Whisky + Alement Are Delivering Dram Flights

Words by Jane Ryan

Photography by Supplied by Whisky + Alement

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You can now enjoy a curated whisky flight at home, anywhere in Aus, thanks to this Melbourne bar.

Whisky and Alement, one of Melbourne’s finest bars for to sip drams in, hasn’t let the nationwide lockdown stop it from making great whisky accessible. They’ve just had to rethink how to get it to our doors.

This means that while the bar is shut, the online shop is open and drinkers nationwide can enjoy a curated whisky flight on their sofa, around the dining table, or even in their shower. We’re not judging and their juicebags certainly are waterproof.

How’s this local bar gone Australia-wide? With some quickfire learning and sheer determination, and now they’ve even managed to re-instate their staff. “We were shut down on a Sunday in that last week of March,” says co-owner Julian White, “by Wednesday the week after – 10 days – we had contacted our web company, initiated and then built the online shop. On the fly we worked out Aus post, looking at how we could package 30ml nips of whisky, and by on the fly, I mean really on the fly.”

Today you can jump online to whiskyandale.com.au and order whisky flights and boilermaker packs (beer and whisky) to your front door. At the time of writing, there are six flights to pick from, which will change as they sell out and new ones are added. Currently, these start at a very accessible $29 and work up to a collectors dream flight of $75. For those who’ve never tried a flight the premise is super simple, you have three pours of different whiskies that are usually linked by style, finishing cask or origin, and comparatively taste them, identifying the differences and ultimately which one you love most.

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“People come to us for lots of different unique offerings, but mostly for whisky they won’t find elsewhere,” says Julian. “For the last 9 years we’ve put up a new whisky every week and that’s grown to up to 10 news whiskies a week. The way we’ve organised our online offering is to continue this and get unique products out there that people won’t have seen or tried before.”

One of the flights currently charts through three Japanese whiskies, a Hibiki blend, a Nikka Taketsuru pure malt whisky and a Mars Maltage Cosmo Manzanilla cask finish blended malt. Another takes a look at peated whisky finished in sherry casks from three Islay distilleries.

Here’s how it works: three juice bags of 30ml each will be delivered to your door. What happens next is up to you, but for those who like some guidelines Julian suggests you; “pour out all the whiskies at the same time, so you have three glasses sitting in front of you. The most realisations you can make is when you try one and then wait a while and try the next one, and then the final one before coming back to first. The breadth of flavours and differences will be much more amplified.”

The pivot from bar to whisky delivery service has seen Julian and Brooke’s staff come back to work, filling pouches and creating engaging content around this new line of business.

Next up the team will be trialling out a Friday night same-day delivery in the dram van (previously called Julian’s car) in a 5km radius for Melbourne. The idea is to be there for that end of week celebration just as they were previously for their local community.

“I think it’s too easy and throw your hands up at this point, with the job keeper allowance coming in, and just go home and have time off. When this is all over, I want us to still feel connected and like a family group. And I think the business will be all the better for it,” says Julian.

PS. Whisky and Alement’s 10th birthday was put on hold by the lockdown but you can still celebrate with them by ordering a lapel pin online. The party will be back once we can safely socialise, hug, and cheers together again.

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