St. Magdalene 1965 (Gordon & MacPhail)

The vast majority of the output of the Saint Magdalene distillery was used in blends. As a consequence of the big whisky slump of the late 1970s, it ceased production and closed in 1983.

This release was distilled in 1965 and bottled under Gordon & Macphail‘s Connoisseur’s Choice ‘Map Label’ series. Three versions exist: one bottled in 1991, a second one bottled in 1993 and this version which doesn’t have a neck label to indicate the bottling year. I assume this predates the other two.



St. Magdalene 1965 - Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs ChoiceSt. Magdalene 1965 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, late 1980s, 75 cl)

Nose: a subdued style, the most prominent note being a kind of sweet tobacco note and something of (proper) vanilla pods. Vague, ripe fruity notes underneath. Light metallic / mineral notes, copper polish, lots of oily touches as well. Dried herbs and eucalyptus. Dusty wardrobes. Signs of OBE, but it could be the malt itself.

Mouth: so unique. It’s a mix of cough syrup, herbal teas, some shoe polish, tobacco, old resins and very soft apricots. Sooty hints in the background. Mint and eucalyptus (of course). Gets a little dry in the end.

Finish: not too long, on tobacco leaves, ashes and still this metallic edge.

An artefact from different times, when the distillation process wasn’t as precisely controlled as it is today. I love it, in spite of – and because of – its quirky profile. TWE is selling it for £ 750.

Score: 92/100