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Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled the fourth edition in its annual series celebrating the legacy of George Urquhart – the man described by whisky writer Charlie MacLean as ‘the father of single malt whisky’.

The Mr George Legacy 1958 from Glen Grant Distillery was laid down by ‘Mr George’, as he was known to those who knew him best and has been left to mature for 65 years in cask no.3818, a first-fill Sherry butt made to his exact specifications. Bottled in November 2023 at a cask strength of 56.5% - remarkable considering its age – the release is priced at £7,000. Just 376 bottles are available for sale worldwide.

This edition’s packaging and support campaign is themed around having the courage of one’s convictions, symbolised by ‘The Lone Oak’. Mr George’s approach – to age whisky for as long as it needed – was seen by some as eccentric during his lifetime. The theme celebrates this philosophy of occasionally going against the grain but always standing firm to one’s principles in pursuit of perfection.

More than six decades of maturation has delivered a smooth, full-bodied whisky with sweet and warm spices on the nose. Packed with Seville orange peel, dark morello cherry and coffee bean flavours, the long and balanced finish fades with a hint of smoke.

Stuart Urquhart, Operations Director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: “My grandfather had a particular affinity with Glen Grant Distillery. Local to our home in Elgin, Mr George had a strong relationship with the owners and distillers through the decades and he enjoyed experimenting with different casks to complement the distillery’s lighter spirit style.

“Back in the 1950s, the spirit would have been slightly smoky due to floor maltings and a small level of peat being used, which is a style rarely seen in today’s modern Speyside whiskies, giving this whisky a charred oakiness, balanced by long-term maturation in a Sherry cask made of European oak.”

Charlie MacLean, whisky writer and expert, added: “This is an exceptionally fine old whisky, hugely complex, but still remarkably vivacious. Another worthy tribute to Mr George Urquhart, the man who put malt whisky on the map.”

‘Mr George’ Urquhart, second generation of the family that owns Gordon & MacPhail, was a true pioneer of whisky. In 1968 he created the iconic Connoisseurs Choice range featuring single malts at a time when most were used for blending, with his inquisitive nature and patience providing time for each whisky to mature to its full potential. His spirit lives on in this release and his legacy has provided knowledge that continues to provide a guiding light for future generations.

Founded in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail has bottled spirit from over 100 Scottish distilleries, developing unique experience of how to mature single malts for many decades in their own casks.

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Glen Grant 1958 bottle on stand