A rare pre-war Mortlach whisky is to goes under the hammer for the first time since 2012.
Whisky-onlineauctions.com are listing this extremely rare bottling of Mortlach 60 year old, from 29 August until 5 September.
Distilled on 20 October 1938, the spirit was matured in Cask 2657 – which had previously held a high-quality sherry – by Gordon & MacPhail before being bottled in 1999 at the grand old age of 60 years old.
Gordon & MacPhail have a spectacular track record with Mortlach 1938, not to mention 1936 and 1939.
Bottlings from the 1938 vintage have been released from the Elgin-based bottler since the early 1980s, originally under the old white label and Connoisseurs Choice brands. In 1988, the first special presentation G&M Mortlach 1938 appeared as a 50yo bottled under the iconic ‘Book of Kells’ label.
Whisky fans know about the incredible Mortlach 1938 70 year old Gordon & MacPhail ‘Generations’ series that was the world’s oldest whisky at the time of release in 2008, but a lot of people aren’t quite so familiar with this particular Mortlach 1938 – a sister cask to the Generations – that was released at the turn of the century.
There are a few possible reasons for this. Firstly, the whisky appeared in 1999, when every distillery and bottler in Scotland was churning out Millennium special editions, and every week saw unprecedented numbers of new releases on the market. Secondly, there were just 100 of these beautiful bottles released.
The beautiful copper presentation case, meanwhile was designed and made by Forsyth’s of Rothes, the distillery coppersmiths, in the style of a windowed wash still front using only burnished copper, wood and brass, as a tribute to the craftsmanship of the coppersmiths and the coopers.
The brass lock, meanwhile, ‘recalls bygone times when glass-encased spirit safes were sealed and checked daily by excisemen’. The handmade nature of the case is reflected in the visible dimple marks from the coppersmith’s hammers.
The case has a special drawer containing a crystal stopper and a separate miniature bottle of the same spirit with the more familiar Book of Kells-inspired label that many people will associate with previous bottlings of Mortlach 1938 and other Gordon & MacPhail prestige bottlings from the likes of Clynelish, Strathisla and Glen Grant.
The miniature itself is highly prized, and has gone for as much as £260 at previous auctions.
A spokesman for Whisky-onlineauctions.com said: ‘We’re looking forward to seeing what this 60 year old Mortlach achieves – a measure of the rarity of this bottle is that we’ve only ever had it on sale once before, way back in December 2012, when it made £4200. We believe that 2012 auction is the only time that this bottle has ever been auctioned online anywhere in the UK until now.
‘We expect bidding to be particularly fierce for this beautiful bottle of Mortlach and a price far in excess of the previous record – who knows when it will come up again?’
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