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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).

What do you think of this bottling? Let us know in the comments!

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