Whisky collectors, reach for your auction paddles as the Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old Glen Grant 1948 Single Malt makes its Hong Kong debut this month.
Every now and then, an echo from the past resounds in the present. In whisky terms, this is when a truly special dram emerges from the distiller’s archives, waiting for only the most discerning collectors to snap up. Well, just such an event is slated for this month, when a coveted bottle of Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old will be up for grabs at Bonhams auction house in Hong Kong in its world premiere.
One of the oldest and most prestigious whiskies in existence today, the bottle exemplifies Gordon & MacPhail‘s core values of delivering the highest quality products with only 290 exclusive units available worldwide. Heralded by famed Scottish whisky critic Charles MacLean as one of the most incredible whiskies of his 40-year career, the Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old transcends being a simple drink and becomes a work of art in the hands of a true collector.
“I am generally sceptical about very old malts because they lose vitality and tend to become fragile and flat. Not in this case!” says MacLean, a Master of the Quaich. “Its great age adds value to the experience of tasting it, conjuring images of what the world was like in 1948. It is outstanding.”
The highly-sought-after number 88 bottle of Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old will make its first market appearance at the upcoming Bonhams whisky auction on January 29 and following Gordon & MacPhail’s 70-Year-Old Glenlivet (below) sale for GBP43,000 (HK$456,000) in the UK, the new release expects to break this record with its value and rarity.
A hugely rewarding whisky, the Speyside single malt allows collectors to experience the taste of 1948, opening a sensory door to another era. In this post-war period, most of the casks used for maturing the spirit were seasoned with sherry, having been used to ship fortified wines from Spain. In addition, the high ABV retained at 56.2% promises that the aroma and taste are still vital and potent inside the bottle, a rare quality for advanced age whiskies.
“The Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year-Old is the oldest ever whisky released from the legendary Glen Grant distillery that could go down in history as the greatest cask of all time,” says John Rhodes, co-founder of The Hong Kong Whisky Festival and a Hong Kong specialist retailer. “Consumers and collectors alike are now more informed about whisky and its history. What Gordon & MacPhail provides is the story behind each cask through the aroma, taste, texture, and bottle design.”
With a deep amber hue from the Oloroso sherry aged in the American oak cask, this remarkable spirit promises notes of Christmas cake moistened with Oloroso sherry, prune juice, baked apple skin. chocolate, and liquorice coffee grounds, with a tannic, dry finish with a surprising punch of spice.
The whisky is presented in a bespoke Dartington Crystal decanter, using traditional glass-blowing techniques from one of the few crystal brands still producing in the UK, which in turn is housed in a substantial American black walnut box.