The Whiskyphiles

Whiskyphile, noun [C] specialized / ˈwɪs.ki.faɪl / a disciplined devotion to whisky. Established 2013.

Gordon & MacPhail

Gordon & MacPhail

gm-logo

Website: http://www.gordonandmacphail.com/

On 24th May 1895, the Elgin Courant reported the opening “in New, Centrical, and Commodious Premises, No’s 38 and 40 South Street… a Family Grocers, Tea, Wine & Spirit Merchants”.

The founders of the firm were James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail, and from the outset (as the newspaper reported) the stock was “personally selected”, with a view to providing “a superior article at a popular price” and giving “the utmost satisfaction”.

Among the new shop’s first employees was John Urquhart, a lad of fifteen who was to serve his apprenticeship under the partners. He was an able learner, and before long was helping James Gordon to select and buy casks of malt whisky from local distilleries, and assisting with the creation of house blends for the firm’s customers around the north of Scotland. When J.A. MacPhail retired in March 1915, Urquhart became a partner in the business, and when James Gordon died suddenly only two weeks later, he became senior partner.

In parallel with the grocery side of the enterprise, John Urquhart developed the whisky broking business begun by James Gordon, and in particular began to specialise in single malt whiskies – bottling under license for famous distilleries such as Macallan, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Linkwood and Mortlach. As part of this business he began to select and fill his own casks – almost always Spanish oak, ex-sherry casks – at these and other distilleries, and to mature his whiskies for much longer than was customary at the time.

John Urquhart was joined by his son, George, and daughter, Betty, in 1933, and by another son, Gordon, in 1950. By this time the family firm held the largest range of bottled malt whiskies in the world. Most makes were unavailable elsewhere, since very few distillery owners bottled their own malts as singles – indeed, it is no overstatement to say that Gordon & MacPhail single-handedly kept the amber lamp of aged malt whisky burning during the post-war decades!

In the mid-1960s George Urquhart took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts from different distilleries under the brand name ‘Connoisseur’s Choice’, and offered the range for sale in the rapidly expanding Italian, French, American and Dutch markets. This move laid the foundations for the significant interest in malt whisky in these countries that remains to this day.

Just as his father had introduced him to the firm, so George brought in his own children. The oldest, Ian, joined in 1967, after having been trained in the wine and spirit trade in London and France. He was followed by David in 1972 and Michael in 1981. The former had studied business in Aberdeen; Michael is a Chartered Accountant. George’s daughter, Rosemary joined in 1981.

The family partnership became a limited company in the late 1970s, but ownership and management remained with the family, as it does to this day. George Urquhart died in 2001, five years before his grandsons Stephen Rankin and Neil Urquhart were appointed Associate Directors. They became Directors in September 2010.

Today sees other members of the fourth generation join the firm as Richard Urquhart and twin brother Stuart continue the family tradition and support the company as it moves into a fast-paced, technology driven 21st century.

Gordon & MacPhail Whisky Reviews

Cask Strength

  • balblair-1993-cask-strength-gm Balblair 21 Years Old 1993 Cask Strength ~ 53.4% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Balblair 21 Years Old 1993 Cask Strength Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Balblair Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Cask Strength; Cask 1962 ABV: 53.4% Cost: [sold out] What they say: Distilled 28/06/1993 at Balbair distillery and matured for a full 21 years in a 1st fill Sherry Puncheon (Cask #1962) before bottling on 10/11/2014 […]
  • Caol Ila 10 Years Old 2003 – Cask Strength ~ 59.6% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Caol Ila 10 Years Old 2003 – Cask Strength Islay single malt scotch whisky 59.6% ABV, £53.95 available from Royal Mile Whiskies Score: 86/100 What they say: A 2003 vintage Caol Ila released by independent bottlers Gordon & MacPhail as part of the Cask Strength Series. Distilled on September 10, this was aged for 10 […]

Connoisseurs Choice

In the 1960s George Urquhart, one of the first of four generations of the Urquhart family to shape the future of Gordon & MacPhail, pioneered a range of single malt Scotch whiskies, which he selected, matured, and bottled. In doing so, he effectively invented a category in a market previously focused entirely on blended whiskies.
The ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range broke innovative new ground, giving a platform to many of Scotland’s single malt distilleries from across all regions, some of which had never before been bottled as a single malt.

