Family-owned whisky specialist, Gordon & MacPhail, has unveiled one cask of The Glenlivet 70 Years Old, one of the world's oldest whiskies, at a ceremony in Edinburgh Castle. Described as a "stupendous", "smooth" and "voluptuous" single malt, and released under G&M's Generations label, only 100 full-size bottles of this exclusive whisky will be available to buy in 2011.
To make these exclusive purchase extra-special, enthusiasts will also be able to buy a limited edition set, the "Private Collection: Glenlivet Decades." This set contains a bottle from every decade from the 1950s to 1990s - giving collectors the rare opportunity to own the 'liquid lifetime' of the malt.
Founded in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail is known the world over as the custodian of some of the oldest and rarest single malts available. Members of the third and fourth generations of the Urquhart family now own and manage the business.
David and Michael Urquhart, Joint Managing Directors of Gordon & MacPhail, said:
"Following on from the phenomenal success last year of Mortlach 70 Years Old, we decided to release this 'sister' Generations cask as there is clearly an enormous demand for greatly-aged Scotch Malt Whiskies.
"This cask of The Glenlivet was laid down on 3rd February 1940, on the instruction of our grand-father, John Urquhart. Since then, successive generations of the Urquhart family have been waiting for today - the day it would be ready to share with fellow whisky lovers.
"Throughout the 115 years since we were founded, we have made it our business to nurture and mature some of the finest whiskies Scotland has to offer. The 'Glenlivet Decades' collection revisits this special malt throughout the years, allowing whisky enthusiasts to get a real sense of how the cask and the maturation process change the character of a whisky.
"Altogether, these six whiskies represent the 'liquid lifetime' of The Glenlivet, and six decades of experience, dedication and passion on the part of our family. We're confident that this investment has resulted in a suite of whiskies of unparalleled quality: a real collector's piece."
The whiskies will be revealed to an audience of invited guests at a 1940s-themed ceremony at the historic location of Edinburgh Castle.
Well-known whisky connoisseur Charles Maclean described the launch:
"Made at the height of the Battle of Britain, The Glenlivet 1940 opens a door into a different time, another country. To smell and taste this exquisite whisky is to experience the past in a unique way - layer upon layer of flavour, profound and evocative. Its companions from the succeeding five decades provide an unrepeatable opportunity to explore subtle differences in the flavour of this Prince of Whiskies over half a century - as well as being a Blue Chip investment!".
Each bottle will be beautifully presented in a tear-shaped hand-blown crystal decanter with an elegant British Hallmarked silver stopper. The decanter nestles in a sterling silver base and is framed in a handmade box, crafted in Scotland using Scottish Elm.
The Glenlivet 70 Years Old was matured in a First Fill Sherry Butt, and bottled at cask strength (45.9% ABV). Only 100 70cl bottles and 175 20cl bottles will be released in 2011. The 70cl decanter has a recommended retail price in the UK of £13,000 and the 20cl version has a recommended retail price in the UK of £3,200. It is the second in a series of extremely rare malt whiskies to be released by Gordon & MacPhail under its 'Generations' brand.
Fifty limited edition collector's packs are also available, containing all five Private Collection whiskies, priced at £2,850 per pack. The packs contain one bottle of each of the following whiskies: Glenlivet 1954 50.6%; Glenlivet 1963 40.6%; Glenlivet 1974 50.1%; Glenlivet 1980 48.5%; and Glenlivet 1991 54.4%.
The Private Collection: Glenlivet Decades bottlings are also available individually, with recommended retail prices in the UK ranging from £95 to £1,250.