The year 1963 was momentous. Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, while the first woman cosmonaut, Valentina V Tereshkova, headed into space in Vostok 6. The UK was gripped by The Great Train Robbery, the Profumo scandal and Beatlemania as I Want to Hold Your Hand reached Number One on both sides of the Atlantic. Tragically, the year ended on a sombre note when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22. And as all these events were unfolding, the youngest whisky in The Last Drop Distillers’ 56 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky was quietly put into hiding in oak casks – the final blend emerging for the very first time this year.
The 56 Year Old started life as a 12 Year Old blend that was duly selected and bottled after meticulous trials – the blender looking for light and shade, depth and variety. This was transferred to sherry casks to allow for continued maturation. Eventually, between the warehouse keeper and the blending team, it was decided to transfer the blend from sherry wood into ex-bourbon casks, where it lay in a warehouse in deepest Scotland, undisturbed, for decades. Undisturbed, that is, until it was bottled on May 15 this year.
The whisky comprises over 60 per cent single malts and marks The Last Drop’s 16th release within its portfolio of fine and rare whiskies, which will officially launch on Tuesday September 3. A 47.2 per cent cask strength blended malt and grain scotch, it is deep bronze gold in colour. The aromas combine a sweet depth of smoky, vanilla-like elements with a rich apricot fruitiness in a seductive fragrance that comes across with a cognac-like spice and sweetness. Behind a texture that’s as smooth as silk, the complexity of flavour erupts in an explosion of smoke, tar, vanilla and stone fruit that’s initially rich before turning delicately dry, all while retaining a remarkable freshness.
As with all Last Drop releases, each bottle will be presented with a 50ml miniature replica bonne bouche and pocket-sized tasting book with additional pages for personal tasting notes. Only 732 bottles will be released, priced £3,750. They can be ordered online.