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Issue 62 - Raising the bar (Gordon & McPhail)

Whisky Magazine Issue 62
March 2007


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Raising the bar (Gordon & McPhail)

Gordon & McPhail is something of a ‘one stop shop'f or whisky enthusiasts. As it celebrates 10 years as a distillery owner our man looks at why it continues to surprise and delight

The old saying about familiarity breeding contempt has a resonance in the world of whisky.

While some iconic names enjoy adulation at every turn, others such as Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie are dismissed airily no matter how well they shine with releases such as the Solera or Ancient Reserve in the case of the former and the exquisite recent wood finish releases from the latter.

You can add to that list Gordon & MacPhail, the family run company based in Elgin.

Perhaps it's because the business doesn't blow its own trumpet loudly enough, but while others are getting the plaudits Gordon & MacPhail has just been getting on with the business of selling quality whisky, occasionally reminding us it is there by turning up in the oddest of places – such as on BBC Television's Football Focus, and a feature on the appalling run of form of Elgin City, whose ground backs on to the company's warehouses.

But it seems that in the last 12 months the company has raised the bar when it comes to an all round whisky offering, and it's offering up some delights that demand attention.

The first inkling of this was during the first Independent Bottlers' Challenge last year,and was reinforced this year.

The Independent Bottlers' Challenge is a blind judging and each category is judged by a whisky writer, a retailer and a whisky club. Of course the winners get the trophies and accolades. But while on balance the system is a fair one, it can lead to one glaring but unavoidable iniquity. What i...

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