The oldest bottler in Scotland is Gordon & Macphail. In 2020 they celebrated their 125th anniversary. The Connoisseurs Choice is one of their oldest and most popular ranges and has undergone quite a few changes in looks over the decades. I’m trying an oldie today, a 12 years old Craigellachie from 1971, bottled in the early 1980s. The label even still says ‘White Horse Distillers Ltd’ as proprieters of the distillery. Peter Mackie was one of the founders. This bottle is nowhere to be found nowadays, so I was very happy that Manny offered me the remainder of his bottle.
The nose is very fruity on oranges and pineapple, but also offers quite some walnuts and… err… rice pudding. The scent is very rich, round and rather ‘heavy’ if you know what I mean. Caramel and some raisins. Nicely sweet, mind you. And despite the many years in the bottle, it seems to have lost none of its power.
Nicely oily, rich and round on the palate. Oh, this is good! Orange juice, pineapple, barley sugars. A hint of milk chocolate. Softly seasoned with cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, it retains its power as well.
Medium long finish that starts honeysweet with a slight peppery note while the oranges evolve to mandarin from a tin, like the one they put on pastry. Delicious.
This is one well-preserved bottle, that much is clear. Thanks, Manny!