In a unique addition to the whisky house’s Private Collection, Gordan & MacPhail has unveiled twin Longmorn whiskies created by identical twin brothers Stuart & Richard Urquhart that beautifully illustrate the effects of differing oaks on the maturation process.
Using the oldest Longmorn single malts ever released, whiskies originally laid down in 1961 by the brothers’ grandfather, George Urquhart, each brother has finished spirit matured in first fill sherry hogsheads in a different oak to create a truly unique dram. Richard Urquhart’s Cask 508 has been finished in European oak, which has resulted in a deep mahogany colour and a complex aromatic nose, while Stuart Urquhart’s Cask 512delivers the chestnut hue and amber highlights of American oak, as well as a sweeter nose with touches of vanilla and black cherry.
“Like all twins, both whiskies share the same makeup,” says Professor David Purdie, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, who worked with Gordon & MacPhail to uncover what shapes character in twins, including the effect of heritage, environment and location. “They [the whiskies]were born together and matured separately. It is remarkable to see how the identical spirit filled into the casks all those years ago has been altered by the natural environment of the casks themselves. Much like the twins who started life from the same point, each whisky has been shaped and developed by a multitude of different factors to create these subtle differences.”
The results were as intriguing to the whisky creators. “For much of our lives, Stuart and I have shared similar environments, growing up together, sharing a flat while attending the same university, sailing competitively as a team and now working under the same roof,” says Richard Urquhart. “However, as we’ve grown older, got married and had children, it’s intriguing to see how our individual characters, much like the whiskies, are diverging.”
The whiskies, limited to just 97 pairs of twin hand-blown decanters, are presented with a book written by whisky specialist Jonny McCormick, along with a personally signed certificate of authenticity from each twin, and are priced from GBP30,000 (US$39,500).