Freitag, 10. Februar 2012

Intermediate Whisky Studies: Mothballed and Closed Distilleries (Malt Mill, Brora, Rosebank)

According to a recent youtube video, Malt Mill, even more so than Brora, is somewhat the Holy Grail of obscure whiskies. The few bottles that are left seem to be safely locked away but parts of the output can still be found in the White Horse blend up to the 1970s:

Malt Mill Distillery, Established 1908
When Sir Peter Mackie lost his bitter legal dispute to retain the sales agency for Laphroaig whisky in 1907 he reacted in characteristic style by deciding to make his own "Laphroaig" type whisky, and in 1908 built a traditional small pot-still distillery within the Lagavulin complex. Despite hiring staff from Laphroaig and attempting to copy the Laphroaig recipe, it did not succeed, perhaps because it used a different water source. Malt Mill tried to replicate a traditional style of Islay Whisky, using only peat-dried malt, and it is reputed to have had heather added to the mash. It was always a small scale operation producing 25,000 gallons of proof spirit (113,500 litres) in its first year, compared with 128,000 gallons (581,120 litres) at Lagavulin. What is perhaps surprising is that it survived until 1962 when it was merged with Lagavulin and its coal-fired stills moved to the latter's still house for another seven years use. The Malt Mill distillery building is now the reception centre within the Lagavulin Distillery site.
I recently started my own more humble adventures into closed-distillery-land with a 1991 G&M bottling of a Rosebank; a Lowlander that I bought at a fair price and that the late Michael Jackson- the whisky-connaisseur- described as ‘a floral, light whisky for lovers and poets’, and me, being an enthusiastic dilettante and poseur of those arts, had to get it in order to test its magico-projective qualities. I’ll try it at some more or less special occasion later in the year since it doesn’t seem to fit the winter season.


La Sombra Sofisticada hat gesagt…

The Lowlands are something I plan to explore more in the future. I haven't tried so much from that region.

v. Braun. hat gesagt…

Thinking about it, I have also nearly no experience with Lowlanders so maybe I also should first try a decent, representative one before sampling the Rosebank, (for comparison).