There’s no exaggeration when The Last Drop Distillers Limited refer to themselves as “the world’s most exclusive spirits company.” For a decade now, the distributor—which actually does not distill—has sought out, discovered, bottled and shared some of the rarest tipples in history. Founded by spirits experts (and friends) James Espey and Tom Jago—who have since partnered with their daughters Beanie Espey and Rebecca Jago—The Last Drop began its release portfolio with Scotch hunted from cellars of famed distilleries and this spirit certainly plays its part in their roster today. They’ve since also released a cognac from 1947. And now, a decade in, they’ve unveiled Centenario “Old Colheita” Tawny Port Duo. Of course, 20% of port is spirit—but the fortified wine category requires an entirely different type of expertise. Unsurprisingly, The Last Drop possesses such proficiency.
One of The Last Drop’s directors, Ben Howkins is a renowned authority on port. In 2016, Howkins ventured to northern Portugal’s Douro Valley and the winery of his old friend Cristiano van Zeller. Here, van Zeller selected tawny ports from the same vineyard after much searching. After blending, the Centenario “Old Colheita” Tawny Port Duo was born.
With an almost concentrated flavor and color, the 1870 Old Colheita Tawny Port offers honeysuckle and molasses to the noses. On the tongue, there’s a surprising acidity and a lengthy finish, all bound by a chocolatey heart. For all intents and purposes, the opportunity to try a port as old as the 1970 Old Colheita Tawny Port would normally excite. And it should still, even though it’s partnered with a sibling 100 years its senior. The flavor here is peachy and fresh—harmonious through and through. And yes, the experience of sipping two ports from the same estate, separated by 100 years, is a rare one—but these really are delectable. Taste has been a Last Drop pillar from the start and they do not disappoint.
The Last Drop products are available through select stockists across the globe. Only 770 sets (including two 75cl bottles and two 5cl miniatures) exist of the Centenario “Old Colheita” Tawny Port Duo.
Images courtesy of The Last Drop