The world’s only known bottle of Malt Mill new-make spirit was unveiled for enthusiasts and whisky pilgrims at the Lagavulin distillery last Monday.
Thought to have disappeared forever, Malt Mill is the basis of the plot for the award-winning Ken Loach film, The Angels’ Share.
Charles Maclean, one of the world’s leading whisky writers, who also played a role in the film, comments on the unveiling. “This bottle is priceless. Malt Mill is legendary, and is viewed by many as the holy grail. It is an extremely significant moment and I’m delighted to be part of it.”
Dr Nick Morgan, head of whisky outreach, Diageo, adds, “In my twenty years as an historian and archivist, I’ve always wanted to see this unique bottle of Malt Mill go on display. We are thrilled to share this precious artefact with the many whisky enthusiasts who visit Lagavulin every year.”
Rebecca O’ Brien, Producer for The Angels’ Share, says, “It is wonderful to think this bottle has been passed down from distillery manager to distillery manager for fifty years here on Islay. Our film hinges on the auction of an imaginary cask of Malt Mill precisely because everyone agreed it was so rare. Now the very DNA of Malt Mill has been rediscovered.”
The Angels’ Share, which is currently on general cinema release, was written by Scot Paul Laverty and was filmed in various locations around Scotland last summer. The film was a hit at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where it won the coveted Jury Prize.
The film is based on an auction of an imaginary last cask of Malt Mill and involves some whisky related shennanigans. The previously unknown bottle of Malt Mill was brought out from its secret location when the Lagavulin distillery manager, Georgie Crawford, heard about the film.
It had been passed on to her by her predecessor, the former Lagavulin distillery manager.
Malt Mill was produced at a small distillery on the Lagavulin distillery site from 1908; production ceased in 1962 and this bottle is from the last fill in June 1962.