Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Scotch whisky holy grail to be unveiled!

Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay.
Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay.
Photo by Michael Schaap.
Scotch whisky's 'holy grail' is to be unveiled today on a remote scottish island.

Whisky pilgrims and enthusiasts will journey to the Lagavulin distillery on the island of Islay to pay homage to the world's only known bottle of Malt Mill new-make spirit.

Malt Mill is the basis of the plot for the award-winning Ken Loach film, The Angels' Share.

Charles Maclean, the world's leading whisky writer, says the bottle is priceless.

He said, "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, the world's leading premium drinks business, said, "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, The Angels' Share producer, said, "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 brought to light."

The bottle of Malt Mill came to light after the Lagavulin distillery manager, Georgie Crawford, heard about the film. Involving some whisky related shennanigans, and based on an auction of an imaginary last cask of Malt Mill, she brought out the Malt Mill from its secret location. It had been passed on to her by her predecessor, the former Lagavulin distillery manager.

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.

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.

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