Over the past five decades, we have maintained our belief that every distillery has a personality of its own. The collection of whiskies in the ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ range is constantly evolving, aiming always to highlight the unique characteristics of the individual distilleries.

The ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ collection brings together rare and sought after single malts from some of Scotland’s longest established distilleries; we mature and bottle spirit from distilleries as diverse as Caol Ila on the island of Islay to Strathmill in Speyside.

The range also highlights the output of Scotland’s newer distilleries, such as our releases from the Isle of Arran distillery.

  • Allt-á-Bhainne 16 Years Old 1996 – Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Allt-á-Bhainne 16 Years Old 1996 – Connoisseurs Choice Speyside single malt scotch whisky 46% ABV, £51.64 for 70cl Score: 84/100 What they say: With a light body thanks to a refill sherry hogshead maturation, this is a delicious 1996 vintage from Speyside’s Allt-á-Bhainne distillery. It was bottled for Gordon and MacPhail’s stellar Connoisseurs Choice range. […]
  • Caol Ila 2004 Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2004 (Bottled 2016) Connoisseur’s Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Caol Ila 2004 (Bottled 2016) Connoisseur’s Choice Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky Origin: Caol Ila Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseur’s Choice ABV: 46% Cost: £42.43 from Master of Malt What they say: In the mid-1960s Gordon & MacPhail took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts under the […]
  • Caperdonich 14 Years Old 1999 Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Caperdonich 14 Years Old 1999 Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail) 46% ABV, £40 for 70cl Score: 79/100 What they say: A sumptuous Speyside single malt which slumbered in Sherry butts from 1999 to 2013. This Caperdonich makes for a fine addition to Gordon & MacPhail’s Connoisseurs Choice. AROMA without water: Light and Fruity with tropical fruit […]
  • GM_Connoisseurs_Choice_Dalmore_2001_46_70cl Dalmore 2001 Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Dalmore 2001 Connoisseurs Choice (Bottled 2015) Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: The Dalmore Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Connoisseurs Choice ABV: 46% Cost: £40.33 from Master of Malt What they say: Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading single malt whisky specialists, has selected a special series of whiskies to showcase […]
  • glen-elgin-1998-bottled-2014-connoisseurs-choice-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Glen Elgin 1998 (Bottled 2014) Connoisseur’s Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Glen Elgin 1998 (Bottled 2014) Connoisseur’s Choice Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glen Elgin Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Connoisseur’s Choice ABV: 46% Cost: £61.72 from Master of Malt What they say: In the mid-1960s Gordon & MacPhail took the unprecedented step of launching a range of single malts under the […]
  • GM_Connoisseurs_Choice_Glenallachie_1999_46_70cl Glenallachie 1999 Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Glenallachie 1999 Connoisseurs Choice (Bottled 2013) Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenallachie Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Connoisseurs Choice ABV: 46% Cost: £33.12 from Master of Malt What they say: Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading single malt whisky specialists, has selected a special series of whiskies to showcase the company’s […]
  • The Whiskyphiles Glenlossie 1995 Connoisseurs Choice Glenlossie 18 Years Old 1995 – Connoisseurs Choice ~ 46% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Glenlossie 18 Years Old 1995 – Connoisseurs Choice 46% ABV, £39.95 for 70cl available from Royal Mile Whiskies here Score: 90/100 What they say: Glenlossie Distillery is sited, not far from Elgin, nestling under the cover of a fir clad hill. Its site enables the waters running from the Mannoch Hills to collect in a […]
  • Lochside_1991_13YO_CC Lochside 13 Years Old 1991 – Connoisseurs Choice ~ 43% (Gordon and MacPhail) - Lochside 13 Years Old 1991 – Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon and MacPhail) 43% ABV, £50 for 70cl or £4.90 / dram @ The Whiski Rooms Edinburgh Score: 82/100 What they say: From: http://www.gordonandmacphail.com/connoisseurs-choice/connoisseurs-choice-lochside-distilled-1991-strength-43-67.html Lochside Distillery began life as a brewery in the 1890s. After closing in the 1950s the site was bought by Joseph Hobbs, who […]
  • speyburn-1989-bottled-2013-connoisseurs-choice-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Speyburn 1989 – Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Speyburn 1989 – Connoisseurs Choice Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Speyburn Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – Connoisseurs Choice ABV: 46% Cost: £75.79 from Master of Malt Score: 86/100 What they say: COLOUR Dark Straw. Body Light. Finish Medium. Cask Type Refill Sherry Hogsheads. Style Delicate and well balanced. Tasting Note AROMA without water […]

