Imagine three old friends, all with decades working in the spirits trade under their belts, who decide that instead of sinking into retirement, they would seek out rare and remarkable whiskies.
Like the Indiana Joneses of the spirits trade, they would venture to distilleries all over Scotland to find long-forgotten casks and bring these hidden jewels to connoisseurs of fine spirits. This is exactly what happened in 2008, when James Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Fleck combined their contacts and wealth of knowledge to find the first of a series of once buried casks.
Out of this sense of adventure and a desire to bring fine whisky to connoisseurs, The Last Drop Distillers was born.
Its mission is simple but not easy: to unearth remarkable spirits that have been thought lost if not forgotten. There may only be a cask or two left, but as long as the taste is right, that’s enough for The Last Drop Distillers. Inspired by the passion of their fathers, daughters Rebecca Jago and Beanie Espey have since stepped into their shoes to run the small but perfectly formed company, joining the quest to find old, rare and remarkable spirits that hark from a bygone distilling age.
Vintage spirits – whiskies especially – are increasingly difficult to find. The supply is dwindling, while demand from drinkers, collectors and investors has never been higher, which is why the team at The Last Drop Distillers spend their days hunting out long-hidden, superlative spirits. Since founding the company, they have tasted hundreds of samples and rejected all but the very best, with only ten releases to date, the youngest of which was 44 years old. The Last Drop Distillers consider themselves ‘rare spirits hunters’, and the search is not limited to whiskies and cognacs. Any spirituous drink that has the capacity to age beautifully has the potential to be included – James would love to have rum; Beanie would love to explore sherry; Rebecca is keen to pursue armagnac.
They describe themselves as ‘the world’s most exclusive spirits collection’, because this is all they do – their whole drive is to find rare, old and exceptional spirits, while never compromising on quality.
The support and investment of the company’s new owners, Sazerac, will now allow access to rare bourbons and Canadian whiskies, although Scotch whisky will always remain at the core of the brand. The Last Drop Distillers is born of sheer passion and offers a small, personal alternative to big
and sometimes faceless corporations. James and Tom regularly appear at tasting events, and the whole team is always available to answer consumer questions directly. In the modern world it is almost impossible to own and taste a piece of history, to which only a handful of people around the globe has access. That privilege is reflected in the brand’s slogan: ‘Before there is no more’.
THE LAST DROP DISTILLERS RIVERBANK HOUSE, LONDON SW6 3BQ +44 (0)20 3705 5655