Scotland: Whisky & Distilleries
Murray McDavid is a relatively recent actor in the world of whisky independent bottling. Unlike many other bottlers, Murray McDavid has no blenders tradition, bottling only single malts instead of blends .
The company was founded by Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin and Gordon Wright (the latter being a member of the family owning Springbank) in 1996. The company is named after Mark Reynier's grand parents, Harriet Murray and Jock McDavid, aide-de-camp of Winston Churchill during WW1.
The philosophy is largely inspired by the traditions from the top-of-the-range wine world. Mark Reynier a third generation wine merchant, uses several aspects from the wine world in the preparation of their bottlings, for example always tasting each cask, creating an assemblage of several casks from the same distillation for maximal complexity.
Murray McDavid represents a particular trend in the world of independent bottlers, due to the wine traditions inherited by its managers. Great respect for tradition and a constant search for quality. Unlike many others, they never bottle a "single cask", arguing that these kind of bottlings never guarantee a constant quality, are unrepresentative, and often out of balance. There are many factors influencing the quality of a cask (poor quality wood, nails, poorly coopered casks, the proximity of the windows or ceilings, the humidity and temperature in the maturing warehouse, etc…)
Murray McDavid never adds any colouring, nor do they chill filter their
products. All bottlings are with Islay Spring water, bottled at the Bruichladdich
The range of products is intentionally small (less than 10 bottlings, selected from distilleries which have produced great whiskies, rather than simply distilleries having a well known names.
There are three ranges:
The Benchmark (quintessential examples of younger malts),
The Mission (for older malts – limited to 600 bottles, selected by Jim McEwan, released annually) and
Jim McEwan's’s Celtic Heartlands (for exceptionally old or unique casks limited to 700 decanters released annually) –
and the soon to be released Maverick range.
|Bladnoch||1992, 16 years Boubon Casks, Ace'd in Amarone casks||1|
|Bruichladdich||Squat cask 1990||1|
|Clynelish||Yves Cuilleron Condrieu finish||1|
|Dufftown||1993, Syrah finish||1|
|Glendullan||9 years, genache finish 1996||1|
|Highland-Park||Bourbon/Grenache Blanc aged in Banyuls casks||1|
|Highland-Park||1989 Refuill sherry/ Grenache blanc||1|
|Mortlach||13 years, port finish||1|
|Celtic Heartlands||Dumbarton||Dumbarton 1964|
|Celtic Heartlands||Glenlivet||Glenlivet 1975, Celtic Heartlands|
|Celtic Heartlands||Glenlivet||Glenlivet 1977-2010, Celtic Heartlands||19|
|Mission||Clynelish||Murray McDavid Mission 1983||3|
|Mission||Glen-Grant||Murray McDavid Mission 1969||2|
|Mission||Glenglassaugh||1973-2007, Mission Gold||1|
|Mission||Highland-Park||Murray McDavid Mission 1967||3|
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The tasting notes
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|WDTS: blind tasting sessions||List of all distilleries||How whisky is made||Central Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Northern Highlands,Western Highlands|
|Recent tastings||Distillery owners||Whisky history||Speyside|
|Visitors notes||The independent bottlers||All the bottles in collection||Lowlands|
|Post your own notes||The distilleries in their historical context||By order of preference||Islay|
|Interactive map of the distilleries||By order of value for money||Campbeltown|