A long defunct brand which used to belong to the once well-known London firm of wine and spirit merchants, Luis Gordon & Sons Limited.
Luis Gordon himself was owner of the oldest wine bar in London, former chairman of the family sherry shippers, and consultant to Decanter Magazine for 15 years. Gordon worked with Decanter founders’ Colin Parnell and Tony Lord from 1976 to 1983, advising and lending financial assistance, which was around the time that I was retained by them as their whisky adviser. In 1972 Luis opened Gordon’s Wine Bar having bought the ancient cellars under London’s Charing Cross. The historic vaults date from the 14th century and the original wine bar itself from 1890. Gordon’s is still very much in business, owned by Luis Gordon’s widow and managed by his son, Simon. In his early twenties, Luis Gordon joined the family sherry business of Luis Gordon & Sons as a salesman and in 1971 became chairman. The company was sole importer of the Domecq range of sherries into the UK for more than 200 years. Under Gordon’s reign the company became the biggest player in the fast-expanding UK sherry market. It was floated on the UK stock market in 1972. The association with Scotch whisky has long since faded away, which makes the house brand, Gleesdale, all the scarcer. (There was another house brand, Crown Special, of presumably similar vintage).
There was, of course, no such place as Gleesdale. Much easier to concoct a name that sounded vaguely Scottish than to use an actual place name in case the owners/inhabitants saw themselves as having a claim on any commercial use of the name!
The company did, however, have another, albeit somewhat indirect, Scotch whisky connection since Luis Gordon at one time had a 45% stake in Ronald Morrison & Co. Ltd., manufacturer of the much-celebrated Glayva Scotch whisky liqueur, now owned by Whyte and Mackay Distillers Ltd.