We’ve just got in some extremely rare single malt whiskies and more from Fragrant Drops including perhaps the best single malt I’ve tasted this year. Fragrant Drops is an independent bottling arm of Edinburgh-based Keeble Casks.

The company was founded by top moustache owner George Keeble who began his career as a barman in London in 2011. From there he worked as a writer, educator and judge before getting serious studying distillation at the Institute of Brewing and Distilling which is headquartered in London. Following a stint making whisky in Australia, he returned to Britain and set up Keeble Casks in 2020.

Fragrant Drops George and Rachel

George and Rachel of Fragrant Drops fame

Introducing some Fragrant Drops

The company’s main business is buying, selling and sourcing casks of whisky for companies including Master of Malt. But sometimes they hang on to particularly special casks and bottle them under the Fragrant Drops label. It’s not just Scotch whisky, there’s American whiskey too as well as rum and brandy. Basically, if it’s a rare aged spirit, it could make the grade as a Fragrant Drop.

Keeble and operations manager Rachel Dixon were kind enough to send me some samples and I’ve picked three highlights. We only have a tiny amount of stock so if you like the sound of anything, buy it immediately.

Indiana Rye 5 Year Old 2017 Fragrant Drops 

This is a single cask American rye whiskey from an undisclosed distillery in Indiana (which probably means MGP Ingredients – the source of so much high-quality American whiskey). The mashbill is rye-high, featuring 95% rye, and the whisky was matured in an American virgin oak cask for 5 years. It was bottled at a big 57.1% ABV with no added colour or chill filtration.

Nose: Aromatic nose, menthol, cinnamon, and lots of spice; massively minty.

Palate: Menthol carries on on the palate, and breezes through any cold. You could prescribe this as medicine. Carries it’s high alcohol really well, smooth. The wood influence is also quite controlled considering this has spent five years in virgin oak. 

Finish: Pure mint.

Fragrant Drops Whisky

New Fragrant Drops whisky!

Tobermory 28 Year Old (Fragrant Drops)

This comes from the Isle of Mull’s only distillery. It was distilled in 1995 and then spent 28 years in a refill hogshead before bottling at 46.1% ABV. For me, this is what old whisky is all about, fruit, masses and masses of fruit with very subtle cask influence. With its distinct peach note, this comes across like the Condrieu of single malts; very special.

Nose: Delicate with vanilla, toffee, floral, citrus and lemon blossom.

Palate: Distinct citrus, orange blossom, peaches, great fruit here, really intense with subtle white chocolate and vanilla notes.

Finish: Lingering stone fruit – it’s like a viognier – with creamy vanilla. 

Strathclyde 29 Year Old 1994 (Fragrant Drops)

From Glasgow’s only grain whisky distillery which was founded in 1927. This comes from a single refill American oak hogshead filled in 1994 before bottling in 2024 at 45.1%. This really shows the magic of long-aged grain whisky, creamy and smooth as the finest custard. 

Nose: Vanilla and apple on the nose, subtle baking spices, a touch of toffee.

Palate: Very smooth and creamy, like custard in whisky form with warming spices. 

Finish: That creaminess just goes on forever.