Gordon & MacPhail launches oldest Glen Grant whisky

by Amy Hopkins

Scotch whisky maturation specialist Gordon & MacPhail has bottled a 70-year-old Glen Grant single malt – the oldest expression from the Speyside distillery to date.

The 1948 whisky joins the group’s Private Collection and follows the December launch of Gordon & MacPhail 1968 from Caol Ila. Only 210 bottles of Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant are available to purchase at an RRP of £17,500 (US$22,500), though prices may vary in international markets. The expression was matured in cask 2154, a first-fill Sherry butt filled on 11 June 1948 and bottled in October last year. The whisky’s maturation was overseen by four generations of Urquharts – John, George, Ian and Stuart – the founding family of Gordon & MacPhail. “My great-grandfather, John, selected the first-fill Sherry butt in 1948 to fill with new make spirit from Glen Grant,” said Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s director of prestige and fourth generation member of the Urquhart family. “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.” The whisky is said to offer notes of dried fruit, orange zest and cracked black pepper, with a smooth charred oak finish. “Delicate smoky notes”, meanwhile, stem from Glen Grant’s previous use of peat to dry its barley. Bottled in a hand-blown crystal decanter displayed in a wooden case, the whisky (48.6% abv) will be available to purchase globally. Gordon & MacPhail streamlined its range last year, cutting its lines from 14 to five: Discovery, Distillery Labels, Connoisseurs Choice, Private Collection, and Generations. At the time, the group said the move would give it “more focus” and offer consumers a “pyramid” of choice that increases in terms of rarity and price.