Gordon & MacPhail, considered one of Scotland’s more legendary independent Scotch whisky bottlers, has long turned out expressions from its warehouses that are older in scope. One of its newest ones coming up later this year is also its oldest to date, being an 80 year old single malt.
The new Gordon & MacPhail Generations 80YO from Glenlivet Distillery, according to those behind it, started its long journey of slumber when, “on 3rd February 1940 in a quiet corner in the north of Scotland, George Urquhart and his father, John, had the extraordinary foresight and vision to lay down spirit from Glenlivet Distillery in a bespoke Gordon & MacPhail cask to be enjoyed by future generations.”
Known as Cask 340, this whisky was left to age for eight decades. On February 5th, 2020, it was decided by the Gordon & MacPhail whisky team “to finally bottle the cask’s precious out-turn, yielding a total of 250 decanters.”
Cask 340 from Gordon & MacPhail, which cradled the world’s oldest single malt Scotch whisky for 80 years (image via Gordon & MacPhail)
“That this whisky – the oldest single malt Scotch ever bottled – remains so full of vibrant flavour with a strength of 44.9% ABV, is testimony to knowledge handed down over successive generations of my family,” said Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail Whiskies, and member of the fourth generation of the family that owns the company, in a prepared statement.
The bottling house is said to have collaborated with “internationally acclaimed architect and designer, Sir David Adjaye OBE,” to design a unique decanter and oak case to house the whisky in.
“Maturing a single malt Scotch over eight decades is an art,” added Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail, “similar in many ways to architecture where you are creating something that needs to stand the test of time. Neither can be rushed. Both Sir David and Gordon & MacPhail share a commitment to invest in the future. We both see the significance of creating something exceptional; leaving a legacy for future generations.”
As it stands now plans call for the Gordon & MacPhail Generations 80YO from Glenlivet Distillery to be “revealed in September 2021, with decanter number #1 auctioned by Sotheby’s in early October 2021. To continue the legacy theme, auction proceeds, minus costs, will be donated to award-winning Scottish charity Trees for Life whose mission is to rewild the Caledonian Forest.”
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...