As any whisky lover knows, the enjoyment of drinking whisky is not just about the liquid itself, it’s about spending quality time with friends old and new, and savouring the magic of the stories that unfold. Because of this, curators of the world’s most remarkable spirits, The Last Drop Distillers, constantly come across fascinating people in all four corners of the world – with many of its customers having extraordinary tales to tell.
Indeed, inspired by this network of exceptional individuals and the joy in sharing discoveries with customers and friends, The Last Drop Distillers began The Remarkable Podcast, to explore the stories of those going above and beyond by exploring the limits of human and creative potential. Presented by Managing Director of The Last Drop Distillers, Rebecca Jago, the podcast delves into what it takes to push frontiers and innovate beyond expectation.
Now on its eighth edition of the podcast, this week Beanie Espey, Managing Director of The Distillers One of One and the Distillers’ Ventures, the charitable arm of London Livery Company, the Worshipful Company of Distillers, and former joint Managing Director of The Last Drop Distillers, was featured in conversation with Rebecca.
Beanie and Rebecca are not only good friends but are inextricably linked by their fathers, Tom Jago and James Espey, who founded The Last Drop in 2008, before their daughters joined the company in 2014. The insightful conversation discusses Beanie’s background and career, long-time involvement with The Last Drop, and the exciting, upcoming bi-annual The Distillers One of One charity auction, the largest Scotch Whisky Auction in the world, taking place on 5th October 2023.
This year the One of One auction features a truly one-of-a-kind auction lot donated by The Last Drop Distillers, to raise funds for the Distillers’ Charity supporting the Youth Action Fund, which transforms the lives of young people across Scotland for the better.
The incredible one-off lot encompasses the authentic spirit of Scotch Whisky in a unique blending experience which will take place under the expert guidance of Colin JP Scott, The Last Drop Distillers’ Master Blender – and the man responsible for some of the world’s most esteemed and rarest blends. Colin was interviewed by Rebecca for The Remarkable in 2022 for Episode 3, sharing his unrivalled knowledge and passion for whisky, and discussing his illustrious career spanning 50 years in the whisky industry.
Indeed, Colin knows a thing or two about what it takes to achieve the finest blends in the world, having joined Chivas Brothers in 1973 and became Chivas’ fifth Master Blender in 1989, until his retirement in 2020, after which he joined The Last Drop Distillers. While at Chivas Brothers, he introduced a number of now-iconic new blends, including Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky and Chivas Regal 25 Year Old ‘Original Legend. Soon after joining The Last Drop Distillers, he created their inaugural Signature Blend – a 50 year old Scotch Whisky, released in 2021 to great acclaim.
Spending a relaxed yet informative afternoon with Colin and learning from his tutelage on a date of your choice, the winning bidders will be guided by him on their blending journey, considering their own personal tastes and ideas for the blend. Using a selection of whiskies from The Last Drop’s extensive inventory of maturing casks of single grains, single malts and aged blends of between 30 and 50+ years from across Scotland – ‘nuggets’ for blending and bottling, as Colin phrases it – the finished result will be a completely bespoke aged, blended Scotch Whisky of your own creation.
Once the final, unrepeatable blend has been decided, you’ll work with The Last Drop’s designer, James Hay Brown, to create a set of 12 bespoke 700ml engraved Last Drop bottles presented in sustainable packaging, each of which will be accompanied by a 50ml miniature bottle (traditional for all Last Drop releases), and a personalised, specially-bound tasting book including your own and Colin’s tasting notes. The winners will also receive a framed, signed copy of the final label design.
What’s more, this once-in-a-lifetime experience will take place at the majestic Scone Palace in Perthshire, the historic seat of Scottish royalty and original home of the Stone of Destiny, with an overnight stay and a tasting dinner with Colin, including the chance to taste treasures from The Last Drop’s covetable archive. Without doubt it is the most refined and beautiful setting in which to create your own unique whisky blend, and the experience of staying here will make for a fascinating story to tell for many years to come.
Estimated at a total value of £30,000 for the complete lot, bidding is sure to be competitive. But the price of embarking on a journey of discovery to craft a one-of-one liquid that celebrates the greatest aspects of the creation and enjoyment of blended Scotch whisky? Priceless.
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