Whisky Focus - Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974 Review

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974 Review

18th February 2016

Review of Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974.

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974 ReviewGordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974 was matured in a combination of Refill American Bourbon & Refill Sherry casks and bottled at 43% ABV.

It appears that Gordon & MacPhail acquired a number of casks of Glenlivet back in 1974 and have been releasing them periodically over the years, I recall a 2004, 2008 and this 2011 release of Smith's Glenlivet. As is the very nature and attractiveness of Scotch single malt whisky no two releases of the Rare Vintage Smith's Glenlivet 1974 have been 100% identical, each have varied in flavour and quality which in itself demonstrates Gordon & MacPhail's philosophy of ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ .

In partnership with each respective distillery, all whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail's Rare Vintage range are uniquely labelled. In years gone by many of these unique designs were used ‘officially’ to bottle the whisky under licence from the distillery. Today these trusted relationships with distillers enables Gordon & MacPhail to bottle exclusive vintages of single malt at various strengths – all with their unique Distillery Label.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose:  A little floral, a gentle candied fruitiness and a very mild vanilla sweetness.

Taste: A little apple and pear mingle with the mature oakiness, mild liquorice and peppery spice, some candied orange and vanilla sweetens up the fun a little.

Finish: Long and lingering. Melon, some liquorice and pepper which slowly fade leaving mildly drying mature oak.

Comment: After a few mouthfuls the liquorice and oak become a little more dominant, but it still remains a gentle fruity mature Glenlivet, it was probably left just a little too long in the cask giving the oak a little too much to say but still a very good whisky. Mature distillery bottlings of The Glenlivet are getting very rare and expensive these days so bottlings like this from Gordon & MacPhail makes Glenlivet of this age and maturity accessible to those of us who don't want to take out a 2nd mortgage to taste a mature Glenlivet.

SMW Score 88 /100

You can find the full current Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage whisky range available from specialist Whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange

To demonstrate Gordon & MacPhail's philosophy of ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ I have reviewed four other single malt whiskies from Gordon & MacPhail's whisky Collections: Connoisseurs Choice, The MacPhail’s Collection and Rare Vintage, which demonstrate their philosophy of "The Wood Makes The Whisky".


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