Gordon & MacPhail honours George Urquhart with 62yo Scotch

Oct 16, 2019by Owen Bellwood

Independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail has released a 62-year-old Glen Grant single malt in honour of George Urquhart, a member of the second generation of the company’s owning family.

Released in what would have been Urquhart’s centenary year, the 62-year-old Scotch whisky was distilled at Glen Grant and laid down in 1956. After joining the business in 1933, Urquhart worked alongside his father, John, who had become sole owner of the company in 1915 after John Alexander MacPhail’s retirement and James Gordon’s passing. Released as a tribute to Urquhart's legacy, the Mr George Centenary Edition 1956 from Glen Grant Distillery has been selected for bottling by Urquhart’s grandson, Stuart, operations director at Gordon & MacPhail. Laid down by Urquhart in a hand-selected, first-fill Sherry Butt on 13 December 1956, the commemorative whisky is presented in a glass decanter and a wooden presentation case. The red and white design is said to be “a modern interpretation” of the original Connoisseurs Choice bottles. In 1968 Urquhart created the Connoisseurs Choice range, which gave “little-known distilleries” a platform to showcase their spirit as aged single malt. The limited edition whisky is said to have aromas of stewed dates and caramelised brown sugar. On the palate it is described as having flavours of sun-dried fruits, dark chocolate praline and citrus zest with a subtle smoky finish. Only 235 bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Mr George Centenary Edition 1956 from Glen Grant Distillery will be available to purchase from selected specialist whisky retailers internationally for RRP £5,000 (US$6,300). Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s director of prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family, said: “My grandfather’s drive, commitment and foresight helped to ensure that single malt Scotch whisky grew in popularity. His introduction of the Connoisseurs Choice range in 1968 was a landmark moment for the sector, launched as several new export markets opened and growth in demand for single malts came from countries including Italy. “Our specially selected Mr George Centenary Edition embodies the qualities that made Mr George a master of his craft; patience, depth of character and exquisite taste. Not only was Glen Grant one of his favourite drams, the year 1956 is especially significant as this was the year George became senior partner at Gordon & MacPhail, marking the first step in a new direction for the company. “It’s also a reminder of the importance of maintaining relationships built on respect – something which has become our family’s philosophy. Many of these relationships, built decades ago, still thrive today.” Earlier this week, Gordon & MacPhail secured planning approval to build a new Speyside distillery in Cairngorms National Park.