World-renowned Gordon & MacPhail is bringing whisky collectors a taste of the bygone era with Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old, Glen Grant 1948 Single Malt Whisky (Gordon & MacPhail 72YO). One of the oldest and most prestigious whisky casks in existence today, the bottle exemplifies Gordon & MacPhail’s core values of delivering the highest quality products with only 290 exclusive units available worldwide. Recently heralded by Scotland’s most famous whisky critic, Charles MacLean, as one of the most incredible whiskies of his 40-year career, the bottle will make its debut at the Bonhams auction in Hong Kong on 29 January 2021.
Critically-acclaimed by the industry’s leading expert Charles MacLean
Viewing every cask as a legacy piece, Gordon & MacPhail is known for being an innovator in the whisky market and guarantees quality, especially at the top end, while maintaining the tradition and heritage of the family business owned by the Urquhart Family. As one of the highest specification productions in the firm’s 125-year history, Gordon & MacPhail 72YO transcends being a simple drink and becomes a work of art in the hands of a true collector.
The product has impressed the most distinguished worldwide experts with its rare excellence and robust flavour. Charles MacLean, Master of the Quaich, Edinburgh shares, “I am generally sceptical about very old malts because they lose vitality and tend to become fragile and flat. Not in this case! Its great age adds value to the experience of tasting it, conjuring images of what the world was like in 1948. I can honestly say that this is one of the finest malts I have tasted in forty years of professional exploration. It is outstanding.”
World premiere at Bonhams Hong Kong set to break records as a holy grail collector’s item
The highly-sought-after Gordon & MacPhail 72YO will make its first market appearance at the upcoming Bonhams whisky auction on 29 January 2021. Featured on the front cover of Bonhams’ whisky catalogue, the desirable number 88 bottle will debut in Hong Kong – the established world hub for the most exclusive whisky releases. Following Gordon & MacPhail’s spectacular 70-Year-Old Glenlivet sale for GBP43,000 in the UK, the new release expects to break this record with its value and rarity. The Gordon & MacPhail 72YO has a book estimate of HK$300,000 – $380,000. With whiskies of this age reaching a value of more than HK$1,000,000, this bottle will age well as a priceless item in any collection.
“There’s been numerous new records set for whisky sold at Bonhams in 2020. We anticipate collectors’ desire and determination to acquire the market’s best whiskies to continue into 2021,” says Daniel Lam, Wine and Whisky Specialist at Bonhams. “With the Gordon & MacPhail 72YO’s stunning decanter design on the front cover our whisky catalogue, we expect some new records to be set for scotch whisky at our upcoming auction. The desirable bottle number 88 will surely become a legacy piece at the event.”
A vibrant, one of a kind 1948 bottle for a connoisseur’s collection
The Gordon & MacPhail 72YO whisky is luxurious and exceptional across all standards. A hugely rewarding whisky, the bottle allows collectors to experience the taste of 1948, opening a sensory door to another era of whisky made for those who appreciate the most exquisite spirits. In this post-war period, most of the casks used for maturing the spirit were seasoned with sherry; many used them for shipping sherry from Spain. Under John Urquhart’s instructions, who had developed strong trading relations with several significant Speyside distilleries, including Glen Grant, and whose support was instrumental in allowing several distilleries to survive the distilling ban between 1942 – 1944. Hence, this bottle is a ghostly survivor from a different age, and its remarkable flavour reflects this era. Furthermore, the high ABV retained at 56.2% proves that the aroma and taste are still vital and potent inside the bottle, a rare quality for advanced age whiskies.
From an iconic Glen Grant distillery cask into a bespoke Dartington Crystal decanter
The 72YO represents the first Gordon & MacPhail whisky presented in a bespoke Dartington Crystal decanter, using traditional glass-blowing techniques, and from one of the few crystal brands still producing in the UK.
The design itself was commissioned to a renowned designer behind several very sought after, high aged Karuizawa Single Malt bottlings from Japan. The captivating ‘Rings of Life’ design represents the cask’s great age, similar to a tree’s annual growth rings. The masterpiece production frames the beautiful crystal cut decanter in an elegant, yet substantial, American Black Walnut presentation box, crafted at 3.5 times the size of Gordon & MacPhail’s current ultra-premium production, housed in a remarkable flight case style trunk.
“The Gordon & MacPhail 72YO is the oldest ever whisky released from the legendary Glen Grant distillery that could go down in history as the greatest cask of all time,” says John Rhodes, co-founder of The Hong Kong Whisky Festival and Hong Kong specialist retailer. “Consumers and collectors alike are now more informed about whisky and its history. What Gordon & MacPhail provides is the story behind each cask through the aroma, taste, texture and bottle design.”
A tremendously complex and rewarding malt whisky
The Gordon & MacPhail 72YO features a deep amber hue from the Oloroso sherry aged in an American oak ex-sherry cask. The beverage is viscous with exquisite beading. Its aroma has a mellow and simultaneously lively scent. The top notes include Christmas cake moistened with Oloroso sherry, with a slightly burnt base. The end product has an overall dry nose-feel supported by notes of prune juice and baked apple skin. The base notes derive from oak (shavings, coconut, traces of treacle toffee), and chocolate and liquorice coffee grounds.
Texture-wise, the drink is mouth-filling and slightly waxy, with a sweet taste at the start and a tannic, dry kick to finish with a surprising punch of spice — the intriguing aftertaste whispers of espresso and deep dark chocolate. Overall, the whole palate is a perfect harmony of flavour and vitality, which ensures an experience unlike any other.
To make a bid for the elusive Gordon & MacPhail 72YO number 88 bottle, registration for Bonhams whisky auction is now open. The official global release is currently scheduled for late March 2021.