A new vending machine near London’s Liverpool Street station has begun dispensing whisky pouches. Yes, whisky pouches. The service debuted on November 1 and will continue until the end of December. The concept was introduced by London’s award-winning Black Rock Bar in Shoreditch.
In order to purchase a pouch, customers will have to buy £7.95 in tokens from Devil’s Darling, the bar inside the Napoleon Hotel. Tokens will be available after 5 pm and can be redeemed between 10 am and 2 am. The vending machine features a variety of single-malt whiskies.
The vending machine was installed to celebrate the first anniversary of Whisky-Me, a whisky subscription service launched by Black Rock Bar’s Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson, which delivers single malt whiskies from around the globe to members’ front doors in the UK for £7 per month or £84 per year.
The vending machine, as well as the monthly Whisky-Me samples, have been selected by the founders “to best represent the flavors and diversity of single malt.” The selection includes a “birthday whisky,” as well as single malts that have been featured on the Whisky-Me subscription service from various distilleries like Macallan, which produces Speyside whiskies, and Royal Lochnagar and Aberfeldy, both Highland distilleries.
Aske and Stephenson say they’re hoping to reinvent the image of whisky as a stereotypically serious interest with a modern and laid-back approach that allows anyone to enjoy whisky without being a connoisseur.
Subscribers to Whisky-Me receive a 5cl pouch of whisky every month. The drams have been chosen to showcase the diversity of Scotch and are a surprise each month. Whiskies are selected for their rarity and exclusivity, allowing members the chance to explore a range of single malts to find the flavors they might enjoy most. In addition to the whisky pouch, subscribers receive easy-to-follow tasting notes, drone footage of the different distilleries and information about the dram’s production.
Whisky-Me hopes to create a “digital whisky community” and reward subscribers as membership milestones are reached. Benefits include one-off casks straight from the distillery. As the service expands, rarer whiskies will be sent to members.