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A Summer of Luxury | Holiday with… Beanie Espey & Rebecca Jago, Joint MDs of The Last Drop Distillers


Kicking off the first day of our 2019 Summer of Luxury Campaign – a celebration of the year’s most carefree of months – we spoke to the inspiring ‘rare spirit hunters’ Rebecca Jago and Beanie Espey, joint Managing Directors of the Last Drop Distillers, on their holiday plans and how taking some downtime inspires all those ‘eureka’ moments.

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WHERE ARE YOU HOLIDAYING THIS YEAR?

Rebecca: I have had a wonderful start to my summer, with a week in the beautiful Peloponnese in Greece in May, followed by a last-minute trip to the west coast of Mexico in June to meet up with my daughter, who is currently living in Peru. We are now spending ten days with friends at our house in the south west of France. We drove down, stopping en route in Cognac to catch up with some contacts there, as you never know when a special cask of something old and delicious may turn up. France is very rural, and very relaxing: the real luxury is having the opportunity to catch up with friends, and catch up on my reading!

Beanie: This year my husband and I will be summer holidaying for the first time with our one year old son, Felix. We were looking for a place that was both a proper getaway and good with small children, and alighted on the Il de Re, just off the French coast near La Rochelle. I’m picturing picnics on windswept beaches, cycling from village to village and delicious food and wine. We are also making an important detour to Cognac and Bordeaux… in fact Felix will celebrate his first birthday in style in St Emilion!

WHAT IS YOUR ‘MUST-HAVE’ ITEM TO PACK IN YOUR SUITCASE?

Rebecca: My kindle (see above) and factor 50!

Beanie: Much like Rebecca, I relish reading when on holiday – but I’m currently having a renewed love-affair with printed books. The kindle is so practical, but given Felix won’t permit me an abundance of free time, I think a few paperbacks will suffice. On a more practical note, I have discovered Heliocare tinted suntan cream; it gives great protection and a lovely bronzed glow at the same time!

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE AL FRESCO DRINKING/DINING SPOT?

Rebecca: Outside the house in France with the umbrella up. We were given an amazing rotating, cantilevered umbrella big enough to keep ten of us in the shade, and I love it!

Beanie: There is a little square in Florence, just behind the Palazzo Pitti, that I used to frequent all the time when I lived there to sip on a Negroni. Otherwise somewhere on the Calle Consistorio in Jerez; cold fino and fat green olives. Yum.

WHAT IS YOUR HOLIDAY READ THIS YEAR?

Rebecca: I have just finished the outstanding and absorbing Putney by Sofka Zinovieff. It’s a particularly interesting read for me as I live (and grew up) in Putney. I’m about to start on Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which seems to be the non-fiction book of the moment.

Beanie: Some years ago one of my best friends, who is also the daughter of two classics teachers, gave me a copy of “Song of Achilles”, by Madeline Miller, which I devoured. I’ve been waiting patiently for another book by the same author, and it finally arrived in the form of Circe. I can’t wait to start it.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD A ‘LIGHTBULB’ MOMENT RELATED TO YOUR BUSINESS OR CAREER WHILE TAKING SOME DOWNTIME?

Rebecca: Yes. Last year was a difficult time for me, with the death of both my parents. I was lucky enough to take six weeks off at the end of the year and travel with my husband around the world. The time away from the day-to-day running of the business gave me a very different perspective on some of the minutiae which can take up much too much of my time. I think I came back to The Last Drop with renewed energy and a better overview of what we want to achieve. My personal 2019 resolution was to delegate more, and to focus on building the brand. I’m not sure the team would agree that I’m succeeding with the delegation, but I’m definitely trying!

Beanie: Funnily enough, Rebecca and I have lots of eureka moments while travelling. We always try and use the time on flights and in departure lounges to chat, rather than get engrossed in our emails, and in fact the idea for both Tom’s Blend and our 2018 Piccadilly Atelier came while travelling in the USA!

DRINKS INTERNATIONAL

Last Drop Distillers launches 15th limited release

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21 June, 2019

By Shay Waterworth

The Last Drop Distillers has launched its newest release, the 1969 Glenrothes Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The second in an exclusive trilogy, following the 1968 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, this Single Malt scotch will mark The Last Drop’s 15th release in 11 years and comprises two single cask bottlings.

On the 27 October 1969 the master distiller at Glenrothes Distillery filled two ex-bourbon casks with new make and let them sit for 50 years. 