Distillery Labels

  • ardmore-1996-bottled-2013-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Ardmore 1996 – Distillery Labels ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Ardmore 1996 – Distillery Labels Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Ardmore Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – Distillery Labels ABV: 43% Cost: £61.84 from Master of Malt Score: 85/100 What they say: COLOUR Dark Gold. Body Medium. Finish Long, smooth with hint of smoke. Cask Type Refill Sherry Hogsheads. Style Robust Highland Single […]
  • Glentauchers 19 Year Old 1991 Gordon & Macphail Glentauchers 1991 (Bottled 2010) ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Glentauchers 19 year old 1991 single malt scotch whisky Glentauchers Distillery via Gordon & MacPhail 43% ABV, RRP £42.99 for 70cl Score 89/100 What they say: Gordon & MacPhail “Located in the north-east of Scotland in the heart of the world famous whisky producing region of Speyside, Gordon & MacPhail is an independent family owned and […]
  • glentauchers-1996-bottled-2016-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Glentauchers 1996 (bottled 2016) ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Glentauchers 1996 (bottled 2016) Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glentauchers Distillery Bottling: Gordon & Macphail; Distillery Labels collection ABV: 43% Cost: £49.83 from Master of Malt What they say: In partnership with each respective distillery, all whiskies in our ‘Distillery Labels’ range are uniquely labelled. In years gone by many of […]
  • Imperial18yo1993-2011GM Imperial 18 Years Old 1993 ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Imperial 18 Years Old 1993 Speyside single malt scotch whisky 43% ABV, ~ £45 for 70cl Score: 87/100 What they say: Colour: Golden amber. WITHOUT WATER: Nose: Initially creamy, perfumed and fresh. Followed with hints of fudge, cooked fruit, and toasted malt. Palate: Starts off vary peppery with a slight bitterness (dark chocolate) and mouth […]
  • Imperial 1995 G&M Imperial 19 Years Old 1995 ~43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Imperial 19 Years Old 1995 ~43% (Gordon & MacPhail) 43% ABV, £58.95 for 70cl Score: 89/100 What they say: A 1995 vintage whisky from closed (although rumours are abound of its resurrection) Imperial, bottled by Gordon & Macphail with a retro distillery label. What I say: Dram #2 from WOLS tasting 14/3 ‘Age is only […]
  • linkwood-25-year-old-gm Linkwood 25 Years Old ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Linkwood 25 Years Old Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Linkwood Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Distillery Labels collection ABV: 43% Cost: £106.87 from Master of Malt [sold out] What they say: Colour: Dark golden. Body: Medium. Finish: Long. Cask Type: Refill Sherry casks. Style: A sophisticated Speysider – with some finesse. […]
  • Mortlach 15 Year Old Gordon & Macphail Mortlach 15 Years Old ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Mortlach 15 Years Old (Gordon & MacPhail) 43% ABV, £40 for 70cl Score 80/100 What they say: From Master of Malt A 15 year old from the Mortlach distillery, aged in first fill and refill sherry casks before bottling for Gordon and MacPhail. The nose is rich with cereal sweetness and warm barley. Apple blossom […]

