Glen Mhor Tasting Edinburgh 8th March 2023
Talking about whisky history, unearthing the past, the unseen and the plain weird, is a fantastic experience. I've enjoyed immensely compiling this research project on Glen Mhor that has gone way beyond any prior effort on the distillery, or arguably, any lost Scottish distillery.
I believed that the existing whisky texts were incomplete, and much more was out there, but even I underestimated where this journey would take us. My original ambition was to have a decent enough platform in place for the 40th anniversary of Glen Mhor's closure. I've more than ticked that box thanks to everyone involved who has helped me along the way, with a special mention to Alan Winchester and Rose.
However, it doesn't stop there. It's my belief that there are more Glen Mhor discoveries to be made, perhaps as I continue the focus with Glen Albyn and Millburn, we'll find new synergies and delightful events. These two distilleries are very much in their infancies compared to the larger body of work that is this Glen Mhor resource.
Part of my cunning plan for 2023 was marking the cull of so many now lost distilleries. This would be the year that I'd open up more Glen Mhor bottles and let others experience the distillery and celebrate the efforts of the men and women involved. The names of individuals we've brought to life on these very pages, and it is that personal element that remains with me consistently; the delight of relatives seeing their father's, and suchlike remembered.
I am fortunate to have a decent sized stockpile of Glen Mhor, as a personal favourite it is one that I have propagated over the years. I appreciate how rare and unaffordable some of these bottles are nowadays. The next stage in this ongoing project is to let others experience the whisky itself, but not at the excessive prices we see at bars and festivals. Whisky has never been a money-making exercise for me, it is about enjoyment and those memories that I can look back upon with pride.
Ideally, I would like to do several tastings in 2023, but time out from family responsibilities is limited and you'll just have to hope that I can put together other events as and when. However, I am pleased to announce this event in Edinburgh at the Kilderkin on Wednesday 8th March 2023.
Why this date precisely?
Our timeline confirms that on 8th March 1983, the last distillation was run at the distillery and the stills which had been in use since 1894 with only the rare intrusion of a strike or world war, fell silent for the last time. Twelve weeks later, Glen Mhor closed and was consigned to the history books. This event will celebrate the distillery and will cost (just) £83 for 5 drams of Glen Mhor. Given some bars in Edinburgh will happily charge you £50-£70 for just one pour from this distillery, I hope you appreciate the price. And in all honesty, as we're celebrating 1983, I wasn't going to charge £1983, rather £83 seems more apt! Although who knows with the price of whisky nowadays?
Hosting the tasting will be none other than Mark Davidson, aka Jolly Toper, who is very much a catalyst for my own whisky journey. Nothing pretentious about the host or the setting; this is classic Edinburgh whisky tasting territory and familiar ground for many of us. In my mind, an ideal venue that harks back to the 70s and 80s - if you're lucky we might even have some old school treats on the tables!
To enquire about spaces, get in touch with Mark via @jolly_toper on IG or if you're lucky enough to know him personally, then maybe he'll accept a more traditional form of communication, or via Twitter and Facebook. Don’t attempt to use the phone numbers on the flyer as these are just significant dates in 1983.
I will be in attendance and can chip in if needed, but I'm looking forward to a backseat and watching how Mark summaries all this history into one tasting session. What we can promise is that it'll be fun and memorable. The whiskies that will be poured on the night, in no particular order, are:
Hart Brothers 1976, 21yo, 43%
Bottled in circa 1996, I did approach the Hart Brothers (who are still bottling) for any more specifics regarding this release. Unfortunately, they did not have any records. What I would presume is this is one of a package of casks they purchased from D.C.L. either during the existence of the distillery, or as its inventory was sold off. Our taste buds will have to piece together the rest of the mystery.
Gordon & MacPhail 1979, 25yo 43%
This is the staple Glen Mhor independent bottler, the one you're most likely to see and the vessel that has attracted many to this distillery. You couldn't have a Glen Mhor tasting without Gordon & MacPhail being represented.
Cadenhead's 1982, 30yo, 54.1%
As a regular patron of Cadenhead's we should have a bottling of theirs. This was bottled in October 2012, with an outturn of 198 bottles as part of their closed distillery series from a bourbon cask. The Danish branch of Cadenhead's still has stock, but a bottle will cost you the UK equivalent of £944 before any customs charges are applied; one of the joys of Brexit, the gift that keeps on giving.
Glenkeir Treasures 1975, 30yo, 51.2%
A rarely seen single cask from the Whisky Shop, distilled in April 1975. The cask produced 270 bottles when bottled in November 2005. A very rare example and is it sherried?
Signatory 1980, 20yo, 43%
Another strong supporter of Glen Mhor, this Signatory release was definetely matured in a Sherry cask giving us a unique opportunity.
Needless to say, spaces are as limited as the whisky. If you're interested, then please get in touch via the Toper link above and I hope to see you there on what promises to be a memorable evening of whisky.
My thanks also to John, aka @deadscotch for the fabulous 1980s punk inspired flyer which is the icing on the cake.
This tasting sold out in under 24 hours - we have a reserve list if you’re interested.