A Q & A with treasure hunters, The Last Drop
Friday, February 11, 2022 in News
Contrary to popular belief, not every bottle of Whisky comes from the distiller. Some liquid gold is in fact, the work of a skilled treasure hunter who delves into forgotten ageing casks and barrels to unveil lost bounty. The Last Drop Distillers are just those skilled hunters.
We chat to Managing Director Rebecca Jago as we eagerly await the Australian first, exclusive launch of their new release of rare spirits. Click here to see The Last Drop Distillers Australian exclusive range.
What makes The Last Drop so unique and sought after?
I think this is a fascinating question. We now describe ourselves as Curators of Remarkable Spirits, and I think that’s a really important part of what we do: we seek out and bottle truly delightful spirits from a range of categories. But, more importantly than that, we like to see ourselves as curators – and friends – for our customers. We believe that at the heart of the brand is the sense of our being trusted advisors, taking our customers on a journey of discovery: a bit like an art advisor or a friend recommending a favourite book. We like to think there is a real sense of trust and sharing: if we put something in a bottle – no matter what spirit it is – we think you’ll love it. So, if you’re traditionally a Scotch drinker, but we offer you a rum or a bourbon, we think you’ll enjoy the discovery!
What can you tell us about these incredible top drops?
Rebecca Jago, Managing Director of The Last Drop Distillers
What are some of the most incredible places where you have sourced rare spirits internationally?
I think my favourite is the discovery of a cognac distilled in 1925 which was discovered by the grandson of the distiller nearly 90 years later, hidden behind a wall of rubble. The main thing was not just the story but the incredible deliciousness and freshness of the spirit. In recent years, we’ve branched into rare bourbon, including the wonderful 1980 Buffalo Trace Bourbon which we’re tasting. It’s incredible to present these bourbons from a completely different age, and give people the opportunity to reflect on what was happening several decades ago!
Ah, Glenrothes: such a wonderful distillery with such a history. It’s been damaged and destroyed by fire, and survived much else besides. However, I think what is really fascinating about this bottling is that it comes from a time in the history of Glenrothes when none of its spirit was released as single malts: all their production went into blends. So, to taste a single cask of single malt whisky from nearly 50 years ago, which really has no right even to exist, is a magical moment for all of us. Besides which, it’s a fabulous, classic speyside whisky which has matured beautifully, with a great balance of vanilla, sweet honey, heather and tannins. Lucky us!
Glenrothes: a great balance of vanilla, sweet honey, heather and tannins.
Tell us about your love of Whisky?
Scotch Whisky has been part of my life since my earliest years. My father loved almost nothing more than pouring and sitting down with his 6 o’clock glass of whisky, all his life. So, the clink of the bottle and the sound of pouring a measure of whisky is incredibly evocative. The Last Drop is much more than just whisky, but it is at the heart of the business and at the heart of the two men who started the company: my father, Tom Jago and his long-time colleague James Espey. Together they had launched several iconic brands, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chivas Regal 18 Year Old. So you could say that their careers were built on Scotch Whisky.
So what would you say is your favourite memory of whisky?
My own favourite memory with whisky is the moment I tasted Colin Scott’s creation for us: the 50 year old Signature Blend
. When Colin agreed to join The Last Drop, it was a bit like closing a circle. James and my dad worked with Colin when they were all at Chivas Brothers, and the result was the creation and launch of Chivas Regal 18 Year Old – something they were all incredibly proud of. So when Colin joined us, and created his 50 Year Old Signature Blend, it felt like we’d reached a very special place. I only wish my father could have been here to taste it too, because I know he’d have really loved it!
What is something you can tell our customers that they most likely wouldn't know about The Last Drop?
I hope that everyone who knows The Last Drop knows that the heart of the brand is the passion we have for what we do. But maybe some of your customers don’t know how selective we are: on average, I would estimate that we reject over 90% of what we taste, across the categories. I hope that serves to show just how selective we are, and how proud we are of the spirits we put into our bottles.
What is your favourite part of doing what you do?
I want to say that my favourite part of my job is sharing our wonderful spirits and telling the stories behind them… and then, maybe years later, hearing from our customers when they tell us the stories of when they tasted our spirits, and when they opened their own bottles. For us, the magic is in the memories, and I hope that is what we’re doing today, and every day. We have also just launched a podcast: The Remarkable! It’s me, Rebecca Jago, in conversation with remarkable people including the wonderful Colin Scott. Find it wherever you find your podcasts by searching for The Remarkable or The Last Drop Distillers.
As precious as they are delicious, The Last Drop offerings deliver the kind of sensory experience rarely found—treating the eyes, the nose, and the palate to joy and decadence. Each of its releases is brimming with stories of their journeys. There may only be a handful of bottles, and each will never be found again. Each release is finite, so don’t miss out on your chance to own your bottle of history. Click here to Shop the Range now