old mull history 

In 2011 a pristine bottle from 1917 – still in remarkably good shape – was opened at a Diageo function, and revealed a ‘slightly dry’ whisky with ‘pear drops… some cocoa and citrus zest.’

Old Mull Single Malts

The Old Mull blend was first registered in 1880 by John Hopkins & Co. as a sister brand to the Glasgow merchant’s Glen Garry blend, which was launched two years prior.

Both were successful mainstream brands from their inception, and so to ensure their continued prosperity and the future of the business, John Hopkins & Co soon established its own supply of malt whisky through the acquisition of Tobermory distillery on Mull in 1888, and the construction of Speyburn-Glenlivet distillery in Rothes in 1896. No doubt whisky from both sites were used in the Glen Garry and Old Mull blends.

Rare labels

Old Mull from John Hopkins

In 1916, John Hopkins & Co. was acquired by the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), although it wasn’t fully incorporated into the conglomerate for another 15 years. By this time Tobermory distillery had been mothballed and Oban distillery had joined the DCL fold, another coastal distillery which was licensed to John Hopkins & Co.

Throughout Old Mull’s existence its labels boasted the provenance of all three distilleries, as well as Glen Elgin, which had been picked up by the DCL in 1930.

Old Mull was produced continuously until the 1986 takeover of the DCL by Guinness. In 1993 it was licensed to Donald Fraser & Co Ltd.

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