Monday 24 May 2021

67yo "Mr George Legacy" Glen Grant 1953 from Gordon & MacPhail [Tasted #518]

Over the past few years I've been fortunate to try some pretty incredible Gordon & MacPhail bottlings - many of them positively geriatric (including one in it's 70s - notes here), but my favourite by far has been the 62yo 1956 "Mr George Centenary" (tasted here). I called it my top whisky of 2019, and if I'm honest, it remained so across 2020 too. when G&M reached out and asked if I'd like to try the new "Mr George Legacy" 1st Edition - also a Glen Grant, but this time a 1953 bottled just after its 67th birthday, I wasn't going to say no!

Distilled on Christmas Eve 1953 and bottled on 5th Jan 2021, the whisky spent its whole life in a First Fill Sherry Butt, and retained a hefty (and frankly astonishing) 59.4% ABV when bottled after those 67 years. 

Bottled to celebrate the Legacy of "Mr George" Urquhart (second generation of the G&M family and the man who created the Connoisseurs Choice range which still remains hugely popular today), a total of 355 bottles are available. A fitting tribute to someone Charlie MacLean refers to as "The father, the originator of the current success and appreciation of Scotch Malt Whiskies" then!

Describing Mr George's influence on the company and wider Scotch whisky scene, Stephen Rankin, grandson and G&M's Director of Prestige said: “My grandfather possessed a passion for taking single malts beyond these shores. Over many decades, he built and nurtured close relationships with some of Scotland’s leading distilleries and proudly took as much as he could carry on his international trips. I have fond memories of joining him, meeting new people, and telling stories about the casks he’d chosen to bring out the best in the different types of spirit."

Gordon & MacPhail 1953 Glen Grant 67yo "Mr George Legacy" (59.4% ABV, 67yo, Cask #4209, Speyside, £5,000)

Colour: Intensely deep ruby-red copper.

Nose: Maraschino cherries and cough syrup, with old leather-bound books initially. Seriously "decadent", mature and complex. Sherry-soaked dates, furniture polish & hazelnuts. Water adds a little more nuttiness.

Palate: Zesty at first, with citrus spice, and cigar leaves soaked in orange. Grassy and with blackcurrant hints, the nearly 60% ABV does bring some heat, but it's a very composed and complex palate overall. There's some ginger and a plum sweetness, with mint notes towards the end. Water brings more of a meaty, earthen note.

Long notes of leather cigar pouch with residual earthy smoke and paprika.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100. There's a huge amount going on here, and it's all delicious. A stunning dram - even more impressive when you consider that after 67 years in a 1st fill butt, there's no "off" notes - no overly-oaky tannins, no sulphur. A stunning cask and a testament to both Mr George and the wider G&M team.


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