In these days of bar codes and computerized tracking systems, it’s rare to hear of a lost whisky among the millions of casks maturing in Scotland’s warehouses.
But occasionally an exceptional gem comes to light, a cask or a number of casks that have been misplaced or overlooked. Such is the case with a newly released whisky called The Last Drop (lastdropdistillers.com).
As the name indicates, this is the very last supply of an exceptional whisky, made available for a limited time. It was discovered by three industry heavyweights, men who were instrumental in the development of such brands as Chivas Regal 18 and Johnnie Walker Blue Label.
The Last Drop is a blended whisky, but don’t let that fact turn you off: It’s an absolute beauty that was first created in 1972 from seventy malt whiskies and a dozen grain whiskies, all at least twelve years old. What makes it so unusual is that the blend was then put back into casks to continue maturing, and that’s where it remained until it was found earlier this year. That means that the youngest whisky is from 1960 and the age of the blend is a mighty forty-eight years old. Some of the whisky may well be considerably older.
So it tastes old and woody, right?Wrong. The grain whisky has softened the sharp tannin and spice flavors and given it a cushionlike base. On top of this, a balanced array of flavors is delivered with a divine, rounded, warming slow burn. It’s like drinking a fine cognac, all soft and seductive prune, Christmas cake and red berries.
As you might expect, such a premium product comes at a premium price—about $1,800, though you do get an extra five-centiliter bottle so you can taste the whisky without breaking into your investment. Or why not try a five-centiliter dram for about $390 in the bar at the Gleneagles Hotel?
After all, rediscovered casks of whisky are a rarity—and casks of this extraordinary standard are all but unheard of.