- October 5, 2022Whisky Wednesday Reviews – Whisky News
The details we await…
- October 4, 2022Introducing The Last Drop Release No. 28: Drew Mayville’s Signature Blend of Kentucky Straight Whiskeys – Kentucky Whiskey News
THE LAST DROP DISTILLERS INTRODUCES
RELEASE NO. 28: DREW MAYVILLE’S SIGNATURE BLEND OF KENTUCKY STRAIGHT WHISKEYS
This unparalleled innovation reflects a lifetime of mastery from Sazerac’s Master Blender
LOUISVILLE, KY (September 22, 2022): The Last Drop Distillers of London continues its quest for curating and creating the world’s rarest and most remarkable spirits with the release of its second Signature Blend: Release No 28: The Last Drop Signature Blend of Kentucky Straight Whiskeys. Created by Sazerac Master Blender Drew Mayville, a founding member of The Last Drop Assembly’s panel of spirits industry experts, this bespoke spirit comprises a blend of vintage straight bourbon and rye whiskeys. Impossible to replicate, 1,458 bottles will be released worldwide and available in the U.S. as of October 2022 at a suggested retail price of $3,999 (750ml/121.4 proof).
Since becoming Sazerac’s Master Blender in 2004, Drew has cultivated a dream of creating an ultra-rare whiskey for the most discerning of connoisseurs. To achieve this, he began preserving extremely small quantities of his favorite whiskeys at Buffalo Trace Distillery to fulfil this vision. He was confident that using his lifetime of expertise, knowledge and his masterful palate, combined with the incredible liquids available to him, he could make a unique and unparalleled blend.
To bring his vision for The Last Drop to life Drew blended vintage whiskeys that he had been saving since he joined the Buffalo Trace Distillery team. He tasted more than 40 different vintage bourbon and rye whiskeys, creating multiple combinations of these spirits before arriving at the final masterpiece that bears his signature. Bottled at 121.4 proof, Drew left this high-proof blend uncut and unfiltered to maximize its flavor and complexity. The resulting liquid is a celebration of the art of blending, allowing the individual components to shine while creating a majestic whole that is truly remarkable and impossible to replicate. Drew uses the analogy of an orchestra to explain his intention:
“As a master blender, I wholeheartedly believe that one can take individual components that are already exceptional to create an extraordinarily-beautiful end product,” says Drew. “As with music, a clarinet can be beautiful in its own right. However, when you combine it with other instruments in an orchestra you create a symphony – a masterpiece. This blend fully epitomizes this notion, and it’s been a dream come true to create this truly one-of-a-kind spirit for my friends at The Last Drop.”
Drew’s Blend follows The Last Drop Distillers first Signature Blend: a 50 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky created by Master Blender Colin J.P. Scott. Released in July 2021, this was the brand’s first foray into the creation, as well as curation, of extraordinary spirits by the talented members of The Last Drop Assembly.
“It has been a wonderfully exciting experience to work with my friend, colleague and inspiration, Drew Mayville, to create this phenomenal blend,” says Rebecca Jago, managing director, The Last Drop Distillers. “The creation of The Assembly in 2020 was one of The Last Drop’s proudest achievements: to see the visions of such stellar icons of the industry come to life in a Last Drop bottle is, for me, a dream come true.”
DREW MAYVILLE’S TASTING NOTES:
COLOR: A rich, golden amber hue speaks of the wood, the age and the maturation these whiskeys have been through. The high proof can be seen in the long legs which linger on the glass.
NOSE: This reminds me of walking into one of Buffalo Trace’s most famous warehouses, built all those years ago: the atmosphere, the history and the provenance – it packs an evocative punch. Deep, dark fruit, figs, and dates on the nose, some raisins, and an aromatic spiciness, with citrus zest. There is some spiciness from the straight rye, and a creamy, vanilla from the bourbons, yielding a complex and layered flavor.
PALATE: To begin with, there are dark fruits, candy and orange peel upfront. From there, we begin a journey through a veritable spice merchant’s storeroom, and into a saddle room full of worn leather and wax. The ages of the whiskeys in this blend, and the magnificent impact of the American oak are here in perfect balance with the individual elements of the blend. A crescendo of rich and raw spiciness transitions across your palate: that balance is pure magic.
CONCLUSIONS: The spiciness is challenging the dark fruit, the chocolate notes, and the sweet vanilla. This is the balance and sophistication that arises only rarely when the tangy spice of the rye and the creamy chocolate of the bourbon whiskeys – combined with the sublime influence of the oak – all collide in perfect harmony.
Each bottle of The Last Drop Signature Blend of Kentucky Straight Whiskeys is individually numbered and bears Drew’s physical signature. As with all recent Last Drop bottlings, it is artfully-contained in a bespoke bottle that suspends mid-air in an oak frame, held within in a signature green leather case alongside a 50ml miniature for private enjoyment, certificate of bottling and pocket-sized tasting book.
About Drew Mayville, Sazerac Master Blender
Drew Mayville has more 40 years of experience with some of the largest companies in the beverage alcohol industry. Drew joined Sazerac (at its Buffalo Trace Distillery location) in 2004 as the Master Blender and Director of Quality. The vast breadth of his experience comes from almost 23 years of experience with Seagram’s, where Drew was the last Master Blender to serve under the Seagram dynasty.
At Sazerac, Drew has worked hands on with all the award-winning products produced at Buffalo Trace in addition to the other highly acclaimed spirit categories of the company. Drew is active in overseeing a number of award-winning products produced at various locations for Sazerac, and promoting and educating the public on some of the world’s finest spirits. His passion is not only to make the finest quality products but also to delight and excite the consumer with his work.
About The Last Drop Assembly
Drew Mayville is one of the six founding members of The Assembly, formed by The Last Drop in 2020. The Assembly is a carefully selected panel of experts drawn from across the spirits industry, each a renowned world-leader in their own category. The inspiration for The Assembly arose from The Last Drop’s passion for sharing: not just the delights of exceptional spirits, but also the knowledge, ideas, expertise and creativity that sit at the heart of the industry. This cross-category forum, unique in the world of spirits, encourages the exchange of knowledge and experience from different industry fields, bringing fresh ideas and new thinking to help inspire and drive The Last Drop’s pursuit of the extraordinary.
The Assembly members also include: Colin Scott, Master Blender for The Last Drop, Richard Seale, Master Distiller & Blender, Foursquare Rum, Louise McGuane, Owner & Bonder, JJ Corry Irish Whiskey, Michael D’Souza, Master Distiller & Blender, Paul John Whisky and Denis Lahouratate, Cellar Master, Domaine de Sazerac, Cognac.
About The Last Drop Distillers
The Last Drop Distillers was founded in 2008 by two icons of the spirits industry, Tom Jago and James Espey with over 80 years of experience between them. Their aim was to curate the world’s most remarkable spirits by finding treasures across aged spirit categories and sharing them with those who seek the genuinely extraordinary. In 2016, The Last Drop was acquired by the Sazerac Company, one of America’s oldest private, family-owned, distillers. Rebecca continues to lead The Last Drop as Managing Director. To date, The Last Drop Distillers has released just 28 limited bottlings across Scotch Whisky, Cognac, Bourbon and Rum and Japanese Whisky, comprising fewer than 12,000 bottles. Seeking nothing less than exceptional in the spirits they curate, the company’s unwavering commitment is to the quality of the liquid and the pleasure of sharing the treasures they uncover. For more information about The Last Drop visit https://www.lastdropdistillers.com and @lastdropdistillers. For more information about Sazerac visit https://www.sazerac.com.
Lastdropdistillers.com | @lastdropdistillers
- October 4, 2022Diageo Special Releases 2022 at The Whisky Exchange – Scotch Whisky News
With the start of Autumn comes the much-anticipated annual collection – the Diageo Special Releases 2022: Elusive Expressions. This fantasy series showcases whiskies from lesser-known Diageo distilleries alongside new expressions from fan favourites.
The line-up includes a sherried 12-year-old Clynelish with extra layers of rich and sweet dark fruit, a 10-year-old Oban finished in palo cortado sherry casks, and a 26-year-old Cameron Bridge grain whisky that shows the distillery’s soft, sweet and toffee-forward character.
- October 4, 2022New Release! Johnnie Walker – Blue Label Ghost & Rare – Port Dundas – Scotch Whisky News
BLUE LABEL – GHOST & RARE SERIES
70cl | 43.8% ABV
The fifth in this much talked about limited edition series, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Dundas, draws on rare casks from the Glasgow “ghost” distillery of Port Dundas, once a powerhouse of the Whisky world, which closed its doors in 2010. Other ‘ghost’ whiskies from Cambus and Brora distilleries are balanced with exceptional rare Single Malts.
Creamy, wood notes from Port Dundas embrace the vanilla and soft smoke from the “ghost” whiskies of Cambus and original stocks of Brora. Other very rare whiskies from Cameronbridge and Glenkinchie reveal notes of spiced apples alongside Clynelish, Dailuaine and Auchroisk, bringing aromas of peaches and berries.
