Tuesday 30 April 2024

Gordon & MacPhail "Mr George Legacy" (4th Ed) 65yo 1958 Glen Grant [Tasted #660]

It was almost a year ago to the day I tried Gordon & MacPhail's "Mr George Legacy" 3rd Ed, a 63yo Glen Grant from 1959, and the third in the excellent "Mr George Legacy" series. Many thought that was the final release in the series, but here we are 12 months later, and G&M have honoured their second generation "Mr George" Urquhart (arguably the father of single malt whisky's popularity) with another release - this time a 65yo from 1958.

Sticking with tradition, this release is again a Glen Grant, bottled from a single cask (a first-fill Sherry butt laid down by "Mr George" himself in 1958) at 56.5% in November 2023. Cask No.3818 produced just 376 bottles, slightly more (but more or less in the ballpark) as the rest of the "Mr George" series, meaning like the releases before it, this will no doubt be a hard bottle to acquire.

Stuart Urquhart, Operations Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: 
“My grandfather had a particular affinity with Glen Grant Distillery. Local to our home in Elgin, Mr George had a strong relationship with the owners and distillers through the decades and he enjoyed experimenting with different casks to complement the distillery’s lighter spirit style."

This edition’s packaging and support campaign is themed around having the courage of conviction, symbolised by ‘The Lone Oak’. Mr George’s approach – to age whisky for as long as it needed – was seen by some as eccentric during his lifetime. The theme celebrates this philosophy of occasionally going against the grain but always standing firm to one’s principles in pursuit of perfection. 

With scores of 92, 9294 for the previous 3 releases respectively (& 95 for the original "Mr George Centenary" release) there's some serious pedigree to live up to....so does it? Let's find out...

Gordon & MacPhail "Mr George Legacy" (4th Ed) Glen Grant 65yo 1958 (56.5% ABV, 65yo, Single Cask, Speyside, Scotland, One of 376 bottles, £7,000)

Colour: Deep, dark coffee-burgundy

Nose: Richly oaked sherry, but with a real fruit vibrancy. Cherries, cola, spices and old books too - an amazing mix of "old" and "fresh". Cocoa, coffee beans and sweet coffee notes follow. An incredibly intoxicating nose.

Palate: True to the nose. There's cherry, cola bottle lollies, oak, coffee beans, licorice twists and a flamed orange peel. After time, some sweeter orange cream emerges. Leather and rich dark chocolate. It's all here. The alcohol is present, but extremely well-integrated, never seeming overbearing or "hot" (despite the realtively high ABV). I'll often taste a whisky with an incredible nose, but a lacking palate. Here, the nose matches the palate in terms of character and quality. Amazing. A friend referred to this as "elegant" and that's exactly what it is.

Finish: Extremely long, with herbal hints of old oak, and coffee beans.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100 (Martin). The best of the "Mr George" series to date, in my opinion, and so so close to the "Mr George Centenary" (still one of my favourite whiskies of the last 5 years). Just a beautiful, beautiful dram.

A big thanks once again to G&M & WS for the sample.