In 1939, John Urquhart gave the instruction for new-make Mortlach spirit to be filled into first-fill sherry butt number 2475. Today, 75 years later, that whisky was unveiled at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.
Urquhart was the first generation of his family to work at Gordon & MacPhail, and today the fourth generation remains involved in the company. Some of those members were at today's launch event, as well as Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith and whisky writer Charles MacLean.
The whisky itself, entitled Generations Mortlach 75 Years Old by Gordon & MacPhail, is still showing remarkable youth, with a creamy, fruity note - pear and apricot - combined with an ocean-spray saltiness, as well as some light incense too. The palate opens quite dry and lean, with a spicy fruitiness emerging, joined by some attractive perfume notes.
Smith and MacLean were commissioned to produce a book to accompany the teardrop-shaped decanter of whisky, entitled Seven Nights in Mortlach. Alongside stories of Scotland and scotch whisky, the pages contain tasting notes from both, including a description of the whisky by MacLean as: 'Smooth and highly sophisticated - elegant as a grand dame - the Ingrid Bergman of malts!'
With only 100 decanters available, and with only 12 allocated to the UK, each one will be going for £20,000.