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Issue 39 - Whiskyandhistorymakeaperfectblend

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004

 

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Whiskyandhistorymakeaperfectblend

GavinDSmithprovidesanupdateontheAndrewUshercommemorations

InIssue36wereportedonthesecondannualAndrewUsherEvent,heldatWilliamGrant&Sons,hostedbyPeterGordon,great-great-grandsonofcompanyfounderWilliamGrant.

TheoccasionwasdesignedtocelebrateblendedScotchwhisky,andinparticularoneofthekeypioneersofblending,AndrewUsher.

“TheblendersarewhatIcallhiddenheroes,saysPeterGordon,whosefamilyconnectionswithAndrewUsher&Codatefrom1890,whenWilliamGrantbegantosupplytheEdinburghblenderwithGlenfiddichsinglemalt.

DuringtheUsherEvent,WilliamGrant'sveryownpairof‘hiddenheroes'DavidStewartandBrianKinsmanattemptedtorecreatethecompany'sStandfastblendasitwasin1937,usingavarietyofsinglemaltsagedinEuropeanoak,alongwithgrainspiritfromDiageo'sCameronbridgeandPortDundasdistilleries.

Existingrecordsshowthat1937Standfastcomprised30%maltand70%grainwhisky,withGlenfiddichandBalveniemakingup50%ofthemaltcontent,whichalsocomprisedaround1%ofIslaywhisky.

Theyear1937hadbeenchosenbecause,thankstoPeterGordon,therewasadecentquantityoftheauthenticpre-warspiritforgueststocomparewiththemodernreplica.Gordonhadbeenofferedthechancetopurchaseasealed,stoneware‘pig'filledwith1937Standfast,originallysuppliedtoWilliamHeptinstalloftheFortinghallHotelinPerthshire,andjumpedattheopportunity.Herecallswithachucklethe
strangelookshereceivedfromstaffintheaccountsdepartmentwhenrequestingachequefor£1,000tobuyapig!

The1937pigofwhiskyunderwentaceremonialopeningattheUsherEvent,beforeguestsweregiventheopportunitytosampleit.Havingnosedandtasteditforthefirsttime,PeterGordonobservedthat“itcer...

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