The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

World’s oldest Single Malt Scotch Whisky revealed

Whisky creators Gordon & MacPhail have revealed the jewel-like decanter and oak pavilion designed by world-renowned architect and designer Sir David Adjaye OBE to celebrate the release of the oldest single malt Scotch ever bottled – Generations 80-Years-Old from Glenlivet Distillery.

The design represents Gordon & MacPhail’s history of repeatedly pushing the boundaries in terms of long-term whisky maturation, where experimentation, patience, and quality have remained the foundations for progress since 1895.

The creative theme for the ground-breaking release – ‘Artistry in Oak’ – bears tribute to both the rare liquid, carefully nurtured in an oak cask by four generations of the family that owns Gordon & MacPhail, as well as its stunning presentation.

“It is often quoted that the maturation of whisky over very long periods of time is more art than science,” says Ewen Mackintosh, Managing Director at Gordon & MacPhail.

“The decanter and oak pavilion that David has created for our historic release is a true reflection of this art; the presentation is itself a work of art.

“I’m sure George Urquhart and his father John, who had the extraordinary foresight to lay down spirit from the Glenlivet Distillery in a bespoke Gordon & MacPhail cask to be enjoyed after their lifetime, would love the design. It pays tribute to their craft and vision.”

David Adjaye says he wanted to create a design that pays tribute to the role oak plays in transforming liquid into an elixir with almost magical properties.

Sir David Adjaye

“The gentle combination of liquid, weight and form invokes a sense of care, responsibility and slowness,” he says.

“As you pour, a sense of time fades and all that is understood is the preciousness of each drop.”

Designed to appear as hewn from a single solid block of crystal, the decanter’s curving core needed to be individually hand-blown by experienced artisans overseen by Glencairn Crystal Studio, experts in ultra-premium decanters and another family business based in Scotland.

While similar, no two decanters are exactly the same, reflecting the complexity of the process and its organic nature.

The oak pavilion is constructed from sustainably sourced oaks grown less than five miles from makers, Wardour Workshops, another family-owned company, based in Dorset, South West England.

Only 250 70cl decanters have been created.

Decanter #1 is being auctioned by Sotheby’s in 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 local Scottish charity Trees for Life whose mission is to rewild the Caledonian forest.

“The donation will help the Trees for Life nursery which grows 100,000 rare and native trees, including oaks, from seed each year,” says Mackintosh. “It’s fitting that this whisky will provide a legacy for all that will last for generations.”

Gordon & MacPhail Generations 80-Years-Old from Glenlivet Distillery is available now, price on application via

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