St Magdalene 1982-39 Year Old Private Collection (Gordon & MacPhail)(54.8% abv)



The Private Collection by G&M is an out and out celebration of distilleries that have been silent for a long time. With this collection they have brought some exceptionally rare and exclusive malts to their fans.

The collection introduces malt enthusiasts to distilleries that are not producing malt anymore and to some brilliant age statements as well. Private Collection releases represents some of the oldest G&M have ever done. This is a really exciting collection and includes malts form places like Dallas Dhu and Longmorn. It has been specially selected by hand, by members of the Urquhart family, who have been involved in the running of G&M for a four generations.

Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige at Gordon & MacPhail said, “My grandfather, George Urquhart, recognized an opportunity to match new make spirit with carefully selected casks at a time when the vast majority of production went into blends. Over the decades he was able to master this art which has become his legacy.

“He could never be persuaded to bottle a whisky before he believed it had reached its ultimate peak in terms of quality – a tradition we’re proud to continue today.”


The newest addition to the Private Collection is this gem from St. Magdalene. This distillery closed in 1983 and was once know as Linlithgow. It is found in the rolling Scottish Lowlands. St Magdalene was once one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, having been founded sometime in the mid 1700s. The only lasting features of the distillery are the kiln and malting barns.

This bottling is one of the oldest ever released from St Magdalene and from G&M. it was distilled in 1982, just a year before the distillery would close its doors forever, and matured in refill American hogsheads.

Tasting notes:

The nose opens with citrus peels and exotic fruits; peaches, banana, sweet pomegranates and mangoes. They add a lovely sweet note, with a slightly tart edge. Vanilla and marzipan really take over, with dashes of earthy herbs and floral notes. There is a gentle note of aniseed to bring in some heat.

The palate is rich and expressive, with more fruit and a hint of coffee and chocolate. It is slightly dark on the palate, bringing in a bit more depth, which is really excellent to taste. Caramel and vanilla come through very well, alongside a hint of oak wood.

It ends with a flourish of wood and tobacco, and a final note of fruit.

If you can get your hands on a bottle, this is a truly outstanding malt. Worth seeking out for the experience if nothing else.


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