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KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar Blog Day 4 - G&M Distillery Label Glentauchers 2007

Posted on December 8, 2023

by Evan

Day 4 is upon us in our trek through the KWM 2023 Whisky Calendar. Say hello to the G&M Distillery Label Glentauchers 2007!

This is the third whisky from an independent bottler we have featured in the first four days of the 2023 KWM Whisky Calendar, and this one comes from a great yet underrated distillery and from what is possibly the best Indie Bottler of them All.

G&M stands for Gordon & MacPhail; a company without which the indie bottling scene would be very different than it is today.

Gordon & MacPhail started as a grocery store in Elgin, back in 1895, founded by James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail. The first generation of the Urquhart Family – which owns G&M – John Urquhart started as an apprentice to the two founding partners.

Over John’s lifetime, he helped push G&M firmly into the Scotch Whisky scene by sourcing whisky from many Speyside and Scottish distilleries which was then matured and bottled by G&M. His legacy with G&M is still seen to this day, with some of the whisky laid down during time is still being bottled, such as the G&M 80 Year Old Glenlivet, which was chosen from a parcel of 15 First Fill Sherry Butts filled at the Glenlivet distillery in 1940.

George Urquhart, or “Mr. George”, started working at G&M in 1933. George is responsible for the creation of the venerable Connoisseurs Choice range of single malt Scotch releases in 1968. This and other G&M Single Malt releases helped solidify G&M’s place in Scotch Whisky, and more than that helped push the concept of Single Malt Scotch in the eyes of the public.

There is more to the G&M story that takes us from Mr. George to now, and maybe we will get to some of it if we happen to have another G&M whisky in this year’s calendar. What are the odds of that happening? Hmmm…

The G&M bottling we are tasting today comes from Glentauchers Distillery, and is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s Distillery Labels series. This range showcases what sets G&M apart from many other independent bottlers. Gordon & MacPhail has been purchasing new make spirit from many different distilleries in Scotland and filling it into their own casks for a large portion of the company’s history. In G&M’s own words:

“The history of this range heralds back to our very beginnings - to the days when distillery spirit was produced primarily to be used in blends. Because of the strong working relationships we had with distillery owners, we would bottle and sell the spirit they created as single malt on the condition that we used their 'house' label with the caption "bottled by Gordon & MacPhail".

These relationships have culminated in today's 'Distillery Labels' - a showcase of historical label design.”

The label design for the entire distillery range is retro, sexy, and classic, and has featured many distilleries that don’t get the Single Malt releases they deserve from their ownership. Gee – that kind of sounds like what I said about Teaninich back on Day Two, doesn’t it? Well, guess what – the same thing can be said for Glentauchers.

Unlike Teaninich, Glentauchers is not owned by Diageo, but by another massive multinational spirits company called Pernod Ricard. Pernod Ricard owns Chivas Brothers, which oversees the conglomerate’s Scotch Whisky portfolio that includes a few distilleries you may have heard of such as Glenlivet, Longmorn, Aberlour, and others.

As a side note: Chivas Brothers has done an exceptional job selling off distilleries it has found redundant to its own needs. Ever heard of BenRiach? How about GlenDronach? GlenAllachie, maybe? Yes, all three of those distilleries were sold to companies headed by Billy Walker, who has a penchant for fleecing Pernod Ricard/Chivas Brothers and reviving distilleries by adding a nonSensical exTra caPital letter to the middle of their names. Watch out – TorMore Distillery might get this same treatment in time…

Back to Glentauchers: it is indeed owned by Pernod Ricard, and its production is almost exclusively for the Ballantine’s Blended Scotch line, along with sister distilleries Miltonduff and Glenburgie.

Shall we give this G&M Distillery Label Glentauchers 2007 a taste?

G&M Distillery Label Glentauchers 2007 - 46%

Evan’s Tasting Note 

Nose: Peaches and cream with toffee drizzled on top, apple crumble with vanilla ice cream, lemon custard, roasted cashews, and a touch of black pepper.  

Palate: Creamy with spicy, robust oak and a touch of barrel char. Chocolate mocha coffee, dried apricots, dates, more black pepper and salty pretzel sticks.  

Finish: Dry with creamy whisps of sweet fruit peeking out now and then. 

Comment: The spiciness took me by surprise on this one, making the dram bolder and not as fruit-forward than I originally expected. It makes for a fun ride and a good balance between juicy and dry, fruity and savoury. 

See you tomorrow for day number five in our 2023 KWM Whisky Calendar!

Cheers,
Evan
[email protected]
Facebook & Instagram: @sagelikefool

You can find all blog posts for Kensington Wine Market’s 2023 Whisky Calendar Here

Check out our own single cask of Glentauchers from Gordon & MacPhail Here!

Watch our Day 1 to 5 2023 KWM Whisky Calendar Recap Tasting Video on YouTube here!

 

This entry was posted in Whisky, Whisky Calendars, Independent Bottler, KWM Whisky Calendar 2023

 

 

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