Life in Luxury | Beanie Gereadts-Espey, Marketing & Strategy Director, The Last Drop Distillers
This week, as part of our Life in Luxury series, we spoke to Beanie Gereadts-Espey fromThe Last Drop Distillers, on what it’s like to be a ‘rare spirits hunter’.
Tell us what The Last Drop Distillers do?
We call ourselves “rare spirits hunters”: we source casks of precious, remarkable wines and spirits from around the world, including but not limited to Scotch Whisky. We have had 15 releases in 11 years, so it is safe to say that we are extremely selective in our acquisitions and releases.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
The Last Drop works with a close contact-base around the world, both in terms of sourcing the releases, and in terms of distribution and sale. We only work with a handful of distributors globally, who pride themselves on luxury, personal service, and through them we have a direct and meaningful connection with many of our end consumers. We only sell a few hundred bottles in each release (sometimes far fewer) so our whole organisation is focused on ensuring the highest quality of service and communication.
What do you like most about your job?
The travel element is an aspect of my job that I love. The Last Drop’s quest for the finest wines and spirits takes us to lots of exciting and invariably beautiful places, and we’ve shared some really exceptional trips – both collectively as a team, and also on occasion with press or our end-consumers.
Hunting for luxury spirits is dependent on multiple factors and we only bottle what we believe to be the absolute finest. We have often heard of a cask of something that sounds magical and just right in terms of age, profile, story, only to find out that it does not meet the exacting standards of The Last Drop portfolio, so that can be frustrating, but it’s also reaffirming that the products we do select are truly the best of the best.
What attracted you to the luxury sector specifically?
I have always had a passion for brands which provide consumers with a particularly special product or emotional experience and where provenance is a key part of the story. My first wine and spirits love was sherry when I was a student of Spanish back in 2003; I got totally swept up in the land, passion, ethos and people behind sherry wines – and those same qualities are present in the whiskies, cognacs and wines that we bottle for The Last Drop.
What was your path to the role you have now?
After my first Marketing Internship with leading sherry brand Gonzalez Byass, I pursued a career in luxury brand marketing at L’Oreal and then Chanel, before joining The Last Drop Distillers as Sales and Marketing Director in 2014. In late 2017 I launched a ‘next generation’, premium sherry brand called XECO Wines, aiming to help challenge many of the misconceptions around the sherry category by focusing on fresh, dry styles which are naturally low in sugar (and very versatile in low-alcohol cocktails too).
What advice would you give someone looking to get into the luxury sector?
Being genuinely passionate is a good start! Enthusiasm is infectious and your greatest sales tool.