Gordon and MacPhail release final 1959 vintage whisky

For the third expression in the ‘Mr George Legacy’ series, veteran independent bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail, have released its final cask from 1959 – a single malt whisky from Glen Grant distillery.

The series is designed to celebrate George Urquhart, a key figure in the history of the company who was instrumental in establishing the single malt format.

George (known as ‘Mr George’) joined Gordon & MacPhail, his father’s business, back in 1933. At the time, Scotch whisky was largely used for blending purposes, and George has been called ‘the father of single malt’ by prominent whisky writer, Charlie MacLean.

Stuart Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s Operations Director, and George’s grandson, commented on this family history.

“Ninety years ago, my grandfather, Mr George, joined Gordon & MacPhail as an apprentice to his father, John, and his philosophy and principles live on through the business today,” he said.

“Mr George’s attention to detail and unwavering commitment to quality remain the foundation stones of our business, along with a forward-looking approach and refusal to bow to convention. This greatly aged single malt whisky is a fitting tribute to this ethos.”

The bottling itself, named Mr George Legacy 1959 from Glen Grant Distillery, has been aged in a single first-fill sherry butt for 63 years.

The whisky is described as possessing ‘fragrant autumnal spice’, ‘sweet dried fruit and demerara sugar’ alongside ‘stewed red fruit flavours’, ‘Seville orange with a hint of garden mint.’ The finish serves up notes of ‘cinnamon and forest fruits.’

A Speyside malt from a different era, this dram is noted for its subtle smokiness – once commonplace for whiskies of the region, but now rarely seen. The spirit is presented at a cask strength of 56.5 per cent ABV, and only 368 bottles were made.

Charlie, a previous editor of Whisky Magazine, appraised the spirit, saying: “A magnificent old whisky, wonderfully complex, but still lively in notwithstanding its advanced age. Another worthy tribute to Mr George Urquhart, the man who put malt whisky on the map.”

Each bottle comes with a genealogy chart on the label, tracing the history of this family business.

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