The Last Drop Distillers then bottled the whisky in 2019 with the first cask yielding 130 bottles, and the second cask 141 bottles, making a total of just 271 bottles available worldwide. 

Prominent whisky writer Charles Maclean shared his tasting notes of the two, stating that both casks display similar aromatic profiles, but Cask no. 16203 appears drier and less fruity, with snuffed candle at the base, whereas Cask no. 16207 has a smooth texture, with a sweet and sour taste and a long, warming finish.

“Only a very fortunate few will have the chance to sample these exceptional spirits, which are wonderful examples of fine distilling from the 1960s. 

“We commend to all those who truly appreciate the scent and taste of a magnificent old Scotch from a bygone era. You will not be disappointed.” 

As with all of The Last Drop releases, each bottle comes together with its signature 50ml miniature replica and pocket sized, leather bound tasting book with additional pages for your personal tasting notes. 

The release has an RRP of £5,400 inc VAT and UK stockists can be found at lastdropdistillers.com.

The Last Drop Distillers specialises in discovering and hand bottling some of the rarest and most exclusive spirits from remote cellars and warehouses across Scotland and the rest of the world. The team targets only liquids that are old and rare, but with young character.

Business Insider Online (UK)

The 100 coolest people in food and drink: 27 & 28. Beanie Espey & Rebecca Jago — Joint managing directors of The Last Drop Distillers

Beanie Espey (L) with her father James Espey (C) and Rebecca Jago (R).

Beanie Espey (L) with her father James Espey (C) and Rebecca Jago (R).

The Last Drop Distillers

Jago and Espey might have the coolest job in the world — they're rare spirit hunters. The pair took over The Last Drop Distillers from their fathers Tom and James who, between them, have created some of the world's most iconic liquor products.

Their jobs are to source, bottle, and sell incredibly rare, high-quality product to high-profile clientele.

One week they might be cruising through the winding lanes of rural Cognac on the way to an indiscriminate barn filled to the rafters with casks and demijohns of aged brandy. The next they'll be scouring the Douro Valley for a port so old that time (almost) forgot about it.

Read more: Meet the rare liquor hunters who travel the world looking for priceless booze

The Last Drop's latest release is a Cognac from 1925, which had been hidden from the advancing Nazi forces in a false barn wall.

FORBES

Apr 27, 2019

Score A Bottle Of 50-Year-Old Scotch

Jeanne O'Brien Coffey

Back in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. The Beatles performed their last gig together. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 800. And two barrels of single malt Glenrothes Scotch were filled and rolled into a dark corner of a warehouse to rest for nearly 50 years. Until a company of sleuths who specialize in finding old and rare spirits uncovered the surprising treat. Last Drop Distillers, which finds and resells aged spirits, is offering what would be a pretty amazing gift for a Scotch lover turning 50.

The two casks yielded different flavor profiles -- pick up a bottle of each for a cool $12,500.

The two casks yielded different flavor profiles -- pick up a bottle of each for a cool $12,500.

Glenrothes is a Speyside distillery founded in 1878. In the 1960s, the company tended to blend its whiskys, as much of the 1968 vintage was (the distillery also continues to contribute some whisky to Famous Grouse, among others, while having focused more on vintages in recent years). These two ex-bourbon casks escaped blending for the next fifty years, maturing in the back of the Glenrothes warehouse, according to Last Drop. Now they’ve managed to get 309 750 ml bottles from the two, making them available to the more deep-pocketed enthusiasts for $6,250 a bottle through a limited number of sellers worldwide.

Uncovering casks full of still-drinkable spirits is rare, the company reports, noting that 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.

1969 was a memorable year in Scotland: Church of Scotland ordained its first women,  and Glasgow went to the Euro Cup finals. Interestingly, while the two whisky casks were filled the same day in October 1969, they have slight different flavor profiles, according to those who have tasted them (I, alas, am not one of them).

Charming gift for the Scotch lover or anyone turning 50 this year.

Charming gift for the Scotch lover or anyone turning 50 this year.

Charles Maclean, a well-known whisky writer, says that both casks display similar aromatic profiles, but Cask no. 16203 appears drier and less fruity, with snuffed candle at the base, whereas sibling Cask no. 16207 has a smooth texture, with a sweet and sour taste and a long, warming finish. Overachieving Cask no. 16207 has also been awarded the Best Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask), and the Best Single Malt 41 Years & Over (Single Cask) by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019.

If 1969 isn't your year, Last Drop has some 1970 they plan to release through 2020. The company's collection also includes rare cognac and bourbon.