Saturday 31 March 2018

Tasted #386: The Last Drop 1971 45 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky (45yo)

Back in 2016 I spent an evening at Angel's Share, meeting the lovely Rebecca and Beanie from The Last Drop Distillers, learning of their family's incredible links to the drinks business and tasting their latest release at the time, the 50 Year Old 'Double Matured' Blended Scotch (full article here). It was an absolutely fantastic whisky (easily one of the best blends I've ever had), as was the 48year old I'd tried a bit earlier.

Fast forward just over two years, and I found myself back at the same spot, catching up with the team (Rebecca and Cecily) and trying their latest release...which I'd expected to consist solely of whisky, but was pleasantly surprised to see comprised not only the whisky (1971 Blended Scotch Whisky, a 45yo blend), but also...

Fair to say I didn't expect to be trying my oldest ever distilled spirit (70yo), and oldest ever wine (148yo) on that random Tuesday evening, but I wasn't about to complain!

The 70 year old, 1947 Cognac was incredibly fresh and vibrant, without any overbearing oak (and with many complex notes, including fresh vegetation, lemon pie, cloves, spicy grapefruit peel, apricot preserve and mince pies), whilst the 1870 port was quite different to the 100 Year old Australian Tawny tasted a few years back, particularly in colour, being a bright red copper, and showing notes of toffee, spice and red berries. Not overly sweet or cloying at all, and just really, really drinkable (as was the 48 year old 1970 port that accompanied it).

Of course, this is a whisky blog, so my main focus was on the whisky, which was first blended in 1983 as an ex-Bourbon 12yo for the US. After bottling, the remaining blend was refilled into 11 ex-Oloroso butts, and after 9 years some more was siphoned off to be bottled as a 21yo.

What remained was refilled again, into nine ex-American Oak barrels, where they lay in a dunnage warehouse for another 24 years, until they'd reached 45yo.

So in summary: ex-Bourbon (for 12 years), ex-Oloroso (for 9 years), then ex-Bourbon (for 24 years), bottled in 2017, with 1,352 bottles available.

The Last Drop "1971 Blended Scotch Whisky" (47.2% ABV, 45yo, Blend, Scotland, One of 1,352 bottles, £2,500ex-VAT)
Colour: Burnished copper-orange.

Nose: Sweet and fruity initially - almost Cognac-like. Quite nutty too, then some baked pear and pecan pie emerges, but the nuttiness remains at the forefront.

Palate: Just as fruity as the nose - green apples at first, then a slightly citrus (orange) note, then lots of spice. Treacle / toffee sweetness follows, with some banana bread and stewed apricots too.

Finish: Long length, with lots of spice and some oak. Almost rye-like on the finish! 

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. A very enjoyable whisky and one that's obviously taken on a lot of different and interesting notes from it's "triple maturation" over the years!


Many thanks to Rebecca and Cecily for visiting HK and sharing their wonderful products with us again.

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