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Dropping in on… Colin Scott: Master Blender,
The Last Drop Distillers

Interview | June 10, 2024

“Wonderful telephone calls then took place with Rebecca and, as it was such an honour to be asked, there was no hesitation in joining Rebecca’s team”

Colin Scott’s career began on 16 April 1973, and, after many decades of outstanding success at Glenlivet and then at Chivas Bros, Colin joined The Last Drop in September 2020. While the celebration of his 50 years in the industry was perhaps overshadowed by the first in person meeting of The Assembly, we marked Colin’s 51 years in the industry at our 2024 Collection launch in April.

As we continue our 15th anniversary celebrations, and our delight in the work of The Assembly, we take a moment to speak with Colin – described as the ‘Master of all Time’ – about some of the highlights from his remarkable career – including the creation of The Last Drop’s first-ever Signature Blend: his 50 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky launched in 2022. We also take a look at his long and distinguished career at Chivas Brothers, where – amongst other achievements – he created the iconic Chivas Regal 18 Year Old in 1997, alongside the original founders of The Last Drop, Tom Jago and James Espey.

You came out of retirement to join The Last Drop Distillers in 2020, which marked the beginning of The Last Drop becoming creators of fine spirits, as well as already being curators. Can you tell us how this relationship came about?

Retirement means many different things to different people, but they say you shouldn’t stop working. As the Scotch whisky industry is like a global family that has a remarkable grapevine. News therefore, travels in a mysterious way and in due course, The Last Drop heard I was about to retire from Chivas Brothers. Wonderful telephone calls then took place with Rebecca and, as it was such an honour to be asked, there was no hesitation in joining Rebecca’s team.

At Chivas Brothers we worked with global brands that were internationally famous, as well as a range of different brands from Standard to Luxurious. The beauty of being with the Last Drop is that all their releases are small and in the Luxury category – so this was like coming up to Heaven…!

How do your unique expertise and passion contribute to the creation of remarkable experiences for consumers in your industry?

As a Master Blender you never stop learning, which increases your knowledge and builds on your experiences – two attributes which, after many years, a Blender will have in spades! I have been exceptionally fortunate to have been able to build my knowledge and experiences over 47 years at Chivas Brothers, and now, over four years at the Last Drop.

However, I truly believe these two qualities alone are not enough, and to be a remarkable Blender you must also have the Passion. Only then, by combining these all together, the creation of exceptional spirits and experiences are assured.

Could you share a remarkable moment or achievement in your career that has had a significant impact on you? 

From small beginnings in Japan, Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Gold Signature spread across the globe and its growth soon exceeded all our expectations. This was a huge relief, as I also felt that Chivas Regal 18 had, in fact, probably exceeded the expectations of global Chivas drinkers…

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing very special convivial moments with Chivas Regal 18 together with many wonderful people around the world, and I’m very proud it carries my signature.

How have your remarkable contributions to the spirits industry been recognised, and how has this motivated you?

In 1988, leading Scotch whisky industry Distillers founded an International Society – The Keepers of the Quaich – dedicated to achieving greater appreciation of our magnificent Scotch whisky spirit… I was selected to join an elite group of Keepers, and received the greatest honour by being admitted in the rank of ‘Master of the Quaich’.

Becoming a Keeper makes me realise how special our industry is and, in particular, the friendship that unites us. Being a Master is a true motivator to life in Scotch whisky.

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