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Gordon & Macphail Glen Grant 72 year old 1948 52.6% Speyside Single Malt

A ‘one-in-a-million’ bottle of 72 year old bottle of Gordon & MacPhail’s Glen Grant achieved a record price in a recent Bonham’s Hong Kong auction, raising a record HK$937,500 (just under £95,000) including buyer’s premium.

The record price is more than double that of the same whisky sold for in February 2021, helping to establish its  reputation as one of the oldest and greatest Scotch single malts of all time, the auction house said. 

Only a handful of bottles of the Gordon & MacPhail’s Glen Grant 72yr old exist and it has been described as one of “the most historically significant whiskies ever produced”.

The total production was limited to 290 bottles, with 200 sold before in pre-allocation before release in  February.

Recorded in the Top#5 Oldest Whiskies globally, the 1948 cask was named the World’s Finest Single Cask and ‘Scottish Single Malt Whisky of the Year – 2022’.

Very deep amber, Oloroso sherry; American oak ex-sherry cask, in spite of its deep colour, probably first-fill. Viscous, with exceptionally good beading.

A mellow but lively nose-feel – astonishing that the whisky has remained high strength after all this time. The top notes are of Christmas cake moistened with Oloroso sherry, with a slightly burnt base. These are supported by prune juice and baked apple skin, but the overall impression is dry. The base notes derive from oak (shavings, coconut, a suggestion of treacle toffee) and coffee grounds (chocolate and liquorice).

The texture is mouth-filling and lightly waxy (teeth-coating); the taste sweetish to start and tannic dry to finish, with a surprising amount of spice. The aftertaste whispers of espresso coffee and very dark chocolate. Like the nose, the taste is lively and full of vitality. The whole palate is in perfect harmony.

This is a hugely complex and rewarding malt whisky by any standards. Obviously, its great age adds value to the experience of tasting it, conjuring images of what the world was like in 1948, but – more important from a connoisseur’s perspective – its flavour opens a sensory door into another era, when whisky was different. The fact that it has retained a high ABV after all these years means that the aroma and taste are still vital and lively. Too often very old whiskies lack vitality, owing to low strength; they become fragile ghosts of their former selves. Not is this case!