Whisky Focus - Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Series

Gordon & MacPhail Rare Old Series

2nd July 2013
Many of the Single Malt Whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail's Rare Old range will never be seen again. They are whiskies from another era - some are from distilleries no longer in operation, others from distilleries that no longer exist.

Whisky connoisseurs will be pleased to hear that Elgin-based family-owned whisky specialists Gordon & MacPhail have launched a new Rare Old series of single malt whiskies. It is a range of rare and old single malt whiskies from a selection of Scotland’s legendary distilleries.

The Rare Old series is whisky, which was laid down decades ago by Gordon & MacPhail from seven distilleries, some of which are no longer in operation or no longer exist, has been matured under the careful stewardship of the family-owned firm.

The first whiskies released in the Rare Old range are: Glenlochy 1979, Glencraig 1975, Glenugie 1970, Port Ellen 1979, St Magdalene 1975, Mosstowie 1979 and Glenury Royal 1984.

This series of Rare Old comes in attractive new packaging, with G&M embossed bottles sporting an auction house lot label motif contained in classic-looking burgundy boxes. A cream ribbon and a unique gold-coloured press stud seal attaches the base of the box to the upper casing. Details of the whisky are displayed in subtle tones of cream and the Gordon & MacPhail stag’s head logo is depicted in gold foiling.

Michael Urquhart, Gordon & MacPhail’s managing director, said: "Since Gordon & MacPhail’s founding in 1895, our own casks have been filled with ‘new-make’ spirit from the majority of distilleries throughout Scotland. The Rare Old range follows this philosophy. The distilleries featured in this latest release have ceased producing therefore the whiskies bottled in the series are unlikely to be seen again.

"The refined new packaging has been carefully designed to match the quality of the products themselves and communicate the finite status of the range.

"We expect a great demand across the globe for these superbly aged single malt whiskies from distilleries with precious, limited stocks remaining.”

Whisky writer Jonny McCormick said: "There can be only one independent bottler that could have conceived a range of this scarcity with the unwavering patience to nurture these casks for so many decades; Gordon & MacPhail."

Rare Old has now been released with a recommended retail price in the UK of between Ł240 and Ł510. Prices in export markets will differ depending on duty and import taxes.

Rare Old Port Ellen 1979 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1979, matured in Refill Sherry Butts and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: The nose brings driftwood embers, waxed lemons, Caledonian pine forests and smoked fish platters together with pebbles battered smooth by the Atlantic and pressed into sandcastles.

Taste: Silken honeys, vanilla and well-structured oils with the fruit coming in abundance from gooseberries and grapefruit that persist through a lengthy finish.

Rare Old Glencraig 1975 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1975, matured in a Refill American Hogshead and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Toast racks, zested lemons and limes with some attractive chocolate ganache.

Taste: Homemade Scottish tablet flavours pepped up with some tart fruity elements including grapefruit segments. Sappy, oily mouthfeel which is refreshing and lingering with a hot, dry finish finessed by some late pepperiness.


Rare Old Glenlochy 1979 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1979, matured in a Refill American Hogshead and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Campino boiled sweets and fresh apple pie. Freshly cut green grass and driftwood aromas.

Taste: Initially sweet and salty - toasted digestive biscuits, with a hint of smoke

Rare Old Glenugie 1970 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1970, matured in Remade American hogshead and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Rich with orange, aniseed and a touch of beeswax. Followed by hints of juniper berries, peach, maple syrup and dark chocolate

Taste: Chilli spice with hints of orange and raspberry. Cocoa bean and praline flavours linger.

Rare Old St Magdalene 1975 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1975, matured in Refill Sherry hogsheads and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Sherry notes with strong fruit aromas - melons, red apples. Dry hessian note with a herbal aroma.

Taste: Sweet, with wine, oak and hop flavours. Some heather blossom (honey) elements are also present.

Rare Old Mosstowie 1979 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1979, matured in Refill Bourbon Barrel and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Freshly washed wool and hessian. With hints of polished oak, beeswax and orange peel.

Taste: A sweet liquorice and aniseed flavour. Pepper and ash notes linger.

Rare Old Glenury Royal 1984 Tasting Notes

Producer's Tasting Notes:
Distilled 1984, matured in Refill Sherry Butt and bottled at 46% ABV.

Nose: Influences of green apples, raspberry and sweet vanilla. Subtle floral notes linger.

Taste: Chilli spice initially with apple and strawberry. Mint and floral flavours develop with a dark chocolate edge.

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