May 27 2011
James Espey, Peter Fleck and Tom Jago have enviable careers: between them, the three friends have been drinking in the name of work for a total of 120 years – for reputable international wine and spirit companies, naturally. Three years ago they combined forces to form The Last Drop Distillers, which seeks out and rebottles rare casks of old and exceptional spirits. Their first release, in 2008, was a 1960 Scotch blend of 70 malt and 12 grain whiskies that was left, long forgotten, in old sherry casks on the Scottish mainland. Much of it had evaporated, and The Last Drop produced just 1,347 award-winning bottles of the final elixir.
Spirits expert Ian Wisniewski describes the Scotch as having a “rich, velvety texture”, adding that “distinct dryness and light oakiness lead then recede as sherried, plum, prune, crème caramel nuances emerge… followed by dark chocolate and digestive biscuits”. Its finish is of “rich, dried fruit, sherried notes, cherry jam, extending with distinct oakiness and toastiness”.
If that has you salivating, you’ll be reaching for your wallet – though you’ll need a spare £1,300. But if you’re really lucky, it won’t cost you a penny as The Last Drop is offering one of our readers a bottle of the Scotch that Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has called a “superstar whisky” and awarded 96.5 out of 100 for three years on the trot.
Whether you win it or buy it, if you simply can’t wait to sample that first dram, you’ll be relieved to know that each full-size bottle of The Last Drop Scotch has an accompanying 50ml miniature to break into. No one need ever know…