Various ABVs 70cl x 4
This unique collection of four of the finest of Scotland’s single malt whiskies from Speyside has, due to its very limited numbers, receded somewhat into hidden exclusivity, so rarely does it appear in this splendid format of the four stupendous expressions captured within their supremely tasteful presentation of engraved solid glass decanters and fine vanished wooden cladding. Only a total of 55 complete sets were released.
The Private Collection Ultra series was launched in the form of a masterclass at The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show of 2014. The range of four single-cask whiskies, each selected by a branch of the third and fourth generations of the Urquhart family, was a highlight of the show. Four members of the family were present: Stephen Rankin, Laura, Michael and Richard Urquhart – each presenting one of the whiskies in the collection – along with whisky author, Jonny McCormick, who was behind the official tasting notes. The occasion also served as a farewell to the then retiring managing director of Gordon & MacPhail, Michael Urquhart, who joined the family business in 1981 and was departing after seven years at the helm.
While Michael Urquhart led the tasting, some of the fourth generation presented their branch’s selection. Thus, Stephen Rankin had chosen the Linkwood together with his mother, Rosemary Rankin, a retired director and Michael Urquhart’s sister, Richard Urquhart was responsible for the 1951 Mortlach, and Laura Urquhart, Michael’s daughter and the newest addition to the management team, presented the Strathisla. The Glenlivet was presented by writer Jonny McCormick.
The set of exceptional long-aged sherried whiskies comprises a decanter each of 61-year-old, 1953-vintage Linkwood; 62-year-old, 1952-vintage Glenlivet; 63-year-old, 1951-vintage Mortlach; and 57-year-old, 1957-vintage Strathisla. They come beautifully engraved and presented in individual varnished wood and glass displays and is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the avid collector.
Given the very limited quantities of these four releases, we have drawn on the tasting experience of other, more fortunate sources who were present at the 2014 masterclass, to describe their findings.
1951 Mortlach, G&M Private Collection Ultra
42.5% 70 cl
Drawn from hogshead 704 which yielded 61 Bottles in total of this 63 years old. This is a Mortlach from the time when the malting was done on site and the stills were direct fired. Mortlach is one of the specialties of G&M, who have a history of bottling it at many different ages, with this cask being the very pinnacle of that specialty.
Appearance: Bronze, legs are thin and long.
Nose: Cherry ice cream, dried apricots and dates, oranges, Old leather and touches of smoke.
Palate: Lots of oak in a full mouth coating feel, dry with some bitterness, mixing with raisin sweetness and milk chocolate.
Linger: Oranges, very mouth drying and “dusty”, bitter notes and a very waxy mouth feel. (Malt and Oak).
1957 Strathisla, G&M Private Collection Ultra
51.6% 70 cl
Drawn from sherry hogshead no 1736 to yield 61 bottles at 57 years old, making it the oldest Strathisla ever bottled
Appearance: This is the darkest of the four bottles, with a deep mahogany tone. The legs are slow and leave a ring of beads on top.
Nose: Polished wood, freshly minced white horseradish, cinnamon, fresh fruit, dusty leather and that old sherry notes similar to old books.
Palate: The palate is very dry, with dusty spices. After a few seconds in the mouth, the oak takes over with a pleasant bitterness.
Linger: The linger is very long in the gullet, with dry wood spices on the tongue.
(Malt and Oak).
1952 Glenlivet G&M Private Collection Ultra
43.4% 70 cl
Drawn from Sherry Hogshead 69133 – since re-casking in 1969. 69 Bottles in total. This 62 year old started out in a first-fill sherry butt, and spent 17 years in it before being transferred into a sherry hogshead in 1969.
Appearance: Bronze, thin legs leave a distinct ring on glass.
Nose: Fresh fruit (hints of the Glenlivet) , orange, old leather, apricot jam, a hint of balsamic vinegar and a whiff of smoke.
Palate: Oranges, old leather and dusty spices in a mouth filling and mouth drying delivery.
Linger: Dusty citrus, long orange notes, dryness on the tongue with a “dusty” feel.
(Malt and Oak).
1953 Linkwood, G&M Private Collection Ultra
49.4% 70 cl
Drawn from cask 279, to produce 55 bottles in total. Like the Strathilsa, this is the oldest ever bottling of a Linkwood at 61 years.
Appearance: Deep bronze, thin and slow legs.
Nose: Furniture polish, dusty library, dried figs, old leather, oak and an old lounge with a faint smoke in the air.
Palate: Smoky sherry, leather, rose water, very dense dark chocolate and spices. Water brings out more of the wood spice and makes it a bit waxy.
Linger: Old tobacco (not stale…old), mouth drying sherry with notes of freshly ground pepper. The finish is long.
(Malt and Oak).
This product is located in the United Kingdom.