Connoisseur’s Choice is one of the oldest and most emblematic range of independent bottlings in the world. First created by George Urquhart of Gordon & MacPhail in 1968 to sit alongside the company’s licensed distillery bottlings as a way to showcase smaller batch examples of single malt from a greater variety of distilleries. The first releases covered only a handful of distilleries. This rose to around 20 different distilleries by the late 1970s when the livery changed from the old black and red label to the brown label. By 1987 there were 69 different expressions in the range and it was fast becoming an important part of Gordon & MacPhail’s business. The series has been characterized over the years as small batch (often only 2-3 casks) production bottled at 40% or 43%. It is hard to pick famous examples as there are just so many terrific whiskies which have been bottled in this range over the years. To name but a few we could site the incredible 1972 Broras, the majestic 1930s single malts such as Mortlach 43 year old or Glenlossie 43 year old. The 1952 Royal Lochnagar and the 1963 Ardbegs are also magnificent. The range has been criticized over the years for its lower bottling strengths and use of filtration and caramel. However, no one can deny the influence and importance of this famous, long-standing range of whiskies. Today it has upped its bottling strength to 46% and many great whiskies still appear under its name.