Expo Time, Independent Bottlers' Time
09-13-2012

As you know, there will be a plethora of whiskies for you to sample at the Expo. In this section, we wanted to give a brief introduction to a very promising presenter.


Gordon & MacPhail, a fourth generation family-owned and operated company is based in the heart of the city of Elgin (somewhat known as the unofficial “whisky capital”) in the Speyside whisky region of Scotland. Their iconic retail shop on South Street still thrives today on the site where the business began in 1895. Since those early days, the company has grown into one of Scotland’s leading independent whisky specialists through wholesaling and bottling, with over 360 of their own label bottlings in their current catalogue. Gordon & MacPhail is different from other independent bottlers as they get new make spirits from over 80 distillers to fill their own hand-selected casks, rather than buying ready-filled and aged casks. They also own the local Elgin-based Benromach Distillery, Speyside’s smallest working distillery. Operated year-round by only two men, Benromach is a craft distillery producing several ranges of traditional Speyside whisky without automation. It also produces the award-winning Scotch whisky liqueur, Dunkeld Atholl Brose.


Gordon & MacPhail made their presence at WoW 2010, and immediately won the hearts of our whisky fans with the diverse and though- over selection of independent bottlings they put forward. This time, they’re back with a different collection designed to thrill and astound: Smith’s Glenlivet 21 from the Glenlivet distillery (the only legal one named Glenlivet), Speymalt Macallan 21 (a rare and limited edition malt from the distillery that overlooks some of the finest fishing boats on the River Spey), Bunnahabhain 8 from the collection of younger, but still indie and distinct whiskies), and Old Pulteney 21 (from the most northerly distillery on the Scottish mainland, the multi-awarded genuine maritime malt).


Sample the product of their own distillation: Benromach 10 marks a milestone for Gordon & MacPhail as it is the first Benromach whisky that they have released with an age statement since they took over the distillery. It’s destined to become one of your favorites; this very good release offers rich, classic Speyside characteristics with a pleasant degree of smokiness, which is so rare in Speyside whiskies.


And don’t forget to raise your lovely dram to salute the world-appraised independent bottlers, they (and you) deserve it!