UK Producer of Super Premium Spirits Expands Footprint to Australia

November 30, 2015
By Alana House
A producer of exclusive, super premium spirits has expanded its footprint to Australia, bringing with it a portfolio of high-end whiskies, including The Last Drop 1967 Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky and 48 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky – both 2015 award winners in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The company, The Last Drop Distillers Limited, is owned by whisky industry veterans, James Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Flack, who came together to found their own business after a combined 120 years of experience in the wine and spirits trade. The trio have channelled their unrivalled passion for premium spirits into creating the world’s most exclusive spirits company.

In past roles, James and Tom have worked together on some of the most iconic names in Scotch whisky, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Chivas Regal 18 Years Old, as well as Malibu and Baileys Irish Cream. Today, the two are joined by daughters Rebecca Jago as Creative Director and Beanie Espey as Marketing Director, whose aim is to seek out the rarest and most exclusive distillations and deliver them to discerning spirits enthusiasts around the world.

Already established in its home market, the UK, as well as the US and parts of Asia, The Last Drop Distillers team is now looking to tap into opportunity in the super premium segment here in Australia

“Over the past few years we’ve only sold a few bottles in Australia and we feel it can now be a focus for us as a brand. There are many discerning wealthy Australian persons seeking the very best, especially exclusive award winning whisky and, in time, other spirits. We expect to see much growth of the brand in Australia over the coming years”, Espey told drinks bulletin.

The Last Drop 1967 Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky and 48 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky are The Last Drop Distillers’ newest creations, both retailing upwards of $5,000. Both are currently available through Dan Murphy’s online and selected Dan Murphy’s stores.

The Last Drop 1967 Glen Garioch Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a 47-year-old single malt that has been pulled out of barrels from one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. Initially created as a robust and ‘peated’ whisky, the liquid was stored in a bourbon style remade Hogshead cask and has matured into a more mellow, beautifully balanced whisky with an unexpected hint of honey and apple sweetness.

The spirit has been awarded 96.5 points by leading international whisky commentator, Jim Murray, and is the recipient of the 2015 Single Malt Scotch Whisky of the Year. There are only 118 bottles available of this expression, with three of those in Australia, each retailing for $9,000.

The Last Drop 48 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky retails for slightly less at $5,500, with only three bottles of this expression available in Australia also. Several of the distilleries represented in this unique blend have long since closed, making this a truly rare and luxurious Scotch whisky unlike any other in the world. It was developed after a small volume of this bottling’s original blend was selected by the Chief Blender to be refilled into fresh ex-bourbon cases and aged further. Since then, this small batch whisky has been slowly maturing in one of the older traditional warehouses in the Highlands of Scotland, resulting in a balanced chestnut-hued liquid that is both rich and fragrant.

This unique blend has been awarded 96.5 points by leading international Whisky commentator, Jim Murray, and is both the 2015 Scotch Whisky of the Year and 2015 Scotch Blend of the Year.

While whisky is the company’s current focus, Espey says there is potential for The Last Drop Distillers to one day expand into the super-premium end of other categories.
“We are quietly looking at other categories but we are in no hurry”, Espey said. “We believe in patience and doing it right. Our belief is that too much of modern business is driven by immediate profit…short term capitalism I call it. We believe one needs 10 years of patient brand building to do it right and we are in year seven.  

“So as, when and if we are ready with other unique parcels of spirits, maybe rum or Armagnac or bourbon etc. that conform to our mantra of being old but fresh, superb and limited, then we will consider releasing them under The Last Drop banner.”

Image: James Espey with daughter Beanie (The Last Drop Sales & Marketing Director) and cofounder Tom Jago and daughter Rebecca (The Last Drop Creative Director).

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