April Outturn 2023 Article — Unfiltered #80 Preview
Have you ever attended an exceptional bar or restaurant that ticked all the boxes, except one — the soundtrack? Scoring a venue is not as easy as it might sound and is an often-overlooked aspect. When it’s good, it can be easy to not consciously notice or think about it, but you know it’s elevating your experience. When it doesn’t suit, it can stick out like a sore thumb, though. Why is this so important, you might ask? Just like a good dram, a venue is the sum of several parts, and if one part is inadequate, the balance is tilted.
Water, barley, wood, time (maturation); service, quality, comfort, music. Whilst the key ingredients of whisky are pretty set in stone, those of a venue will vary based on personal preference (and the type of venue); I would comfortably argue the above four are pretty vital, however. As customers, it can be easy not to think about the effort and strategy behind what goes into a space’s soundtrack, and some of your favourite venues might put a lot more effort into it than is evident. I had a chat with a few different bars and venues to see how they each approached scoring their space — as it turned out, there were a few similarities in tactics even though their main focuses differed.
The sound of silence
Have you ever tried having a conversation in a venue without music? It can feel a bit strange. Think of it this way: it’s kind of like having an extra person sitting with you that always knows what to say. Marek, one of the founders of Waxflower (a boutique vinyl listening bar in Melbourne), says that “Music can fill the space between words, and in those moments, it’s easy to relax and drink in the good vibes. We’re often surprised by how the music creates a social atmosphere that people feel comfortable in.”
This is a sneak peek of a feature article coming in April Unfiltered #80. Members can read the full article (plus other great pieces) from Wednesday, April 12, midday AEST, exclusively at www.smws.com.au/unfiltered-magazine.
This article features in the April 2023 Outturn — bottles will be available to purchase on Friday the 7th of March at midday AEDT exclusively to members of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Not a member? Click here to learn more about the world’s most colourful whisky club.