The Last Drop Distillers has introduced its first Autumn Collection of rare, aged spirits, which will consist of three releases: a bourbon distilled in 1980, a 43-year-old Jamaican rum and a vintage Cognac from 1959.
Taking a page from parent company Sazerac’s annual Antique Collection release, the Last Drop Autumn Collection is available in very limited quantities.
The 1980 Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey was distilled in 1980, at what was then George T. Stagg Distillery, now known as Buffalo Trace Distillery. In 1992 Sazerac Company purchased the distillery in Frankfort, Ky, buying the whole site lock, stock, and literally barrel(s). Hiding away in one of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses, a few barrels rested until a complete inventory was taken in 1998, at which point the barrels were 18 years old. For two years, the barrels remained in place, until at twenty years old they were vatted into stainless steel, which is a very process distillers use to halt the aging effects of the barrel on the whiskey. However, as Sazerac knows from its experience with prolonging its Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye Whiskey, the taste and characteristics will change over time. After another 20 years in stainless, Sazerac and The Last Drop believe the forty years total maturation was sufficient. Tasting notes describe this bourbon as “the definition of flamboyant, with an orchestra of flavors, each flavor harmoniously mingled. It transforms miraculously from a dark chocolate, almond, leather, caramel and oak to a gentle warming spiciness, concluding with a virtual symphony on your palate.” The 1980 Buffalo Trace Bourbon Whiskey is release number 19 from The Last Drop and its second bourbon release, both of which hail from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Only 240 bottles of the bourbon are available worldwide. It is 90 proof. Suggested retail price is $4,600; state taxes will vary per market.
The 1976 “Overproof” Very Old Jamaica Rum is The Last Drop’s 20th release but its first rum, and has had a voyage from west to east. Starting life in the south of the island of Jamaica, this rum journeyed from its home in the Caribbean across the Atlantic Ocean, before landing in the port of Liverpool, home to some of the oldest rum and tobacco warehouses in the United Kingdom. Distilled from pure sugar cane in 1976 and put into ex-bourbon barrels to begin its long maturation, this rum spent its formative years at home in Jamaica, soaking up the tropical heat which contributes so much to the character and flavor of Caribbean rums. However, the extreme temperatures also mean that rum will mature — and evaporate — rapidly. After several years in the warmth of Jamaica, this barrel, along with many others, was loaded onto a ship that set sail for the west coast of Britain — Liverpool. There, in a cool setting, the rum settled down to begin a long maturation. Tasting notes describe this as having “the richness of a classic Jamaica Rum, and the smoothness that comes with great age.” The 1976 “Overproof” Very Old Jamaican Rum will be available for a suggested retail price of $3,400; state taxes will vary per market. The proof is 135.8 and there are 183 bottles available worldwide.
The 1959 Vintage Grande Champagne Cognac is The Last Drop’s smallest release to date. Cognac has been at the heart of The Last Drop’s collection of spirits since the company’s earliest days. This single cask of vintage cognac matured for over 60 years in its original barrel, but the angels have been greedy, and only enough for 21 bottles remained. The 1959 Vintage Grand Champagne Cognac is The Last Drop’s 21st release. The proof is 81.6 and suggested retail pricing is $5,200; state taxes will vary per market.
The Autumn Collection will be available starting in November. As with all of The Last Drop releases, each bottle comes packaged with a signature 50-ml. miniature and pocket-sized tasting book with additional pages for personal tasting notes.
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Author: Kyle Swartz