Independent bottler and distiller Gordon & MacPhail unveils the Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year Old Glen Grant from 1948; bottle number 88 up for auction by Bonhams in Hong Kong.

If you’re a rare whisky collector, you may like to know that one of the oldest whiskies in existence will soon be made available for sale. Gordon & MacPhail has announced that it will be releasing the Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year Old Glen Grant 1948, with an official global launch date slated for late March 2021 with only 290 exclusive bottles available worldwide.

The Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year Old Glen Grant – specifically Cask number 440 from the iconic Speyside distillery that sees Oloroso sherry aged in an American oak ex-sherry cask – will be a taste of history. It hails from a post-war period when casks used for maturing the spirit were seasoned with sherry; in fact, some of them are what the industry calls transport casks, and used for shipping sherry to the UK from Jerez in Spain. For whisky connoisseurs, what is also particularly interesting is the whisky comes at a cask strength of 56.2% ABV. The high ABV indicates that the spirit is likely to have retained much of its potency and vitality despite the very long maturation process, which is rather rare for whiskies that age.

The expression will be presented in a bespoke Dartington Crystal decanter, made using traditional glass-blowing techniques by one of the few crystal brands still operational in the UK.

For those who can’t wait for the official release, Gordon & MacPhail – one of the world’s oldest independent bottler – is putting bottle number 88 up on auction by Bonhams in Hong Kong for its world premiere on 29 January 2021. It will be sold under Lot 178 that day, with a book estimate of HKD300-380K (SGD51-65K).

Renown whisky writer and Master of the Quaich Charles MacLean, who has tasted the expression, calls it one of the most incredible whiskies he’s tried his 40-year career. “I am generally sceptical about very old malts because they lose vitality and tend to become fragile and flat. Not in this case! Its great age adds value to the experience of tasting it, conjuring images of what the world was like in 1948,” shared MacLean.

“I can honestly say that this is one of the finest malts I have tasted in forty years of professional exploration. It is outstanding,” he added.

The Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year Old Glen Grant can be considered as a Holy Grail in whisky collecting. It is likely to break the record set by Gordon & MacPhail’s earlier rare whisky put up for auction, a 70-Year Old Glenlivet that went under the hammer for GBP43K in the UK.

“There’s been numerous new records set for whisky sold at Bonhams in 2020. We anticipate collectors’ desire and determination to acquire the market’s best whiskies to continue into 2021,” said Daniel Lam, Wine and Whisky Specialist at Bonhams. “With the Gordon & MacPhail 72YO’s stunning decanter design on the front cover our whisky catalogue, we expect some new records to be set for scotch whisky at our upcoming auction. The desirable bottle number 88 will surely become a legacy piece at the event.”

Registration for the Bonhams whisky auction is now open for bidding for bottle number 88/290 of this Gordon & MacPhail 72-Year Old Glen Grant 1948.

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