Internationally Gordon & MacPhail are known as independent bottlers of scotch whisky however they have many other strings to their bow than just the extremely successful Connoisseurs Choice series of fine Scottish whiskies. They are also the owners of Benromach whisky distillery located in Forres, Speyside. Gordon & MacPhail are also international and UK wholesalers not just of Scotch whisky but also have a vast range of wine and spirits available. They are also beer wholesalers.
This giant of the Scottish Whisky Industry came to be in 1895 when founders John MacPhail and James Gordon opened a family grocers in the Scottish town of Elgin on the North East coast of Scotland. The employed a young man by the name of John Urquhart who after the death of James Gordon became a senior partner and drove forward the whisky side of the business. His first bottlings were done under license from esteemed Speyside whisky distilleries such as Glen Grant, Glenlivet and Macallan. He was innovative and chose to mature his whiskies longer than what was the norm at the time; he also preferred Spanish Oak casks.
By 1950 John Urquhart had not only been joined by most of his family on the business, Gordon & MacPhail had amassed the largest range of single malt whisky in the world. This was a great achievement holding on to this over the 2nd world war. It was his son George Urquhart, who in the 1960’s launched the super successful Connoisseurs Choice label and exported the range to expanding whisky markets such as Holland, France, Italy and the USA. The markets continue to this day to be very important to the Scottish Whisky industry with the USA and France continuing to be the largest consumers of whisky globally.
The family tradition has continued at Gordon & MacPhail, George Urquhart brought his own children into the firm, with Ian, David and Michael joining the firm during the 1960’s and 1970’s. George’s daughter also joined the firm in 1981.
Gordon & MacPhail became a limited company in the 1970’s and the family run company has continued to expand successfully with George’s grandsons now being on the Board of Directors.