Lochside / Glen Mhor / St Magdalene (G&M The Recollection)

Lochside / Glen Mhor / St Magdalene (G&M The Recollection)

It has taken a while due to a blocked nose and a full agenda, but I can finally take the time to try the new Recollection series from Gordon & MacPhail (see last week’s news post). It is an annual series of rare single malt whiskies from closed distilleries. The first batch includes three forgotten masterpieces – later nine more casks will follow this year. Read more about this series on the Gordon & MacPhail website.

We start with a Lochside 1981, something that almost never hits the market indeed. Then there’s Glen Mhor 1982. The third whisky is St Magdalene 1982, a sister cask of the one bottled by Gordon & MacPhail three years ago in the same style of bottle.


Lochside 40 yo 1981 (49,2%, Gordon & MacPhail 2021, refill sherry hogshead #802, 141 btl.)

Nose: reminds me of cognac in a way, because of the refined combination of tangerines, minty wood and leather. It really takes some warming up to kickstart the more tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. Then mixed berries, soft hints of cake and the passion fruit green tea I had the other day. Almond notes, a little graphite and subtle tobacco leaves come out after a while.

Mouth: starts slightly woody, on candied ginger and walnuts, with a lightly tannic edge and heavily infused fruit tea. That said, there are great hints of mango and pink grapefruit, mixed with orange peels and subtle menthol. Quite close to beautiful rancio from old cognacs indeed. Then just a darker hint of coffee, eucalyptus bark and resinous notes towards the end.

Finish: medium long, on herbal notes, drying cocoa powder and tea.

Great to experience the Lochside profile again – a profile that is now easier to find in old cognac than in whisky I’d say. Contrary to the ones below, I feel this couldn’t be kept for much longer, otherwise the oak would have become a little too prominent. It is the most expensive bottling here (£ 3200) which makes the other two a little more attractive in my opinion. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.



Glen Mhor 40 yo 1982 (50,8%, Gordon & MacPhail 2022, refill sherry hogshead #72, 174 btl.)

Glen Mhor 1981 - G&M Private CollectionNose: more sherry in this one. Tobacco and cigar boxes, alongside toasted hazelnuts and a lot of polished furniture. Dried fruits, old leather bound books and whiffs of chocolate. Black peppercorns, minty notes and a subtle sourness of cherries as well. Excellent.

Mouth: quite a dark profile now, with lots of chestnuts, tobacco leaves, dark chocolate powder and a meatiness underneath. A lovely dustiness, as well as a brown sugar and dark herbal honey sweetness in the background. A few drops of herbal extracts. The weight and richness is quite stunning.

Finish: long, on marmalade, chocolate, tobacco and gentle spice.

Excellent whisky with a certain rustic, robust side that suits it. The sweet and spicy layers make this richer and more complex than I expected, and surpass the lighter, more narrow fruity style of the Lochside. I’ve only had a handful Glen Mhor releases, but this is the best one by far. Around £ 2250. Score: 92/100



St Magdalene 39 yo 1982 (54,8%, Gordon & MacPhail 2022, refill American hogshead #2094, 165 btl.)

St Magdalene 1982 - G&M Private CollectionNose: the integration and the elegance here are stunning. Mineral notes, hay and a herbalist’s shop. Light muddy elements and earth. Then there’s also a warmer, fruitier side with stewed apples, dried pineapple slices, bergamot sherbet and citrus peels. Then high class tea, as well as whiffs of potpourri, some beeswax and old attics. Leathery notes too, as expected. Very complex.

Mouth: just lovely. There’s still a wide array of citrusy notes including bergamot and candied lemons, but also a nice honey sweetness and even some icing sugar. Subtle floral touches. Pineapple sets in later, with sweet waxy and greasy notes. Then chamomile, very light vanilla, herbal teas and tobacco leaves. The sweeter side really works here, and it’s got a few elements that you really only find in very old whisky.

Finish: medium long, with more of the citrus / honey theme, as well as some warming oak.

If I could pick one favourite then I’d go for this St Magdalene. The rounder sweetness and fruitiness from the American oak, with the perfect amount of tobacco, herbs and other old-school notes… marvellous whisky! Around £ 2250 from The Whisky Exchange among others. Score: 93/100