On the 6th February 1952, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and became Head of the Commonwealth.
On 6th February 1952, whilst staying in a remote part of Kenya, Princess Elizabeth received news of her father’s death and of her own accession to the throne. Her tour was abandoned and she flew back to London, where she was greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
After lying in state at Westminster Hall, King George VI was buried on 15th February 1952.
Over a year later, on 2nd June 1953, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation was held at Westminster Abbey.
On 2nd February 1952, four days before the accession of Her Majesty to the throne, George Urquhart gave the instruction for two First Fill Sherry Hogsheads – cask numbers 465 and 466 – to be filled at Glen Grant before being left to mature at the distillery.
For many years Gordon & MacPhail imported casks directly from Spain and bottled Sherry at their premises in Elgin. This practice provided the company with exceptionally high quality ex-Sherry casks for use in the long term maturation of whisky. Cask 465 was such a cask, a Sherry Hogshead previously used to mature Sweet Oloroso Sherry.
Cask 465 was transferred from Glen Grant Distillery to the Bonded Warehouses of Gordon & MacPhail in Elgin on 26th March 1968.
On the 2nd February 2012, exactly sixty years after the whisky was distilled, the instruction was given to empty cask number 465 and bottle the precious contents at cask strength.
In honour and celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, the Directors at Gordon & MacPhail have released just 85 decanters of Glen Grant 60 Years Old.
The crystal decanter and diamond shaped stopper have been created for Gordon & MacPhail by the family owned company, Glencairn Crystal.
For 30 years, Glencairn Crystal has produced bespoke crystal of the highest quality. With a commitment to excellence and expert craftsmanship, Glencairn Crystal has gained a reputation as the UK’s leading supplier of decorated crystal.
Each decanter is expertly engraved – the script in-filled with silver – and uniquely numbered. The decanter carries a crown with a sparkling Swarovski crystal set at the meeting point of the crown’s two arches. Sitting proudly on top of the decanter is a diamond shaped stopper.
ScottishSilver is an Edinburgh based silversmith creating a wide range of domestic and corporate Sterling silverware and specialising in bespoke silver commissions for decanter embellishment. Their silver is hallmarked in Edinburgh using standard Convention marks and the pieces included in this presentation carry the exclusive Jubilee mark celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Two pieces of silver adorn the Single Malt released to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. The first is an elegant Sterling silver collar engraved with the number “60”. The second is a Sterling silver stopper sealing the precious contents within the decanter. The silver stopper, which has the familiar G&M seal of quality stamped on it, can be removed and replaced with the diamond shaped crystal stopper should the owner so desire.
The decanter is presented in a hand-crafted box made of Scottish Elm, felled a short distance from Holyrood House, the Queen’s official Scottish residence.
Each box has been skilfully created by cabinet maker Ross Samson and his team at his workshop in East Kilbride. For over 12 years Ross has created a wide variety of furniture and cabinets and is a founding member of the Scottish Furniture Makers Association.
The wood was kiln dried for 6-8 weeks before arriving at Ross’s workshop. The planks were prepared and measured before being cut to size. Owners of this hand-crafted product will note the continuous grain on four sides of the box. Mitre lock joints were prepared and the diamond shapes were meticulously cut out using a jig saw. The glass panels were fastened in place before all sides of the box were carefully glued together.
The box was then cut to create two sections and locks were fitted. The box was then engraved and in-filled with a silver wax made from beeswax and a metallic pigment. To protect the wood, a handmade stain – made from bitumen and orange oil – was painstakingly applied. Finally the box was hand rubbed using wire wool. Harris Tweed was added to the base of the box.
Harris Tweed has been described as “the Champagne of fabrics” and is the only fabric in the world governed by its own Act of Parliament. The law decrees that genuine Harris Tweed must be made from pure virgin wool which has been dyed and spun on the islands and hand-woven at the home of the weaver, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
Harris Tweed is about quality and style as well as history and heritage. It is the fabric of choice for many of the world’s leading designers as well as their most discerning clients.
Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 60 Years Old nestles in luxurious, purple Harris Tweed, which lines the hand-crafted box. A jacket made from the same material protects the box and the precious contents.
The certificate to accompany Glen Grant 60 Years Old has been created for Gordon & MacPhail by Piccolo Press. Established in 1984, the company is based in Nairn in northern Scotland. Piccolo Press has retained the timeless skills of letterpress and engraving and is a premier supplier of the highest quality stationery to clients world-wide.
One side of the certificate uses amethyst coloured card and has the Gordon & MacPhail stag’s head logo die-stamped in silver. The flip side of the certificate has been die-stamped in silver, and letterpress printed in amethyst on white card. Once the two pieces of card have been laminated together a silver gilt edge has been added. An envelope, beautifully die-stamped in silver, completes the presentation.
Each certificate has been individually numbered and signed by Michael Urquhart, Joint Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail.
After maturing slowly for sixty years the result is a beautifully balanced Single Malt with poise and great complexity. The introduction to the whisky is one of fresh fruit and spices – aromas of Cox’s Pippins and Granny Smith apples, laced with cinnamon and root ginger. In the background linger subtle hints of lavender and rose petals, wrapped in a sweet, toffee parcel.
A sip of the whisky reveals the age and depth of character. Initially there are hints of cedar wood and freshly cut grass. However, these are quickly replaced by rich, burnt fruit notes with a drying, spicy edge and a dusting of white pepper. A smokiness twists its way through the flavour leaving a slightly bitter, treacle toffee finish.