Gordon & MacPhail’s just saw the transfer of management from the third to the fourth generation and the completion of this move, with the retirement of Michael Urquhart. To celebrate that, the four Urquhart third generationals each chose a cask together with their children continuing in the business, which were the basis for the new Private Collection Ultra.
Each of the bottles is priced at £6250, and there are stores that will only sell all four together for a solid £25,000.
The four bottles are: 1953 Linkwood, 1952 Glenlivet, 1951 Mortlach and a 1957 Strathisla, with which G&M has a special story, which will be told when that whisky is reviewed.
While Michael Urquhart led the tasting, some of the fourth generation presented their branch’s selection so we met Stephen Rankin, who chose the Linkwood together with his mother, Rosemary Rankin, a retired director and Michael Urquhart’s sister, Richard Urquhart who presented the 1951 Mortlach, Laura Urquhart, Michael’s daughter and the newest addition to the management team, having just completed the 18 month training program. Laura presented the Strathisla. The Glenlivet was presented by writer Jonny McCormick, who is also behind the official tasting notes.
Over the next four days, we’ll look at the four offerings, in order of their seniority.
1951 Mortlach, G&M Private Collection Ultra (Hogshead 704) 61 Bottles in Total (42.5% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Bronze, legs are thin and long.
Nose: Cherry ice cream, dried apricots and dates, oranges, Old leather and touches of smoke.
Palate: Lots of oak in a full mouth coating feel, dry with some bitterness, mixing with raisin sweetness and milk chocolate.
Linger: Oranges, very mouth drying and “dusty”, bitter notes and a very waxy mouth feel.
This is a Mortlach from the era when the malting was done on site and the stills were direct fired. This is very appearant in the whisky, with the hint of smoke on the nose.
Mortlach is one of the specialties of G&M, with a regular bottling of a 15 and a 21 year old, with this cask being the pinnacle of that specialty. This is the definition of old and dignified.