Gordon & MacPhail have just presented a Glen Grant 1956 ‘Mr George Centenary Edition’ in honour of George Urquhart, the second generation of the family that owns G&M and the grandfather of the current directors. It would have been his 100th birthday just now.
He created the Connoisseurs Choice range in 1968, giving little-known distilleries a platform to present their whisky in its purest form, as a single malt.
The spirit, from one of his favourite distilleries Glen Grant, was personally matched by Mr George to a first-fill sherry butt made to his specific requirements. It is bottled after 62 years of maturation and presented in a decanter with a wooden case. Only 235 bottles will be available from specialist whisky retailers for £ 5000.
Glen Grant 62 yo 1956 (51,7%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Mr George Centenary Edition’ 2019, first-fill sherry butt #4455, 235 btl.)
Nose: great intensity and aromatics. There’s a wave of oak polish up front, with whiffs of acetone. These fade and anyway, I adore them. Figs and Corinth raisins, lush cherries and blackberry jelly. Then eucalyptus, rosewood and cedar, caramelised brown sugar, old rancio notes and tobacco. Mediterranean herbs add to the freshness. Slightly tense floral notes and honey. Reminds me of the Book of Kells releases, just majestic.
Mouth: the oak feels a bit but there’s much more to be discovered. Lots of pipe tobacco and cognac rancio again, then thick blackcurrants, even flashes of clementine and pink grapefruit and marmalade which make it lighter. Moves towards dark chocolate, nuts, clove and allspice. Hints of coffee. Subtle traces of smoked / charred wood.
Finish: more chocolate, black peppercorn and oak char.
Quite spectacular how the cask enriched this whisky. A luscious, complex dram that you can nose for hours. It’s neither too dry nor flat, which is sometimes the case at this age. Expensive of course, but a special treat and a very worthy tribute. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.