According to the still family-owned company, on November 17, 1939, John Urquhart, the first generation of the family to be involved in Gordon & MacPhail, instructed the first-fill sherry cask to be filled with new-make spirit from Speyside’s Mortlach distillery (now owned by Diageo).
Only 100 decanters, bottled at cask strength (44.4% abv), have been released. Twelve have been allocated to the UK. The RRP for Generations Mortlach 75 Year Old by Gordon & MacPhail is £20,000 (prices may differ in international markets due to local taxes and duty).
Generations Mortlach 75 Years Old by Gordon & MacPhail is bottled in a teardrop-shaped Generations decanter. Each decanter is numbered and handcrafted with 75 ‘cuts’. Each cut represents a year of the whisky’s maturation. The decanter sits on a white presentation plinth with two especially designed crystal glasses.
The decanter comes in a luxury Aniline leather travel bag and is accompanied by an especially commissioned book, ‘Seven Nights with Mortlach’. Well known whisky writer, Charles Maclean and international author, Alexander McCall Smith joined forces to tell tales of Scotland, whisky and the people behind this malt whisky, accompanied by illustrations from up-and-coming Scottish artists.
It was unveiled at a special ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London this week (September 2).
The unveiling was attended by the ‘great and the good’ of the scotch whisky industry and its fourth estate in the presence of third and fourth generation members of the Urquhart family, together with MacLean and McCall Smith.
Gordon & MacPhail exports to more than 50 countries. It offers more than 300 expressions of own-bottled single malts. In 2009 and again in 2013, Gordon & MacPhail was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, reflecting its growth in exports over a 10 year period.
Charles MacLean tasting note:
“Mid-amber, with rubious lights. Fresh and clean; very slight nose prickle: still lively. A highly perfumed, floral top note – lily of the valley, barber’s shop, scented hand cream, soft leather lady’s dress handbag – with a fruity complex in the middle (dried figs, pomegranate, ripe pear. Peach juice); creamy vanilla (Crème Anglaise), even vanilla fudge, and a faint trace of coffee in the background.
“Water reduces the floral notes with scented oil (bath oil? Teak oil?), increases the soft leather note and dries out the aroma somewhat (warm sanded hardwood).
“Sweet to start, but not as sweet as expected; considerable fresh acidity and slightly mouth drying. Bitter almonds.A most unusual trace of hemp ropes and very faded creosote, lending a slight smokiness.A medium- length finish, leaving an attractive aftertaste of sandalwood.
“Lightly sweet; slightly oily texture; mouth drying; then slightly bitter finish. Some spice across the tongue. Warming, even at this lower strength.
“A most unusual taste – never before encountered. Smooth and highly sophisticated – elegant as a grande dame – the Ingrid Bergman of malts.”