Some of the Scotch whisky industry’s most influential people attended the second Andrew Usher lunch, hosted by William Grant to honour the man described by many as the ‘founding father’ of blending.
The event included an engrossing presentation by Peter Gordon, the great-great-grandson of company founder William Grant, who showed the link between Usher and the Grant family.
“We’ve started to forget how interesting blending is, and how great blended whisky can be,” he told his audience.
Each company attending brought a sample of whisky prepared in European oak in a bid to create Grant’s Steadfast, as produced in 1937.
The choice of the year 1937 became clear once the new blend had been created, as Peter Gordon proceeded to surprise his audience by unveiling a sealed, stoneware ‘pig’ filled with 1937 Standfast.
The 1937 sample had survived the years very well, boasting notes of rich, dark sherry, and a beautiful sherried, floral nose.
Inevitably, attempting to create a comparable blend in 10 minutes in front of an expectant audience, was hardly a fair test of a blender’s skill, but David Stewart and Brian Kinsman (pictured) rose to the challenge admirably, and came up with an eminently drinkable blend, though perhaps somewhat lighter on the sherry than they would have liked.
Last year, a single bottle of the commemorative whisky created at the Usher event was subsequently auctioned in Glasgow by McTear’s. At the time of writing, William Grant & Sons have not decided what to do with the remaining 1937 Standfast in what has become known as ‘Peter’s Pig’, or with the ‘replica’ blend, though various imaginative options are currently being considered.