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Ultra rare miniature bottles of Scotch sell for record sums

Two miniature bottles of single malt Scotch whisky – one of which was distilled more than a century ago – have broken records to become the most expensive whiskies of their kind ever sold at auction.

miniature bottles of Scotch sell for record sums
Credit: Whisky.Auction

The two 5cl bottles were produced by the Springbank and the since-closed Malt Mill distilleries.

The 5cl Springbank miniature, distilled in 1919 and bottled as a 50-year-old whisky sold for an eye-watering £7,360 (roughly $8,800) at a sale organised by Whisky.Auction.

Springbank 1919 was described by Whisky.Auction as a “a firm collector’s favourite”, though the Malt Mill miniature, produced in 1959 and aged for 10 years, is an expression shrouded in the mystique of its namesake distillery.

Malt Mill’s origin story is borne out of a dispute between the owners of Lagavulin and Laphroaig. Malt Mill was eventually shuttered in 1962, with its equipment incorporated into Lagavulin.

The distillery’s whisky was used in Lagavulin’s blends, notably White Horse and Mackie’s Ancient Scotch.

The bottles that remain, then, are highly coveted. So much so, in fact, that a fictional cask of Malt Mill formed the basis of Ken Loach’s 2012 film, The Angel’s Share.

Isabel Graham-Yooll, director of Whisky.Auction commented on the sale: “The prices achieved on these two very rare miniatures are exciting, but perhaps not unexpected given the rarity of these whiskies.

“Much of the liquid we see coming to auction in miniatures is simply unavailable in full bottles, having been consumed many years before. Miniatures often outlive their full-size counterparts in “souvenir” style. And, sometimes, the liquid is so scarce that only miniatures ever existed.”

Read more: Ultra-rare Ardbeg single malt whisky cask sells for record-breaking US$19 million

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