Mortlach 2.81 distillation

Mortlach 15-Year-Old Gordon & Macphail (1970s & 2015)

Reflecting on my initial discussion of Mortlach from three years prior (time flies!), I recall mentioning the need to delve into their 2.81 distillation process, potentially following an overview of distillation itself. It seems that slipped my mind! Nevertheless, I’ll share some insights into their distillation method shortly. Meanwhile, let’s juxtapose two iterations of Mortlach’s 15-year-old, bottled by Gordon & Macphail: a vintage edition from the 1970s and a more recent release from 2015.

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Millburn 1978 Gordon & Macphail

Millburn Distillery, Inverness’ eldest among three (with Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor), traces its origins to a farm distillery alongside a river powering mill wheels, likely predating legal recognition. Though achieving legal status between 1805 and 1807, it remained inactive. A revival in 1825, led by inexperienced owners, faltered amidst the 1823 Excise Act’s challenges, closing in the 1850s, reverting to a flour mill. Rekindled in the 1870s by David Rose, it flourished under his son George’s management until the Haigs acquired it in 1892. Passing through several hands, including Booth’s and DCL, it ceased operations in 1985 due to the whisky surplus. Attempts at revival were thwarted in 1990, with the site repurposed as ‘The Auld Distillery,’ yet the potential for a micro-distillery remains, a tribute to Inverness’ legacy. We try today a Millburn 1978 bottled by Gordon & Macphail.

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Glen Albyn Distillery

Glen Albyn 1974 Gordon & Macphail (2003)

Second whisky of my closed distilleries series comes from Inverness in the Highlands. We have today a Glen Albyn 1974 from Gordon & Macphail‘s Connoisseurs Choice’s range, at the time of their map labels. But first, let’s talk about Glen Albyn history and a view about how it ran at the end of the 1800s. Then, we’ll review this Glen Albyn 1974 Gordon & Macphail.

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Glenesk 1980 Gordon & Macphail

Glenesk 1980 Gordon & Macphail (2014)

During my few days in London a few weeks ago, I went twice to the absolutely fantastic Melody Whisky Bar, and treated myself the first time to a Closed Distilleries flight, and the second time other few closed distilleries as well as some unicorns. I took detailed tasting notes whilst taking the time to study these whiskies from now silent stills (for most of the whiskies I tried there), and so now I’ll put those notes down on those pages. Whilst all of these whiskies might not be as good as the melancholy for silent distilleries would want them to be, these are witnesses of other times and stories and as such, deserve respect and attention. And as you’ll have guessed, we start with this Glenesk 1980 from Gordon & Macphail this series of reviews of whiskies from closed distilleries.

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Glen Grant distillery

Glen Grant 1948 Gordon & Macphail

A few weeks ago my father turned 70. Lockdown prevented the family to be reunited to celebrate this milestone birthday with him and forced us to postpone a proper celebration. But we’ll just do that another time when it will be safer out there for everyone. Okay, probably not anytime soon. Anyway, a 70th birthday was calling for something special to celebrate when we would be able to see each other, and thanks to the wonderful generosity of a friend, I got a large sample of something even older than my father to share with him: a 1948 Glen Grant bottled by Gordon & Macphail. Younger by age count, but two years older by “distillation/birth” year… and definitely the oldest Glen Grant reviewed here.

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Balblair tasting with friends

A Balblair tasting with friends

A couple weeks ago, my friends from the #LetsTrySomeWhisky group on Twitter joined me to the third tasting I had prepared a long time ago (just before my trip to Scotland, a year and a half ago!) Yes, three tastings in 18 months, you cannot think we overdo things, except taking our sweet time. Anyway. Our first tasting was about Yoichi single malts, while the second was about trying a few French whiskies. And this time? We were going to taste 4 Balblair single malts, one independant and three official bottlings, all around 10 years old. Only difference from the first two tastings we did : this time we would not do it blind. Why? Well, it’s a bit hard to discern a 10yo Balblair from another, right? I won’t present here the distillery as I usually do, as I’ve already covered a bit about Balblair in the two 1979 Balblair reviews I published, one for the official bottling, and one for a bottling by Gordon&Macphail. So let’s get directly to the point, shall we?

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Balblair 1979 Gordon & Macphail review

Balblair 1979 Gordon & Macphail review

Wow, the blog is almost one year old, and later in this post we’ll have our 100th review. Time flies. We started this blog with Julien ‘Ainulindalë’ in early August 2019 and had started discussing about it shortly after our trip together in Scotland to the Spirit of Speyside Festival earlier that year, as we went with two other people to celebrate my 40th birthday.

What was still a recent passion for me became almost the only thing I think about (not sure if it’s before or after my wife and children. Though the children can be really good at making me thinking immediately about needing a dram as soon as possible.), and I guess it was a revelation for Julien, who was mostly into beer, both as a brewer and a drinker (note from Julien: yes it was!). After thinking about a good name (‘veni vidi whisky’, its variant ‘veni bibi whisky’ and ‘whisky or not to be’ were other name candidates, the former being dropped as a silent twitter account but that name already existed unfortunately), I bought the domain name, the hosting and started creating the blog and the design probably in July 2019. Read more