Smith’s Glenlivet 1948 Speyside Collection

Smith’s Glenlivet 1948 (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, first fill Sherry butt #54, 2010)

Whisky Review

  • Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky
  • Origin: Glenlivet distillery
  • Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection
  • ABV: 43%
  • £3150.00


What they say:


Speyside Collection

Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has launched an exclusive Speyside Collection, offering customers the chance to purchase six exquisite single malt Scotch whiskies from some of Scotland’s finest Speyside distilleries.

Established in 1895, the fourth-generation family business is custodian to some of the world’s oldest and most unique single malt Scotch whiskies. Allowing whisky fans the chance to savour an inimitable piece of Scotland’s liquid history, the Speyside Collection brings together 329 years of knowledge, expertise and whisky maturation.

The first release, limited-edition, Speyside Collection hosts a range of flavour profiles, from the fruity and peppery notes of Gordon & MacPhail Smith’s Glenlivet 1948 43%, to the long and slightly smoky finish of the Glen Grant 1949 40%, and the exotic fruit, sherry and crushed almonds flavours in Strathisla 1953 43%.

Showcasing whiskies from across the region, the Speyside Collection also offers Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach 1954 43%, a spicy and creamy whisky, the award winning Longmorn 1967 43%, which is bursting with warming spiciness followed by stewed fruit and citrus flavours, and Linkwood 1972 43%, with its flavours of chilli spice, banana and dark chocolate.

Since the founding of the business, Gordon & MacPhail has sent casks to distilleries throughout Scotland to be filled with new make spirit, before being matured under the custodianship of generations of the Urquhart family.

Developing relationships with distilleries across Scotland throughout the company’s history, the whiskies in Gordon & MacPhail’s Speyside Collection are uniquely labelled using the original distillery labels.

Stephen Rankin, director and a member of the fourth generation of the Urquharts, the family who own Gordon & MacPhail, said: “Four generations of our family have passed on skills and knowledge for matching spirit to quality casks and maturing whiskies for many years.

“The six vintages in the Speyside Collection are testament to our philosophy of producing high quality single malt. We hope malt whisky lovers will be able to enjoy and savour these special Speyside drams.”

The Speyside Collection is available to purchase from specialist whisky retailers at an RRP of £10,500 in the UK. Prices in overseas markets may differ due to local taxes and import duties. A limited edition of 75 Speyside Collections will be available for sale in this first release.

What I say:

Distilled at The Glenlivet distillery on the 11th of February 1948, matured in first fill Sherry butt #54 and bottled at an age of 62 on the 26th of July 2010 at 43%

Many thanks to Tom of Toms Whisky Reviews for sparing a little of this whisky to share with us.


Amber gold (9/20), medium-large tears and legs, oily and resinous looking


Linseed oil and glazing putty, waxy, beeswax, wood polish, lanolin, marzipan, fruity and zesty orange peel and oil, resinous and sappy, pine-sap,treacle, golden syrup, sweet, terry rope, cocoa and dark chocolate, toffee, still a brightness of zesty oranges like cleanser/cleaning products? honeycomb and cinder toffee, reminded me of walking into a smoky old bookshop or cinema (pre-smoking ban – of course)


Rich, medium-bodied, zesty orange citrus, oak wood, tannic in places like a well-stewed tea, cinder toffee, linseed oil and lanolin, ginger, some crystallized, sweet then savoury, malty granary bread and a little sour note like lime juice on fresh (unsweetened/green) coconut, the smell of warmed toffee buttered popcorn – maybe slightly over-warmed (back to that old cinema again!) and chocolate.


Long, tannic, ginger, orange (fruit and leaf) & mint tea, hints of laurel/bay leave, clove and savory leaf, perhaps a touch of cardamom in this herbal melange too.


Deliciously old, this whisky from 1948 took me back to a smoky old cinema, probably showing a classic film in black & white, from the era this hails. Lots of lovely matured orange notes along with some malt, lots of wood and a wisp of smoke all combine to produce something truly wonderful. Some interesting herbality too. Fantastic!

Score: 90/100

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