HISTORY

In 2008, three veterans of the Spirits trade decided to pool their secrets...

True spirits pioneers, the founders of The Last Drop have between them created some of the world’s most well-known and best loved spirits brands: Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Chivas Regal 18 Year Old, The Classic Malts, and with Malibu and Baileys Irish Cream, two of the most original and successful new drinks categories in the world.  

Eight years ago, rather than retiring, they decided to turn their attention to something a little different and created one last unique brand: The Last Drop Distillers Limited.  Their goal was simple, but by no means easy: to find, and bottle, for the delectation of friends and connoisseurs alike, the world’s finest, rarest and most exclusive spirits..   

 

 

It’s not surprising that we rarely succeed in our quest; not all spirits age well and too long in wood can ruin a fine spirit. But occasionally all the elements – original distillate, type of wood, the climate for storage – combine to produce an unlikely miracle.

The Last Drop Distillers Limited offer only such articles we think are unique, extremely limited in quantity, and, of course, exceptionally delicious. In short, the kind of experience, on the eye, the nose and the palate, that only comes to most people once in a lifetime.    

 

FOUNDERS

 

"“Colleagues yes, but friends above all, we have long shared a delight in fine spirits"

The founders of The Last Drop Distillers Limited have developed their ideas, refined their palates, and cemented their friendship during many happy years working together in the drinks trade.   In 2008 they decided to pool their professional resources one more time - but this time beginning again at the small end of the business, dealing in hundreds of bottles instead of millions of cases. 


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JAMES ESPEY – FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN

James has been a director of several major, international whisky companies over a career in the industry spanning almost 50 years. He has contributed to the creation and development of most of the world’s greatest Scotch whisky brands, including names such as J&B Rare, Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal.  He is also creator and founder of The Keepers of The Quaich, a proud and powerful society promoting Scotch whisky around the world.  In May 2013, James was appointed to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in HRH Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours List, for his services to Scotch Whisky.


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TOM JAGO – FOUNDER & PRESIDENT

From a village school in the remote countryside, via a scholarship to Oxford and service in the Royal Navy during WWII, Tom found his niche in the Wine & Spirits trade via the Advertising Industry.  Tom discovered he had a talent for developing new ideas, which lead to the launch, among others, of Baileys Irish Cream – perhaps the most successful new drinks launch in the world, revolutionising British drinking habits forever.  He was also the driving creative force behind Le Piat D’Or, The Classic Malts and Johnnie Walker Blue Label.


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PETER FLECK – FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

Peter has spent his life in the drinks trade of his home country South Africa, and was responsible for the extraordinary growth in the region of brands such as Smirnoff Vodka, J&B Rare Scotch and Chivas Regal.  Together with Tom and James, he created another world-beating brand: Malibu.

WORDS FROM THE FOUNDERS

James and Tom tell us more about the philosophy of The Last Drop Distillers Limited

                    

                    

             

           

             

                                                

                                               

                                               

                                              

                                              

                                              


THE NEXT GENERATION

With fathers so passionate about the business, it is little wonder that Beanie and Rebecca, daughters of James and  Tom respectively, should develop a keen interest in the pleasures, wide variations and sophistications of the world of wine and spirits. 

Together with the wider Last Drop Distillers team, they are committed to continuing the quest to identify spirits worthy  of The Last Drop bottle, and Rebecca was personally responsible for unearthing the superb Glen Garioch 1967, our first Single Malt.

With fathers and daughters working side-by-side to this day, this is a truly family-run business that places heritage and, above all, quality at the heart of everything we do.


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REBECCA JAGO – JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR

Following a degree in Linguistics and time with some of London’s leading design agencies, Rebecca has been running her own small design agency for the last 25 years, and she joined the company in 2008 as Creative Director.  Besides her superb design skills, Rebecca has an extraordinary palate; Scotch whisky shows just as many variations of style and character as any fine claret, and Rebecca has been instrumental in identifying the whiskies befitting of The Last Drop bottle.


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BEANIE ESPEY – JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR

Beanie began her marketing career 12 years ago at a bodega in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and her passion for the wine and spirits trade has not abated.  Following a degree in modern languages at Oxford University, Beanie has since worked for luxury brands Chanel and L’Oreal before starting her own business - a Marketing agency run jointly from London and Hong Kong.  Beanie has worked with spirits industry clients big and small, and became our newest and youngest Director in 2014.

The team

As our company grows, so too does our team. We are delighted to welcome Ben Howkins, Andrew Rankin and
Solène Tailland, each of whom brings different and complementary skills to The Last Drop.


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BEN HOWKINS - DIRECTOR

Ben met both Tom and James on the IDV New Brand Council over 30 years ago.  Since then his focus has been on niche, international, luxury brands.  He has been a director of Taylor’s Port, and is co-founder of Royal Tokaji.  A twice-published author, he is also a past trustee of the WSET.


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MIKE KEILLER - DIRECTOR

Mike brings with him a wealth of industry experience, joining The Last Drop Distillers from Morrison Bowmore Distillers, where he spent 14 years as CEO, managing its development from a bulk whisky supply and services operation to a leading single malt producer with brands including Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Glen Garioch and McClelland’s. Prior to this, Mike held the role of Director of Financial Planning and Control at BT UK, following a 14-year stint at Guinness PLC (now part of Diageo PLC).  Mike primarily oversees the financial and corporate strategy of our growing business.


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CECILY CHAPPEL - COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR

After studying modern languages at Exeter, Cecily Chappel decided to pursue a career in Fine Wine. She moved to Asia to open and run the offices of Corney & Barrow in both Hong Kong and Singapore. She returned to London after almost a decade with the British wine merchants to start up commercial operations for luxury Fine Wine Members Club, FICOFI, in Europe, India and the Middle-East. She is a member of the Commanderie du Bontemps. Cecily joined The Last Drop Distillers in 2017 as Commercial Director.


ANDREW RANKIN - CONSULTANT MASTER BLENDER

Andrew Rankin is a traditionally trained master blender and operational veteran of the Scotch whisky business, having spent the last 40 years working at Chivas Brothers and Morrison Bowmore Distillers – he was also a Board member of the Scotch Whisky Research Institute from 2001-2014. Andrew has joined The Last Drop as our consultant Master Blender in Scotland, where his responsibilities include managing our existing and extremely valuable inventory of old maturing whiskies whilst seeking out further parcels of fine, old and rare whiskies for future releases.


SOLÈNE TAILLAND - SALES EXECUTIVE

Solène graduated from Chambéry Savoie Mont Blanc University with a degree in Business and Administration Management. While at Chambéry she undertook internships at two different wineries in the south of France. A wine and spirits lover, she pursued her studies with a further degree in International Trade of Wine and Spirits at the University of Reims and Avize Viticampus. During the first year of her degree at Reims, she undertook an internship at the house of Champagne Moussé Fils. She found The Last Drop through the SWA and joined as Sales & Marketing Assistant in April 2015.