Honouring the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1952 from Glen Grant Distillery has spent the past 70 years maturing in a first fill Sherry cask. It was bottled on 6th February, the date of the Queen’s accession, and serves as a fitting tribute, exemplifying how character, patience and wisdom can mature over decades to deliver an exceptional legacy.
Tasting notes by Gordon & MacPhail:
Nose: Notes of beeswax polish give way to ripe fig aromas, toffee and orange zest. Aged leather tempers rum and raisin.
Taste: Stewed blackberry compote, sweet clementine and milk chocolate flavours are followed by a menthol undertone.
Finish: A long finish with a touch of smoke and a hint of pepper.
An incredible bottle! We fondly remember G&M's 'Silver Jubilee' bottlings, especially that glorious Highland Park 1952/1977 (WF 94). I also remember that 2012's Glen Grand 1952 'Diamond Jubilee' had been a little more fragile (WF 88).
Colour: full gold.
Nose: gentler, mellower, more floral and more honeyed, more herbal, probably subtler and more elegant than the 1957. I find it rather bizarre that my poor French mind would rather think of Helen Mirren (who played the Queen in cinemas) than of the Queen herself. A whole bouquet of meadow flowers, also simple dandelions, acacia, acacia honey, beeswax, quinces, mullein flowers, golden sultanas… This is amazing, I would have thought it would be one of those stunners distilled in the early 1970s. 1972 anyone? With water: more quince and more spearmint, woodruff, wormwood, honeydew…
Mouth (neat): game set and match, I would say I like this subtler one even (a little) better than the superb 1957. You would almost believe it was made by bees (why not Buckingham's?) as I'm finding massive amounts of beeswax, honey, pollen, pinewood and then some bitterer propolis. Chewing heavier chlorophyll gum. With water: a salty miso-y touch over mead and orange sherbet, plus all of the usual honeyed cortege, and an old apple. Finish: long, still bright and fresh, almost refreshing! Lovely honeyed and mentholy aftertaste, with an expected lingering pepperiness. Very black tea.
Comments: probably the youngest-tasting 70-years-old spirit I've ever tried, including cognacs, armagnacs and calvados. To The Queen, To Helen Mirren (they will never let me enter the country again), and to the great folks at Gordon & MacPhail (I'll go through Scotland then!) SGP:651 - 93 points.
Nose: starts entirely on beeswax, pollen and polished furniture. Great start. Then apricots and orange zests come forward. Eucalyptus honey. Spearmint. Rubbed flower petals and hints of women’s powder. Then it turns back to tangerines, quinces and honey, with some golden raisins. Subtle gorse flowers. After a while worn leather appears. Such elegance!
Mouth: vibrant spices (black pepper) mixed with lemon peels, tangerines and hints of summer berries. A lot of beeswax notes again, with pollen and herbal honey. This moves towards herbal tea, eucalyptus and subtle leafy notes. Then tobacco leaves and hints of Kabuse tea. It fades on grapefruit peels with nutmeg and a subtle saline note. A drop of water brings back some of the fruity sweetness.
Finish: long, with citrus freshness as well as herbal teas and tobacco. The peppery and mentholated notes stay strong.
This Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee bottling is surprisingly accessible and attractive on the palate, with very few sherry markers. It gets a little more tea-ish and tobacco-driven on the palate, which is understandable. It manages to keep the plain woody notes at bay, which means this is yet another tour de force (French words in a tribute to the Queen of England, sorry) from G&M.