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Whisky creator Gordon & MacPhail releases rare Coleburn single malt in Spring Collection

Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige, Gordon & MacPhail_image 2

With more than 100 years of experience creating single malt whisky, Gordon & MacPhail have unveiled their Spring Collection, which includes a remarkable series of exquisite whiskies.

The highlight of this release is the latest edition of the ‘Private Collection’ range, Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery; this outstanding whisky has been maturing for 38 years in the company’s specially selected cask.

Following more than three decades of maturation, along with the meticulous blending of the spirit with a carefully matched first fill Sherry hogshead, the flavours created for this edition are extraordinarily rare and ready to be enjoyed.

The maturation process has created a distinct mahogany hue, with rich aromas of Sherry-soaked fruits and a subtle touch of beeswax polish. Black cherries were drizzled with rich caramel to give a scent of fresh coffee and smokiness; very enticing to those who get too close.

A perfect blend of dark chocolate, coffee and ripe plums create a delicate palatable flavour, whilst the subtle hint of liquorice and oak provide a note of nuttiness. The indulgent flavours finish with hints of rich fruitcake, coffee and toffee which softly evolve into leather with subtle notes of smoke.

G&M_Private Collection_Coleburn 1981_CS_55.9 BOXED
Only 101 bottles of the rare Coleburn single malt are available worldwide

Laid down on the 11th of March, 1981, to mature in cask 476, Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery was bottled at 55.9% ABV this year, on the 14th of March. With only 101 bottles available worldwide, demand will high for this unique addition to the ‘Private Collection’.

Originally established as a grocery business in 1895, founders James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail encountered a passion and appreciation for the rich flavours they curated from around the world, ultimately leading them to produce single malt whiskies.

For over 123 years, Gordon & MacPhail have been building relationships, experimenting with flavours and casks and have gained the unrivalled depth of knowledge which allows them to create exquisitely unique spirits.

The independently-run family business is proudly known as the ‘World’s Leading Malt Whisky Specialist’, and rightly so, as their luxurious whiskies continuously provide truth for this statement.

With a worldwide reputation for creating exceptionally rare single malts which have featured spirits from over 100 distilleries across Scotland, the company use casks made from high-quality oak to slowly create the unparalleled flavour.

Stephen Rankin, Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige and member of the fourth generation of the Urquhart family, explained how their “mantra has always been to ‘do right by the whisky’; recognising when it has reached its ultimate peak and then bottling it regardless of commercial pressures or notable birthdays”.

Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige, Gordon & MacPhail_image 1
Stephen Rankin is Gordon & MacPhail’s Director of Prestige

Released as a rare single malt, this magnificent 38-year-old whisky “exhibits the true spirit of the Coleburn Distillery”, according to Rankin.

Thanks to the preparations from four generations of the Urquhart family, the owners of Gordon & MacPhail, the company is currently maturing spirit from 26 mothballed or closed distilleries, including Coleburn Distillery.

Founded in 1897 in Longmorn, Coleburn Distillery has been home to this unique 38-year-old spirit. Hidden within the beautiful Scottish landscapes and positioned five miles south from Elgin in Speyside, this distillery was designed by renowned architect, Charles Doig, who also designed the Gordon & MacPhail retail shop in Elgin.

The exquisite Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery is a unique purchase for those wanting to experience the latest edition from these whisky connoisseurs. Truly a drink to honour, Stephen Rankin gives praises to his grandfather, George Urquhart, for the success they have now.

He proudly explains how his grandfather was “keen to champion the quality of the new-make from previously unheralded distilleries and this remarkable whisky perfectly exemplifies his vision. It’s one to celebrate and savour”.

This rare single malt whisky will be available to purchase worldwide from selected specialist retailers. At £1,250, this will be a drink to unhurriedly indulge in.

This rare single malt whisky will be available to purchase worldwide from selected specialist retailers

Whilst Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery is the highlight of the Spring Collection, there are two more notable whiskies to keep an eye on. Connoisseurs Choice 1998 from Glenburgie will give you a creamy, palatable flavour of vanilla fudge topped with apple pie, followed by hints of milk chocolate.

Notes of black pepper with subtle signs of aniseed produces a mature oak flavour that intensifies the experience. The finishing touch is a warming note of sweet fudge with lingering pepper. At £136 and a strength of 55.3%, only 245 bottles will be available for purchase; this is a whisky that is unmissable.

Similarly, Connoisseurs Choice 2006 from Ledaig Distillery offers a striking whisky, which has been carefully crafted for pure indulgence. A taste of cracked pepper with smouldering bonfire embers give an intense experience, which is followed by sweet spices, baked apples and hints of drying grapefruit. Accompanied by the subtle hints of chocolate coffee, the finishing notes are citrusy and smoky.

At £73, this 2006 whisky has been carefully crafted by using a peated new-make spirit that has been perfectly paired with a specially selected first-fill Sherry hogshead.

For more information on the exquisite Spring Collection by Gordon & MacPhail, visit