Gordon & MacPhail

An auctioneer's guide to Gordon & MacPhail.

Established in 1895 as a grocers and wine merchant, Gordon & MacPhail is one of Scotland's oldest independent bottlers. John Urquhart joined founders James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail in their first year of business, and the Urquhart family has run the firm for four generations. In the early 20th century, John Urquhart, now a senior partner, developed the company's whisky broking business, purchasing casks from a number of Speyside distilleries for bottling as single malts and for use in blends.

Gordon & MacPhail's Elgin warehouse holds a treasure trove of old and rare casks, and in 2010 the company bottled the world's oldest single malt, a 70 Year Old Mortlach, followed by a Glenlivet of the same age a year later.

The company is best known range is the Connoisseurs Choice series of single malts. Launched by George Urquhart in the 1960s, a time when the whisky market was dominated by blends, this series gave a platform to many distilleries which had never been bottled as single malts. Other ranges include The Private Collection, Cask Strength, Rare Old and Generations. In 1993, Gordon & MacPhail purchased Benromach distillery from United Distillers.

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