Mosstowie 1979 (Gordon & MacPhail)

Mosstowie 1979 (Gordon & MacPhail)

This Mosstowie 1979 is the third of four 125th Anniversary releases from Gordon & MacPhail. With just 164 bottles this one is far more rare than the previous two releases.

Mosstowie is the name of the single malt distilled in two Lomond stills at the Miltonduff distillery between 1964 and 1981 (now removed). Lomond stills have a traditional bulb at the bottom but a straight neck with adjustable rectifier plates which could control the character of the spirit to a certain extent. Interesting but the maintenance turned out to be labour intensive and the spirit often not popular with blenders.

It’s a rare name. There was never an official bottling of Mosstowie and now Gordon & MacPhail has bottled the last remaining cask in its inventory.


Mosstowie 40 yo 1979 (49,8%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘125th Anniversary’ 2020, refill sherry hogshead #20323, 164 btl.)

Nose: starts halfway between lemony freshness and an oily, even kind of meaty umami note. Then it shows some blossomy and slightly milky (latte) notes, mixed with fruit tea, baked apple and hints of shoe polish. Toned down notes of apricots and worn leather. Damp ferns, maybe a faint smoky edge as well. Fairly soft but pretty complex.

Mouth: rather oily. Starts on crushed black peppercorns, with shy sherry fruits underneath, mainly blackcurrants. Sappy flavours, some dried herbs, mixed with clove and cedar wood. Green tea, hints of grapefruit. Again a subtle umami undertone.

Finish: medium, with herbal oak, resins and aromatic mint.

It’s a truly rare spirit, a bit shy but definitely showing character. A great nose but it looses some points on the palate, where it shows less complexity. On its way to stores as we speak, for around £ 1500.