Welcome to the first edition of the Ambassador’s Wrap! This is something I’ve been stewing on for a couple of months as a means to really communicate with our incredible members of the Society! This issue is focused on my most recent trip to Melbourne and all the experiences you can have as a member in this wonderful city. Melbourne for me is a home away from home. I lived there for nine years and still have such a strong connection and affinity for our members and the incredible Partner Bars.
Let’s take a seat, pour a dram and see what’s been going on!
In case you haven’t heard, Melbourne distillery Starward moved their entire operation from their Essendon Fields warehouse to Port Melbourne, quadrupling their footprint and creating a new relationship with the Society for events! After some wrangling on dates, Starward agreed to give Society members a preview night of the new distillery before any public came through the door! (just more of the immeasurable benefits of being a member of the SMWS). Thursday 24th November saw forty members welcomed into the new distillery on Bertie St for a Society end-of-year bash pairing up the ‘new world vs old world’ of whisky in one room. A big thanks to every member and guest who made it along, also special thanks to David Vitale, Paul Slater, our Victorian state manager Owen Smythe, and the bar team at Starward!
Don’t forget that member nights often have room for partners/guests/friends, so don’t hesitate to invite someone along in future, and you can always see what’s coming up on our events page.
As a sort of Partner Bar update for our members, I found time this time to drop into our two city-based Partner Bars, with the outstanding Whisky & Alement first on the list. I’m sure many of you already know this icon of a venue at 270 Russell St, but if you don’t, it’s well worth dropping in on, if only for the vast range of Society offerings and incredibly personal service. A true ‘whisky drinkers’ bar with something for everyone and all it lacks is pretense. Don’t forget to flash your Society membership card for 10% off all your Society drams on the night! I bumped into member Alex Moores at the bar we enjoyed 50.80, 93.65 and was sorely tempted to buy the rest of 131.2: it’s not every day you spot 13 year old sherry butt Hanyu! (photos below) Whisky & Alement are shortly going to have the very dearly departed RW1.1 on the bar too, so keep an eye out and say hi to the amazing team there.
We have some BIG plans in the works with W&A coming into 2017, so watch this space…
Eau de Vie in Melbourne is a powerhouse bar oozing class and sophistication with a team to match. Known for their punchy and extensive whisky list, along with a veritable cocktail menu, this is seated-service at its finest in town. Take a peek at the photo above to spot some exclusives, rarities, and special casks that they’ve recently picked up for members and guests to sample.
Of particular note, there’s about 4 x drams of the old and stately 41.64 left, and at least half a bottle of the dearly departed Feis Ile 127.44 in there right now, so a great time to get in and enjoy their offering.
The Society counts Eau de Vie as a blessing in the landscape for craftsmanship and service and working towards a huge 2017!
Until next year, have an splendid Christmas and festive season! You can always keep up to date with Society events through our website, but also feel free to catch up with things on our Facebook Group. I look forward to sharing a dram with you in 2017!
Matt Bailey, National Ambassador
Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Australia