Gordon & MacPhail’s 1956 Linkwood Distillery expression matured in the barrel for 60 years before being bottled into a mere 56 decanters. In the early days of 1956, Cask 20 came into existence, being a first fill European Oak Sherry hogshead. The cask was then opened on June 18, 2016, being the last Linkwood cask from the 1950s in Gordon & MacPhail’s inventory.
This remarkable single malt Scotch whisky has a roasted chestnuts and polished mahogany color, and boasts a strength just as rich as the color is deep—49.4 percent ABV. Such a rare liquor is best presented in a beautiful bottle as well as a striking wood case, which Gordon & MacPhail have masterfully done. Given the distillery’s history, however, it’s no surprise that they would be able to deliver both in terms of a flavorful whisky and a beautiful presentation. The company was established in 1895 in Scotland’s Speyside region. Now, over 120 years and four generations later, the company still keeps that spirit of knowledge passed down through family to distill, mature, and market their whisky.
The secret to their distilling success is twofold. First, they carefully match the wood with the spirit to maximize the interaction with the oak casks to slowly transform the whisky, giving it exceptional flavor. The second is managing that process. It takes time and patience—60 years in the case of the Linkwood whisky—and that means careful curation. Fortunately for whisky connoisseurs, Gordon & MacPhail have mastered both.