The year 1972 is officially the longest year on record with scientists adding two seconds to the leap year in order to preserve some cosmic balance; a decision that may or may not have had anything to do with the prevalence of hallucinogenic drugs at the time. Perhaps it was all of that extra time on peoples’ hands but the extended year played host to many historic moments: G. Gordon Liddy’s nocturnal escapades brought down a President and the Queen Elizabeth caught fire in Hong Kong harbour. But for true inspiration we had an unknown blender who created the whisky that is now available, in very limited quantities, as “The Last Drop”.
82 whiskies comprised of 12 grains and 70 malts had been blended in 1972, none of them less than 12-years-old at the time and put into sherry casks. Many of these came from distilleries that no longer exist, with the youngest whisky being from 1960 with some going back to the 1940s. The casks were stored in Auchentoshan cellars near Glasgow and not heard of for 37 years.
At this point, serendipity intervened as a trio of whisky aficionados were in search of old whiskies to create a truly memorable blend. Jason Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Fleck have more than a century’s experience in the liquor trade and a history of bringing products to market that have been hugely successful. Tom was the man behind the creation of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Peter launched Malibu. James and Tom were also, more encouragingly for whisky lovers, the men behind the launch of Johnny Walker Blue Label (a blend that I am always delighted to sample).
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