The MacPhail’s Collection

  • bunnahabhain-8-year-old-the-macphails-collection-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky Origin: Bunnahabhain Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – The MacPhail’s Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £30.25 from Master Of Malt Score: 83/100 What they say: The MacPhail’s Collection from Bunnahabhain Distillery Peated 8 Years Old, Strength 43% COLOUR Pale Gold. Body […]
  • glenrothes-8-year-old-the-macphails-collection-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Glenrothes 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Glenrothes 8 Year Old – The MacPhail’s Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenrothes Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – The MacPhail’s Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £29.91 from Master of Malt Score: 81/100 What they say: The MacPhail’s Collection from Glenrothes Distillery 8 Years Old, Strength 43% COLOUR Pale Gold. Body Light. Finish Fairly […]
  • GM_The_MacPhails_Collection_Glenturret_2002_43_70cl Glenturret 2002 The MacPhail’s Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Glenturret 2002 The MacPhail’s Collection Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenturret Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, The MacPhail’s Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £40.19 from Master of Malt What they say: Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading single malt whisky specialists, has selected a special series of whiskies to showcase the […]

Private Collection

Rare Vintage

  • Glen-Grant-1954-Rare-Vintage-GM Glen Grant 1954 Rare Vintage ~ 40% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Glen Grant 1954 Rare Vintage Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glen Grant Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail Rare Vintage ABV: 40% Cost: £1167.76 from Master of Malt What they say: Colour Golden amber. Body Full Finish Long and fruity. Cask Type 1st Fill Sherry Casks Style After dinner dram. Tasting Note AROMA […]
  • Glenlivet-1974-Rare-Vintage-GM Smith’s Glenlivet 1974 Rare Vintage ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Review: Smith’s Glenlivet 1974 Rare Vintage Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: The Glenlivet Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail Distillery Own Labels ABV: 43% Cost: £420.67 from Master of Malt What they say: Colour Dark amber. Body Medium to full. Finish Lingering. Cask Type Refill American & refill Sherry casks. Style Well balanced and […]

Speymalt

  • macallan-1997-bottled-2015-speymalt-gordon-macphail-whisky Macallan 1997 (bottled 2015) Speymalt ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Macallan 1997 (bottled 2015) Speymalt Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: The Macallan Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail; Speymalt ABV: 43% Cost: £59.00 What they say: Distilled at The Macallan Distillery in 1997 and bottled in 2015 by Gordon & MacPhail under their Speymalt label. Colour: Dark Gold. Body: Medium, creamy and […]
  • Macallan-2006-Speymalt-Gordon-MacPhail The Macallan 2006 – Speymalt ~ 43% (Gordon & Macphail) - Review: The Macallan 2006 – Speymalt Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: The Macallan Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail – Speymalt ABV: 43% Cost: £32.95 from The Whisky Exchange What they say: Speymalt from Macallan Distillery Distilled 2006, Strength 43% COLOUR Pale Gold. Body Medium. Finish Medium and creamy with a smooth milk chocolate finish. Cask […]

Speyside Collection

  • glen-grant-1949-whisky Glen Grant 1949 Speyside Collection ~ 40% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Glen Grant 1949 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glen Grant distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt similar (bottled 2007) available for £2794.39 from Master of Malt   What they say: Speyside Collection Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has launched an exclusive Speyside Collection, […]
  • Linkwood1972SC Linkwood 1972 Speyside Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Linkwood 1972 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Linkwood Distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt  ~ £545 on its own from Whisky Online What they say: Speyside Collection Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has launched an exclusive Speyside Collection, offering customers […]
  • Longmorn1967SC Longmorn 1967 Speyside Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Longmorn 1967 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Longmorn distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt   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 […]
  • Mortlach1954SC Mortlach 1954 Speyside Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Mortlach 1954 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Mortlach distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt   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 […]
  • Glenlivet1948SC Smith’s Glenlivet 1948 Speyside Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Smith’s Glenlivet 1948 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Glenlivet distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt available individually for £3150.00 from Whisky Online What they say: Speyside Collection Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has launched an exclusive Speyside Collection, offering customers the chance […]
  • strathisla-1953-gordon-and-macphail-whisky Strathisla 1953 Speyside Collection ~ 43% (Gordon & MacPhail) - Whisky Review: Strathisla 1953 Speyside Collection Category: Speyside single malt scotch whisky Origin: Strathisla distillery Bottling: Gordon & MacPhail, Speyside Collection ABV: 43% Cost: £10,495.95 from Master of Malt available alone for £1948.56 from Master of Malt What they say: Speyside Collection Leading whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail has launched an exclusive Speyside Collection, offering customers the chance […]
%d bloggers like this: