Last Drop Distillers to launch a Bourbon

The Last Drop Distillers is to augment its collection of extremely rare Cognacs and Scotch whiskies with a Bourbon, although it’s a Port that will be the brand’s next release, hitting the shelves in a matter of days.

Due for launch in October this year will be a 23 year-old Bourbon, marking the brand’s first foray into US whisky, and its youngest spirit to date.

Speaking to the drinks business yesterday at the Last Drop Distillers ‘pop-up’ in London’s Piccadilly Arcade, Ben Howkins, a director at the company, said that the business would continue to release two to three new products each year, with, currently, the youngest being a 45 year-old Scotch, and the oldest being a 148 year-old Port, which will go on sale in London next week.

The addition of a Bourbon to the range is a logical step for a business that was bought in 2016 by US drinks group Sazerac, the owner of Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

“Sazerac is keen to see Last Drop evolve and can provide us with the raw material,” said Howkins, referring to the impending launch.

Founded by James Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Fleck in 2008, Last Drop Distillers is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and, according to Howkins, is sticking to its founding principles of only launching products in extremely limited quantities that are “old, rare and fresh”.

Howkins told db that the addition of a Port to the range was justifiable on the grounds that it fitted these criteria and it had spirit added to it, but stressed that Last Drop would remain “a spirit-led business”, and wouldn’t release more than 3,000 bottles each year.

The Port is being sold in a gift pack comprising two bottles, one from 1870, and the other from 1970. Both are single harvest tawnies, otherwise known as colheitas, and just 770 sets are being released.

Although the Port was released on March 1st, it has just arrived in the UK, and can be tasted at the London pop-up, which opened on 8 May, and will last until end of August.

The first place to sell the Ports will be Hedonism Wines in Mayfair, which will have them on the shelves from next week, with an RRP of £4000.

The tawnies are from two little-known estates in the Douro – Quinta da Boavista and Quinta Salada, which are both in the Lamego district in the Baixo Corgo.

The family that produced both the 1870 and 1970 was called Vasques Osorio, which has had very close friendly and commercial ties for over 200 years with van Zellar family, who produced them.

The Last Drop 1870 Port is the latest in a small run of releases of extremely old single harvest tawnies from the Douro, which began with Scion, a colheita from 1855, released by Taylor’s in 2010.

The 11th release from The Last Drop Distillers, in association with van Zellers & Company of Douro Valley, this pair of rare old Tawny Ports is limited to just 770 sets, each one retailing for £4,000

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