Gordon & MacPhail releases 64YO whisky

by Alice Brooker

Family-owned Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled a 64-year-old single malt as the second bottling in its Mr George Legacy series.

The new expression honours George Urquhart, a second generation member of the Gordon & MacPhail family. Urquhart’s grandson, Stuart, is the brand's operations director. He said: “In some industry quarters my grandfather was fondly thought of as slightly eccentric due to his relentless focus on maturation, painstakingly selecting the right cask to match with each particular spirit. "He was intrigued to know how long the whisky might take to reach its peak, and would have known he might not be around when that moment came. That is his legacy to our family and to whisky drinkers who love the rich complexity of the ultra-aged single malts he laid down decades ago." Only 298 bottles of Gordon & MacPhail Mr George Legacy 1957 have been made available. The whisky celebrates George's ‘long-term approach’ to maturation, and has spent its entire maturation in a first-fill Sherry butt. Urquhart added: “The latest release in the Legacy series comes from Glen Grant distillery, for which my grandfather had a particular affinity. Local to us in Speyside, Glen Grant was the first distillery to use a purifier in distillation which resulted in a lighter spirit. "Back in the 1950s, the spirit would have been slightly smoky due to floor maltings and a small level of peat being used – which is a style rarely seen in today’s modern Speyside whiskies – giving this whisky a charred oakiness that is perfectly balanced by long-term maturation in a Sherry cask made of American oak.” Clocking in at 56.1% ABV, Mr George Legacy 1957 retails for RRP £6,000 (US$7,399). On the nose, the liquid delivers aromas of fruitcake, festive spices, marmalade and treacle, while on the palate flavours morello cherries, tobacco and garden mint are presented. It finishes with a ‘explosion of flavours’, followed by notes of spice, forest fruits and charred oak. The distillery celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2020. In January, Gordon & MacPhail recruited Mhairi Winters as the distillery manager for its new Cairn site.