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Gordon & MacPhail launches historic 80-year-old whisky

Gordon & MacPhail has unveiled an historic 80-year-old release from Glenlivet - the oldest single malt Scotch whisky ever bottled.

Generations 80 Years Old from Glenlivet Distillery comes housed in a unique decanter and oak 'pavilion' designed by world-renowned architect and designer Sir David Adjaye.

The creative theme for the groundbreaking release, 'Artistry in Oak', pays tribute to the part that oak has played in the whisky's maturation process. The ultra-aged expression was described by whisky writer Charles MacLean as "one of the finest I have ever encountered".

The decanter has been designed to appear as though it has been hewn from a single solid block of crystal, with a curving core handblown by experts from Glencairn Crystal.

David Adjaye said: "The gentle combination of liquid, weight and form invokes a sense of care, responsibility and slowness. As you pour, a sense of time fades and all that is understood is the preciousness of each drop.

"The ambition was to create a vessel in which Gordon & MacPhail's unique experience and tradition is transmitted and incorporated. The vertical struts of the outer pavilion are reflective of trees in an oak forest from which the staves of the original cask were hewn.

"A pivotal moment in the design narrative is the relationship between light and shadow as the casing is opened and closed. The light refracted through the opened casing recreates the sunlight as it shines through oak trees within a natural forest setting. The act of opening the pavilion becomes a ceremonial and sensorial process."

Ewen Mackintosh, managing director at Gordon & MacPhail, said: "It is often quoted that the maturation of whisky over very long periods of time is more art than science. The decanter and oak pavilion that David has created for our historic release is a true reflection of this art: the presentation itself is a work of art."

Only 250 70cl decanters have been created. Decanter #1 is being auctioned by Sotheby's Hong Kong on 7 October 2021 with a framed cask end from the original cask and a lithograph of the original concept drawings signed by David Adjaye. Auction proceeds (minus costs) are being donated to Scottish charity Trees for Life.

Public showcases of the Gordon MacPhail Generations 80 Years Old decanter and oak pavilion will be exhibited from early September 2021 in Sotheby's historic galleries in London, at Sotheby's HQ in New York, and at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as part of the company's 2021 Hong Kong Autumn Sales Series preview exhibition.

3 September 2021 - Bethany Whymark