Antique Islay Mist

Blends commonly get a less than favourable reputation with a raft of whisky drinkers. Viewed as being low quality, cheap spirits, which is not a fair reflection on the blended whisky category as a whole. 

Up until the 1990s, single malt whiskies were available, but there wasn’t a big selection, with blends being the tipple of choice for most. Malt whiskies were produced with the primary function of adding character to the neutral grain whiskies which bulk out the blends. 


As time has moved on, the popularity and range of single malt whiskies has exploded. The effect that this has had on blended whiskies is that there is less malt whisky available to go into the blends, and so the proportion of malt whisky in most modern-day blends will be lower, making old blends highly desirable. 

One of the most sought-after old blends the Islay Mist. The reason for this is that Islay Mist has been owned by D. Johnston & Co, whose portfolio also includes the Laphroaig distillery, which is one of the most sought-after single malt whiskies, particularly older bottles. 

Lot 10 in the January 21 whisky auction is a particularly special Islay Mist.  This rare bottle dates back to the 1970s, indicated by the old imperial measures. The Laphroaig spirits in the bottle will therefore date back to the 1960s. While these spirits are seen in miniature form, full bottles are few and far between, resulting in the full bottle to be highly desirable amongst collectors, with a pre-auction estimate of £800-£1,200.


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McTear’s is the longest-established auctioneer of whisky in the world. Entries are invited for this international auction. For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact our specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

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