Yes another Tweet Tasting after my participation in the Rebel Yell event earlier this month. These formats are viable experiences to gain a foothold in a new product launch or brand. Of course then potentially something special comes along from an established player and that’s what we have right here. Gordon & MacPhail needs no introduction to whisky enthusiasts but I’ll do one anyway, so please spare me a moment.
This independent bottler has been in business for over a hundred years and remains in family hands. A trip to Elgin to visit their store established in 1895 and still going strong, is a must when on Speyside. From its roots as a retailer Gordon & MacPhail expanded into whisky by buying casks from local distilleries and then selling these in bottle form. It’s a journey we see similarities in with others such as Cadenheads that have grown and prospered into what we know today.
As a long established company, Gordon & MacPhail has built up contacts within the industry that guarantee access to casks from across Scotland. Their cask inventory runs into the thousands and these are mainly stored in their own Speyside warehouses. With a vision to the future they revived Benromach distillery and this has been a tremendous success with a series of whiskies that echo their commitment to quality.
For this the 98th Tweet Tasting hosted the Whisky Wire, an air of mystery and intrigue enveloped the event itself. They had me at Gordon & MacPhail in all honesty. However we would be stepping back through the decades courtesy of the Rare Vintage range and with a cask selection arguably second to none (I’m still thinking Cadenheads, sorry), an epic evening should be in store.
Then on Saturday morning the doorbell rang and the postman handed over sizeable package adorned with the distinctive Gordon & MacPhail logo. Revealing it contents – resisting putting a video of the unpacking on Instagram – revealed five very special whiskies. Technically this is the 98th Tweet Tasting and I felt compelled to double check that fact as this was an extraordinary delivery.
Whenever I participate in these Tweet events I always try to do the best job that I can. Whether its compiling the tasting notes, or writing a follow-up summary piece for Whisky Rover. That was the plan again and the text above would have led you to this point where I’d review each of the whiskies. Sitting in my whisky den on Saturday morning looking at each of these whiskies and their age I felt compelled to do something a little more lavish and well, I guess extreme. Why write a single article when five would do instead?
As crazy as it sounds I wanted to do my usual and summarise each bottling, the distillery history and place each whisky into context as to when it was distilled and what practices were in use at each location. That way I would appreciate more what I was tasting and the reader will as well. Right now, you’re reading the article that marries all of the participating whiskies together, but if you want to delve more into the magnificent five then the reviews are linked below so you can go explore.
1985 Balblair bottled at 30 years old
1974 Glenlivet bottled at 33 years old
1966 Glen Grant bottled at 45 years old
1965 Strathisla bottled at 50 years old
1954 Mortlach bottled at 58 years old
I suppose readers may want to know which whisky out of the above actually delivered on the night? Unsurprisingly there wasn’t a bad or even average whisky amongst the bunch. The Balblair more than held its own against the Glenlivet and the Glen Grant. The other two were different class as you can read above.