SHIPPING OCTOBER 2022
- October 4, 2022K&L Exclusive: The Rarest American Single Malt We’ve Ever Seen – American Single Malt News
An Extraordinary American Single Malt Unlike Any Other
Capital Liquors Project 5 Year Old “K&L Exclusive” Heavily Peated American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml) ($49.99)
“…this blows most [American single malts] out of the water from a quality standpoint. It’s fabulously well made.” — Andrew Whiteley, K&L Spirits Buyer
When it comes to micro-production and rarity, today’s offer takes the cake. This K&L exclusive cask of Capitol Liquors Project’s 5-Year-Old Single Malt is arguably the smallest-production spirit we’ve ever taken in at a mere 234 bottles. But that’s hardly the most intriguing feature at work here. Why is it produced in such small quantities, you might ask? The answer lies in the “mad scientist” behind the Capital Liquors Project itself. Gregory Miller is a full-time professor of distillation at UC-Davis who set about building his own licensed and bonded distillery … in his backyard shed. That’s right, this is a true one-man operation that redefines the concept of “boutique” distillation. Because he has no grandiose multi-year plans for expansion or repayment of investors, he’s free to experiment to his heart’s content, resulting in singularly extraordinary whiskeys like this one. Spirits buyer Andrew Whiteley declares, “This cask has so much going for it … The complexity is through the roof.” Most surprising of all, it comes in at an astounding sub-$50 price that, as Andrew contends, has it “underpriced by a factor of two or more when compared to the very best American single malts on the market.” Obviously, this is likely your one and only opportunity to score a whiskey like no other, so don’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
K&L Notes: Gregory Miller, a chemical engineer and professor of distillation at UC Davis, operates the smallest legal distillery we’ve ever seen. The fully licensed and bonded distillery and “rickhouse” sit just a few steps from the front door of his home on the western edge of Davis, CA. The tiny pot still is hand-built and of his own design — a project that came into being after his lab purchased a very expensive teaching still that wasn’t up to his rigorous standards. Rather than just moonshine as a hobbyist, Mr. Miller took the extra step of licensing his project and becoming the first legal distillery in Yolo County long before the modern craft boom got booming. But he never set out to run a fully operational distillery in a business sense. He doesn’t have production goals, he’s not in a hurry, he doesn’t have investors that need to be paid back, and he definitely doesn’t distill every day. In fact, there are only six barrels in the “rickhouse” (actually, five now that we bought this one). He has made rye, bourbon, single malt, and a number of other interesting experimental batches of liquor. It takes roughly 40 individual mashes and distillation runs to fill a full sized 53-gallon barrel. Water comes from the well on his property, and the distillery and barrel room regularly tops 100+ degrees in the summer months and drops near freezing in the winter. This incredible 5-year-old single malt is made from 100% Scottish Bairds heavily peated malt purchased in 25kg sacks and mashed one at a time.
Andrew Whiteley | K&L Spirits Buyer | Review Date: September 14, 2022
This cask has so much going for it. The distillery is so cool and so outrageously small. It’s basically the ultimate mancave—some guys have a shed full of tools, while Greg has a shed filled with a licensed distillery. But the whiskey itself is special. To start, it’s made from 100% heavily peated, Scottish malted barley from Bairds, so the grain itself is everything you could ask for in a single malt. It’s five years old, substantially older than most releases of American single malt available on the market. It is bottled at a massive, true cask strength of 66.7% ABV (and obviously not chill-filtered or colored in anyway). And because we are working directly with the distillery, it is arguably underpriced by a factor of two or more when compared to the very best American single malts on the market. Price aside, I think this blows most ASMs out of the water from a quality standpoint. It’s fabulously well made. Also, did I mention it tastes like bacon? Seriously—briny, smoky bacon. It’s delicious.
The new American oak from Demptos cooperage with a #3 char and toasted heads plays beautifully with the peat smoke and the malt. Even experienced tasters could easily be fooled for Islay malt in a blind tasting. It’ll come as no surprise when you taste this that one of Greg’s favorite distilleries is Laphroaig. The clean ferments (impressive considering 40 separate mashes went into the batch) have provided a sweet grain tea backbone that will be familiar to anyone who has ever brewed their own beer. And yet the complexity is through the roof. The nose offers peaches and nectarines, fresh cut grass, habanero pepper fruit (not spice, just the sweet fruity bits), saltwater taffy, applewood smoked bacon, and a fresher peat profile than you might expect. It presents more like the cut peat itself before it is dried for burning: vegetal and earthy.
When you move to the palate, you’ll find a sweet array of fruit and vanilla intermingled with a complex mélange of baking spices. The bacon and peat notes are robust on the back end. Brownies, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee all come to mind. It is something of a chameleon—when I start all over with a second pour, I find no peat. Then suddenly it’s back with a subsequent nosing. A roll call back through fruit, spice, wood, smoke, grass, meat, sweet pastry, and more comes with the exploration of an empty and now dry glass. The proof is eminently drinkable, and with water added a softer, fruitier side comes out, but so too is the oily, meaty nature intensified. It just seems to drop the more vegetal characteristics when diluted a little bit. It’s a damn fine dram of perhaps the rarest single malt on earth. One cask was produced. There is not another cask of peated malt in the warehouse. It’s a true one-off in every sense, but well worth the price of admission. The yield was a precious few 234 bottles.
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