Monday, January 21, 2019


Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, has today announced the launch of the oldest release to date, in its rare limited-edition Private Collection series.

Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery (48.6% ABV) 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.
Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery

Matured through four generations of the Urquhart family, Cask 2154, was selected by John Urquhart with his son, George, 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 the cask for bottling on 19 October 2018.

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.

This latest bottling follows on from the Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery, and the Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery, which were released in December 2018.

Commenting on the launch, Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, said: “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.”

He went onto say: “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.”

He concluded by saying: “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.”

Limited to just 210 bottles, Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant Distillery, will be available later this month, from selected specialist retailers, for a RRP of £17,500.

Posted by Steve Rush