Independent bottler Gordon & Macphail is known for releasing expensive, rare, ultra-aged scotch, but the whisky in this new collection is quite literally the last of its kind. That’s because the new Recollection Series consists of liquid from three ghost distilleries that closed decades ago. These bottles aren’t cheap, but consider it the entry fee for a snapshot of non-replicable whisky history.
Each whisky is a single cask release that was matured in Gordon & Macphail’s own barrels, and come from three unique demolished distilleries: St. Magdalene, Glen Mhor and Lochside. If these names are unfamiliar to you, you’re probably not alone. “Each remarkable expression is vanishingly rare and captures an unrepeatable moment in Scotland’s rich liquid heritage,” said Gordon & Macphail operations director Stuart Urquhart in a press release. “Having carefully assessed the progress of each spirit down the decades, we feel now is finally the right moment to reveal these landmark single malts. We hope the annual series will excite single malt enthusiasts keen to try something different, and irreplaceable.”
There are three whiskies in the Recollection Series. The first is Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1982 from St. Magdalene Distillery ($3,499), a 39-year-old whisky aged in a refill American hogshead. It’s bottled at 54.8 percent ABV and there are just 165 bottles available. The distillery was located in Linlithgow just outside of Edinburgh, and closed for good in 1983 after nearly 200 years of operation. The second is Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1982 from Glen Mhor Distillery, a 40-year-old matured in a refill sherry hogshead. This whisky was bottled at 50.8 percent ABV and there are 174 bottles. Glen Mhor was built in Inverness in 1892, and operated for less than a century before being demolished in 1986. Finally, there is Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1981 from Lochside Distillery, another 40-year-old matured in a refill sherry hogshead. This whisky was bottled at 49.2 percent ABV and there are only 141 bottles. Initially Lochside was a brewery, producing beer from 1786 until 1957. Stills were installed on the site in 1961 that ran until the 1990s, and the distillery was demolished in 2005.
These highly collectible whiskies are just the latest in Gordon & Macphail’s single malt collections, a company that has been curating and maturing whisky for over a century. Others include Distillery Labels, Private Collections and Generations. The prices might vary a bit depending on the market, but scotch whisky collectors likely won’t be spooked by the cost of these ghost distillery malts.