The 1961 Dumbarton from The Last Drop

Last week, I joined The Last Drop Distillers in London for the launch of their newest bottling – The 1961 Dumbarton Singe Grain Scotch Whisky. This is only the seventh release from the independent bottler and only 32 bottles have been squeezed out of the cask, all of which were snapped up by the company’s loyal customers.  And rightly so – what a whisky!

The Whisky
Dumbarton Distillery, located on the banks of the River Clyde, was built by Hiram Walker in 1938. It played a key role in the whisky industry for many years, providing grain whisky for several distillers and at one point was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland. But the distillery was forced to close in 2002, as the then owners Chivas Brothers were unable to renovate the site due to the tall column stills that went up through the concrete floors.

Thankfully, the team from The Last Drop managed to unearth a cask of Dumbarton in the warehouses of Auchentoshan just along the road; serving up a true slice of whisky history.

The Taste
The 1961 Dumbarton probably more body to it than all the other grain whiskies I’ve ever tasted combined. The maize comes through on the nose, along with fresh melon and poached pear.  It simply slips across the palate beautifully, with the bourbon cask offering lots of vanilla and coconut, with a honey sweetness and a tiny kick of spice. The finish is old, yet light and distinguishably reassuring.

The Verdict
A simply stunning whisky – one for the ages!

And the rest
At the same tasting, I was fortunate enough to sample the other six releases from The Last Drop – five whiskies and a Cognac.  And, as the old saying goes, trying to pick a favourite would be like trying to pick your favourite child. The quality of each bottling was of such consistency that it’s an impossible task to separate them. However, I must applaud the team at The Last Drop for bringing together a truly spectacular range of spirits and, with ports, sherries and rums in the pipeline, I can’t wait to see what they have planned in the future.

You can find out more about the company at