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Artistry in Oak: Gordon & MacPhail’s 80-year-old single malt

Katie Nichol

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Artistry in Oak: Gordon & MacPhail’s 80-year-old single malt

Family-owned premium spirits company Gordon & MacPhail called on architect David Adjaye for the packaging design of Generations 80-Years-Old, billed as “the world’s oldest single malt”.

The latest release in Gordon & MacPhail’s Generations series is an 80-year-old single malt distilled at Glenlivet Distillery. The decanter and presentation case were designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye around the theme of “artistry in oak” - a nod to the oak casks in which the whisky is matured.

The decanter (Glencairn Crystal) is made using 30% lead crystal and is designed to “appear as hewn from a single solid block of crystal”. The curving core of the decanter is hand-blown; given the complexity of having an internal profile that curves towards the base on a decanter with a square external profile, the process required numerous trials and adjustments to achieve the desired finish.

Controlling the shape and size of the decanter’s shoulder so that the solid-oak shoulder plate would fit perfectly, with no visible gaps, was an additional feat. The shoulder plate has a matte black painted finish and is engraved and individually numbered.

The metal collar, decorative stopper and engraved transit stopper are in black lacquer plated brass. The latter is fitted with a mirror-end, fleur grade cork.

Scott Davidson, Director at Glencairn, notes that “the Generations decanter has been one of the most challenging projects the company has ever undertaken”.

The oak presentation case (Wardour Workshops) is made from locally grown, sustainably sourced oaks.

Just 250 of the 70cl decanters are available.

Component

DecanterGlencairn Crystal

Component

CaseWardour Workshops

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DesignDavid Adjaye

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