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 fulfill 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.