The Last Drop Distillers track down rare spirits from around the world
Every holiday season, the rich people of the world look around and ask: What can you get the person who has everything? What if the Goop gift guide offers no clues, and the ultra-luxury cabins of Emirates Airlines are sold out? The Super-Hamptons are boring this time of year, and the leather Champagne case simply will not do two years in a row. Never fear, my friends. Again I am here to solve a problem I will absolutely never have. If you have a liquor connaissseur in your life, and $5,000 or more to spend on them, the absolute best gift to give them is a bottle of Scotch from The Last Drop Distillers.
The Last Drop Distillers are a team of spirit hunters who travel the globe looking for the most delicious, difficult-to-find liquors. Founders Tom Jago and James Espey are liquor royalty. Tom Jago invented—yes, invented—Bailey's Irish Cream. Between them they've launched a handful of liquor superstars, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Malibu Rum. The Last Drop Distillers was the project they started instead of retiring. Now, their daughters, Rebecca Jago and Beanie Espey, run the company and spend their time basically like Indiana Jones but for rare spirits. (In 2016, the company became part of Sazerac Distillers.) They bottle and sell their findings in limited quantities, and, as you might suspect, those bottles are quite expensive. Though the focus is on Scotch, their portfolio includes port, bourbon, and cognac.
The thing is, it's not like you can just waltz into your local liquor store and buy a bottle. Inquiries must be made. Prices are unlisted. One imagines that gloves must be worn while handling, and very specific crystal glasses employed. But there is available, at online retailer Mel & Rose, a bottle of their 50-year-old Scotch blend, one of only 388 in existence. If you have a cool $5,000 and you need to impress your uncle who is also the man on the Monopoly box, this is the gift to get. For the rest of us, hey, there's always good old Mr. Walker.