MacPhail’s 2000, 40% – Gordon & MacPhail

This was part of a bottle share a fellow Dutch sharer did a while ago. It was all a bit of a strange one since he got this, I think, in auction. But since this is an old ceramic jug you don’t know how much whisky is actually in it.

So, while the initial guess was that it would be close to the stated two liters, it turned out to be closer to 1.2 liters. A good 40% of the contents had evaporated over the years. Based on that info a possibly dodgy whisky became even more dodgy, but I wanted to go ahead and ordered 5 cl anyway (instead of 10 cl though).

The whisky was blended and bottled to celebrate the new millennium. Whether that means it’s been bottled in 2000 or just in 1999 is unclear. I would have thought this jug to be much, much older since so much has evaporated from it!

The MacPhail’s 2000 is a blended malt whisky with a combined age of over 2000 years old. The whisky in it are up to 60 years old. It means, I guess, that this has some significant age on average. Although it doesn’t say how many different whiskies are in there. So if could technically also be loads of three year olds. I bet that’s not the case though.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

The nose is full and rich, with a very old-whisky-feel to it. Slightly oxidized but absolutely not in a bad way. Fruity sherry with a slightly bitter note of oak. Orange, date, cocoa. The sherry is sweet and fruity with oak, spices and a slight bitterness.

The palate is slightly sharper than I expected of an oxidized, old, blended 40% whisky. Slightly dry and slightly bitter. Sweet and fruity with peach, date, sweet oranges. Some European oak notes too.

The finish, again, is old fashioned and sherried. Lots of sherry, lots of fruit. Some baking spices and a dry, bitter note. Oranges are prominent again, and the finish is long and rich.

I have to admit I was taken by surprise. Based on all the info I had on this whisky I expected it to be kind of a bummer when I actually tried it. There were so many red flags with the oxidation, and the already low ABV to start with.

I was wrong. This is a stunning whisky that has been able to stand up to a porous environment, oxidation, low ABV and filtration. This is quite a feat, if you ask me.

The flavors are comparable to quite some older G&M bottles I’ve had in the past and it wouldn’t surprise me if there is quite some Glen Grant and Strathisla in there. Probably also some Glenlivet and Longmorn, based on what Gordon & MacPhail bottled a lot of in the past.

What just popped into my head: If this contains whiskies of up to sixty years old, there is whisky in here from the early 1940s. A truly interesting ‘bottle’.


MacPhail’s 2000, 40%, Gordon & MacPhail. Only in auctions and valued at some 500+ euros I guess.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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