The Wood Makes the Whiskey

Gordon & MacPhail roll out ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ Campaign

Gordon & MacPhail, one of the world’s leading single malt whisky specialists, has selected a special series of whiskies to showcase the company’s ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ campaign which highlights the importance of this essential element in the whisky maturation process.

For over 120 years Gordon & MacPhail has carefully matched spirit with oak in order to ensure a premium taste which reflects the company’s philosophy. Through ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ campaign consumers are invited to gain a more in-depth insight into how Gordon & MacPhail’s approach to matching wood to spirit has shaped a number of whiskies in their portfolio.

Using expertise honed over four generations, Gordon & MacPhail believe that wood really does make the whisky, with their skilfully coopered casks delivering a full spectrum of flavour compounds; from sweet vanilla notes found through Bourbon cask maturation to rich toffee, dark chocolate and spice notes derived through maturation in Sherry casks.

The array of flavours derived from oak are abundant across the Gordon & MacPhail portfolio, with each whisky demonstrating a unique flavour profile which reflects the cask type as well as the distillery character.

Gordon & MacPhail has selected a series of whiskies, from various Collections including Connoisseurs Choice, The MacPhail’s Collection and Rare Vintage, which they feel best demonstrate ‘The Wood Makes the Whisky’ philosophy.

A book and website have been created to accompany the campaign which can be used to guide whisky lovers through the series, explaining the flavours of each whisky and how this relates to the wood.

Ewen Macintosh, Chief Operating Officer said: “Here at Gordon & MacPhail we have always been focused on the close relationship between oak and spirit, and have learned from vast experience that wood really does make the whisky. We have selected the special series of whiskies to demonstrate this complex relationship.

“Our unrivalled collection is a liquid library showcasing whiskies from numerous Scottish distilleries, age profiles and whisky characteristics. From branch to barrel, we aim to deliver a perfectly matured whisky time and time again.”

For more information on the Wood Makes the Whisky campaign please visit

About the Wood Makes the Whisky Series

Connoisseurs Choice Speyburn 1991 (46% ABV)

A delicate and well balanced Single Malt Whisky, Connoisseurs Choice Speyburn, is fresh and sweet with hints of pineapple and honey. The palate is peppery initially with banana, aniseed and milk chocolate flavours developing. It’s matured in a Refill Sherry Hogshead cask.

The MacPhail’s Collection Bunnahabhain 8 Years Old (43% ABV)

The MacPhail’s Collection Bunnahabhain is sweet and fruity initially, with ripe banana, kiwi and vanilla. The palate is sweet and creamy with hints of soft tropical fruits and a lingering milk chocolate edge.

Distillery Labels Ardmore 1996 (43% ABV)

This long, smooth Highland Single Malt has rich sherry influences with hints of stewed fruits and charred oak. The palate has black pepper initially with green apple and ripe banana flavours. An underling peat smoke edge lingers in the finish.

Rare Vintage Glen Grant 1954 (40% ABV)

This Rare Vintage Single Malt Whisky is very fruity initially with strawberries, raspberries and melon. Delicate hessian and old leather aromas develop. The palate is deliciously smooth with summer fruits and menthol flavours and is matured in 1st Fill Sherry casks.

Connoisseurs Choice Glen Spey 2004 (46% ABV)

Connoisseurs Choice Glen Spey has sweet vanilla with tropical fruit aromas, pineapple and mango. Subtle floral and toasted malt notes develop. The palate has chilli spice initially with citrus flavours and a creamy milk chocolate finish. It is medium in length, with sweet fruit elements.

Connoisseurs Choice Tormore 1997 (46% ABV)

This light Speyside Single Malt Whisky is sweet and fruity with hints of toffee, green apple and subtle vanilla notes. On the palate very sweet and peppery initially with honey, tropical fruit and honey and a long and smooth finish.

Speymalt Macallan 2006 (43% ABV)

Speymalt Macallan has delicate Sherry influences with red apple, lemon and subtle beeswax aromas. The palate is peppery initially with ripe banana and orange zest flavours, complemented by a creamy milk chocolate finish.

Rare Vintage Strathisla 1965 43%

Rare Vintage Strathisla is sweet and fresh with hints of bees wax, ripe gooseberries and aniseed. On the palate it’s creamy with toffee, ripe summer fruits and a subtle hint of charred wood. This sweet and lingering malt is matured in 1st Fill Sherry Butt casks and is an ideal after dinner dram.