Mortlach 1936 Gordon and MacPhail 35 Year Old / Edward and Edward
Mortlach was founded in 1823 and was the first of Dufftown's "Seven Stills" to be licensed. It rose to pre-eminence under George Cowie & Son, who's unique distillation regime produced a famously "meaty" whisky, which was highly prized by blenders. It was for this reason that it was acquired by John Walker & Sons, and so important to them was it that little stock was left available for bottling as a single malt. The Flora & Fauna release was the first official distillery bottling, but it was not until 2014 that Mortlach was bottled under its own fully fledged single malt brand. Thankfully, there have been many spectacular releases from independent labels like this over the years.
This was distilled at "the Beast of Dufftown" in 1936 and bottled at 35 year old by Gordon & MacPhail .
The black and red labelled Connoisseurs Choice labels were the very first. The range was devised for Edoardo Giaccone in Italy in the early 1970s, and became part of the main Gordon & MacPhail portfolio in 1979. It is now one of the most widely recognised independent whisky labels in the world.
Giaccone was something of a trailblazer, and was importing specially bottled official single malts for his bar from the late 1960s, this is one of his earliest. He opened the famous venue in 1958, and it has been called a few different things over the years, including Garten, Edward & Edward (during the period this was imported), and La Taverna del Comandante.
Edoardo set the stage for later legendary bottlers such as Silvano Samaroli, Nadi Fiori and Ernesto Mainardi. Moon Import founder, Pepi Mongiardino said, "he was the first person I visited" when he became the distributor for Bruichladdich in 1981. Giaccone did not have any of his own labels or series, but was the first person in Italy to have official bottlings produced exclusively for him. Through his bar, Italy was treated to exclusive releases from Clynelish, Bowmore, Dalmore, Highland Park and even Jack Daniel's.