Glen Grant 1953 ‘Mr George Legacy’ (Gordon & MacPhail)
The Glen Grant 1953 ‘Mr George Legacy’ is Gordon & MacPhail’s tribute to George Urquhart, someone who’s been called the ‘father of single malt’ by Charles MacLean. This new 67-year-old whisky was laid down on instruction Mr George Urquhart, or ‘Mr George’, as he was fondly known by those who knew him best.
Just 355 bottles are available of the Gordon & MacPhail Mr George Legacy 1953 from Glen Grant Distillery, the first edition of a single-cask release planned each year. Although this is not the first time Gordon & MacPhail has honoured this key figure in the company’s history. They already released the ‘Mr George Centenary‘ in 2019, the year that would’ve been George Urquhart’s centenary.
Distilled on Christmas Eve in 1953, it spent its whole life in cask #4209, a first-fill sherry butt. Amazingly it was bottled at a cask strength of 59.4%. It makes you wonder: could this cask have reached a 100 years of age? Gordon & MacPhail is set to launch an 80-year-old single malt in september bottled at just below 45%, so this Glen Grant would certainly have been a prime candidate, I would think.
The Glen Grant 1953 ‘Mr George Legacy’ is not a whisky that should be analysed. It should be enjoyed without overthinking things — which is actually true for all whisky. But I’ll try anyway. God, the lengths I go to for my readers.
Glen Grant 1953 ‘Mr George Legacy’ (59.4%, Gordon & MacPhail, C#4209)
Nose: Notes of furniture polish, beeswax, burlap, a tinge of charred oak and teak, but also big on the rancio. There are whispers of tobacco leaves and menthol, but also blackberries. Touches of aceto di balsamico, prunes and crème de cassis, but also chocolate and raisins. You get the gist, right? It’s greatness in a glass and shares similarities with older brandies. Perfectly — and I mean flawlessly — integrated.
Taste: There’s this sweet arrival with dried dates and Demerara sugar, but also eucalyptus and a whiff of star anise, supported by a tiny pinch of black pepper as well as some strong coffee and leather. Then more raisins and chocolate. Damp oak and tobacco leaves. Some drier notes, but they’re kept very much in check. And again it’s integrated and balanced.
Finish: Long. Some cloves. A tad dry. Chocolate, balsamic. A hint of ash.
Only superlatives here. The Glen Grant 1953 ‘Mr George Legacy’ is a fitting tribute as much as the Mr George Centenary was. A fantastic cask, distillate that will stand up to it and time equals this dreamboat of a whisky.
Sample provided by Gordon & MacPhail
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.