Glenesk 1980 Rare Old Single Highland Malt by Gordon and Macphail

$2,250 AUD

46% 70 cl

From cask no RO/14/04, bottled in 2014 giving it some 34 years in wood, this expression is beautifully presented in Gordon & Macphail’s Rare Old series. Drawn from a refill sherry puncheon, which produced 551 bottles. Won the Liquid Gold Award in Jim Murray’s 2018 Whisky Bible and so is now much in demand and hence the increase in value.

Official tasting notes.

Aroma: Delicate Sherry influences initially with stewed pear, green apple, and lime cordial. Subtle tropical pineapple and banana notes develop and mingle with hints of menthol. 

Taste: Sweet vanilla, green apple, and tangerine flavours are enhanced by hints of cracked black pepper. A milk chocolate edge is complemented by a liquorice tang. 

Aroma with Water: Fruity with green apple, pear, and strawberry aromas are complemented by a hints of aniseed. 

Taste with Water: Cracked black pepper, orange zest, and hints of dried tobacco. A menthol edge develops.  

Body: Medium. 

Finish: Medium with a lingering menthol edge.

This product is located in the United Kingdom.


Glenesk/Hillside Distillery

This ghost had so many name changes and variations in function, that its true identity is quite hard to define. It started off in 1897 as Highland Esk. Within two years it was renamed, with a change in owner, to North Esk. It was closed during World War I, only to catch fire in 1919, after which its sole function was as a maltings. In 1939 it re-opens as a grain distillery and is renamed Montrose, after the nearby town of that name, only quickly to close again for the period of World War II when it was used to billet troops. Through various ownership changes it finally falls into the hands of DCL in 1953 with their acquisition of Associated Scottish Distilleries. Grain whisky production ceases shortly thereafter only to start up again in 1959. It is converted back to malt whisky distilling in 1964 and enjoys another name change to Hillside. However, this lasts only until 1980 when it becomes Glenesk, before finally closing in 1985.  Phew!

In parallel with all this the maltings had a much more stable existence with the original floor maltings being replaced by drum maltings in 1968, with a further expansion in 1976 so that they could serve a number of DCL’s distilleries in the region.

Despite all this the whisky enjoyed a good reputation and a number of official expressions were released particularly in the “Rare Malts” series. Gordon & MacPhail also did a number of bottlings. Some of both are offered here under the last two names used by the distillery.