North Port-Brechin 1974 (bottled 1996) - Connoisseurs Choice (75cl,40%) ***sold***
A rare release from Gordon & MacPhail this North Port-Brechin was distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996. North Port-Brechin ceased production in 1983, and has now sadly been demolished.
The Brechin distillery was built in 1820 by the Guthrie family, who changed its named to North Port at some point later that century. It was acquired by DCL (now Diageo) in 1922, who closed it down six years later. Production briefly resumed for two years before the war, but it was not until 1945 that regular distilling recommenced. North Port was one of the nine distilleries closed by DCL in 1983 after a market downturn meant their blends were oversupplied. It never re-opened and the site now houses a supermarket. Its single malt is very rare, and was never officially bottled in its lifetime. Diageo have produced only a handful of distillery bottlings, the first of which were in the Rare Malts Selection. Rare and increasingly sought after independent releases like this have also appeared over the years though.
Gordon & MacPhail are one of the largest and most recognisable whisky companies in the world. Although they began distilling at the newly refurbished Benromach distillery in 1998, for most of their history they were an independent bottler. Their labels are recognised by whisky lovers the world over, and their licensed bottlings from distillery's like Macallan and Talisker in the 1970s and 1980s, when the companies were not bottling themselves, are a huge part of the success of those distillers today.
The Connoisseurs Choice label is one of the most recognisable independent bottlings on the market. It was initially created for renowned Italian importer, Edoardo Giaccone in the early 1970s, but became a mainstay of the core Gordon & MacPhail portfolio in 1979.