brand as we were involved ten years ago when Ian celebrated the 20th anniversary of the publication of the first ‘Inspector Rebus’ novel Knots and Crosses. At that time, Ian was invited to visit the distillery on Orkney where he chose a special single cask. The whisky’s flavour profile was chosen according to what Ian felt Rebus would prefer – cask no 3272, was ‘dark, complex and with a long finish’.
“To celebrate Rebus30, our brief was to craft a 10 year old single malt fit for an iconic detective who truly stands apart. The result is stunning single malt created by Gordon Motion, our Master Whisky Maker and a tribute to those with a strong independent spirit and those who know their own mind.
“Best shared with friends or when enjoying a dark crime novel!”
Sarah Benton, Group Marketing Director at Orion said: “Working with Highland Park on this partnership for Rebus30 and RebusFest has been a total delight. What better way to celebrate Rebus’ 30th birthday! We know his fans are going to snap up these exclusive bottles fast. In addition to the Highland Park Rebus30 10 year old single malt, we will be auctioning a few limited edition Highland Park 30 year old single malt also specially created for Rebus30, throughout the year’s celebration – watch out for these!”
Rebus and Highland Park fans will be able to buy this commemorative bottling for £30 (70cl) and it will be delivered in time for the launch of RebusFest at the end of June 2017. It will only be available for those who join the brand’s Inner Circle tribe. Registration of interest for this bottle will be open from early April. To hear further news on how to register for a bottle, join our Inner Circle tribe here www.highlandparkwhisky.com/Innercircle
In addition for those who will be in Edinburgh for the RebusFest, Highland Park’s Senior Brand Ambassador Martin Markvardsen will be hosting two whisky Master Classes on Friday 30th June and Saturday 1st July at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian. As well as learning all about why Highland Park stands apart from other single malts, guests will be given a unique opportunity to taste Highland Park Rebus30 along with some of the brand’s other special whiskies. We hope you will #RaiseaGlasstoRebus and celebrate #Rebus30 with us.
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