Gordon & MacPhail Showcases Rarer Scotch In Updated Collection - The Whiskey Wash

Gordon & MacPhail Showcases Rarer Scotch In Updated Collection

By Nino Marchetti / January 4, 2019

Independent Scotch whisky bottler Gordon & MacPhail is known for having access to a wide array of old Scotch whisky casks for its various bottlings. At the top end of its collections sits the Private Collection range, which recently was given a redesigned look befitting of its status. Also on the docket are two new whiskies for those looking to collect such expressions.

Joining the Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection series, according to those behind them, are a 64-Years-Old single malt from Glenlivet Distillery and a landmark 50-Years-Old from Caol Ila Distillery – the oldest Caol Ila single malt ever released. The first of these two, the Glenlivet, is known as the Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery. It was matured in cask 1412, a refilled sherry butt, resulting in a 64 year old malt from a single cask that was bottled into just 222 bottles at 41% ABV.

Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery (image via Gordon & MacPhail)

Joining the Glenlivet is the Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery, which is another single cask offering, this time from a refill sherry hogshead. Only 199 bottles of this one have been made available, each bottled at 52.5% ABV.

“Our ‘Private Collection’ range allows discerning whisky enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy some of the oldest and rarest single malts in the world,” said Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family which owns Gordon & MacPhail, in a prepared statement. “These latest releases epitomise the expertise and commitment that has gone into pairing spirit and cask over 123 years and four generations of the Urquhart family. Thanks to the foresight of my forefathers, we have one of the most extensive single malt whisky libraries in the world, with expressions from over 100 Scottish distilleries.”

Both whiskies are presented in hand-blown crystal decanters that are encased within a handmade wooden veneer box. You’ll find official tasting notes for each below as well as information on pricing.

Gordon & MacPhail 1954 from Glenlivet Distillery (Private Collection)

  • Price: £9,950 (around $12,600 USD)
  • Colour: Dark gold.
  • Aroma: Initially sweet with hints of brown sugar and toffee apple; light herbal aromas evolve into candy notes. Traces of cinnamon and aniseed add depth whilst sweetness arrives from lemon curd, and vanilla undertones. Aromatic fresh-roasted coffee beans balance orange zest.
  • Taste: Silky, smooth and intense golden syrup mingles with stewed fruit and rum and raisin. Touches of dark chocolate complement the delicate Sherry flavours. Sweet brown sugar remains whilst hints of walnut add a slightly drying aspect.
  • Finish: A refined and elegant dram with a black peppercorn and lingering mature oak finish.

Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila Distillery (Private Collection)

  • Price: £7,500 (around $9,500 USD)
  • Colour: Dark gold.
  • Aroma: Delicate wisps of peat smoke combine with aromas of honey-cured meats and vanilla pods. Fruitcake-laden notes of nuts, raisins, and plump sultanas develop. A hint of menthol runs throughout. Undertones of zesty citrus and aromatic lemongrass linger.
  • Taste: A refined and subtle, yet warming, spice opens into raspberry, cranberry, and sweet baked apple flavours. Thick cut Seville orange marmalade and gentle Sherry influences develop with time. Mature oak notes add a slightly drying character.
  • Finish: A lingering finish of smouldering bonfire embers combine delicately with lemon zest and charred oak.