How this unique urban distillery got its ‘Wings’.
Born out of Perth, Western Australia, Whipper Snapper Distillery [WSD] was founded by brothers-in-law; Alasdair [Al] Malloch and Jimmy McKeown. Young and passionate whiskey drinkers Al and Jimmy were searching for something exceptional that helped showcase Western Australia’s produce and put WA on the map. In the pursuit to create the perfect Australian whiskey, Al and Jimmy wanted to redefine the perception of WA grains and in 2014, two young whipper snappers opened the doors to their East Perth Urban Distillery.
From its humble beginnings, WSD has been built on a foundation of hard work and determination. The catalyst and inspiration for this adventure were drawn from Al’s neighbour, Vic, a remarkable man who served as a Lancaster Pilot and Mechanic during the tumultuous era of World War Two [WW2]. In the suburban streets of Scarborough, WA, 19-year-old Al and 80-something-year-old Vic bonded over their shared passion for whiskey and the captivating stories from WW2. Growing up, Al learnt of the tales about his grandfather, who was also a Lancaster Pilot flying a 36 Sortie, who served until 1943 and then went on to train war pilots back home. His wild neighbours’ character inspired Al, and the pair spent many moments brewing moonshine, sipping spirits and bonding over their plane history; Al through his late grandfather and Vic through his own WW2 journey. For over two years, Al helped Vic to compile his memoirs from handwritten notes. Al said, “Vic was a typical boy at heart,” and together, they shared many interests, including Vic’s home-brew whiskey recipe.
In a world domineered by established giants, two young whipper snappers travelled the United States [US] and Scotland to pick up the skills and knowledge around the distilling process and how to handcraft a premium whiskey. Like others, they were knocked back many times but, in true spirit, continued on their journey. In the US, Jimmy gained valuable teachings from Coop, who had recently sold his craft distillery, “Colorado Gold”. Coop not only helped Jimmy to source the column reflux still, he also shared with him the whiskey recipe inherited from his grandfather. Scotland bought another positive experience. They met Frank, the former master distiller at Springbank Distillery. Under his expert mentorship, Jimmy was taught traditional Scottish distillation styles and assisted in creating the Whipper Snapper Single Malt recipe, which has recently been released.
With Veteran Vic’s home-brew barley style recipe and Coop’s corn recipe, Jimmy tailored these to suit the Mediterranean-style WA climate, bringing West Aussies the Flagship; Upshot Whiskey they have grown to know and love. Sadly, four years into the WSD journey, Vic passed away, but in true Whipper Snapper style, Al was fortunate enough to have shared with him the drop they were collectively able to put together. Vic left behind cherished memories, the essence of mateship, comradery and the value of good company.
Each bottle is a tribute to Vic and his bomber, and with that, WSD welcomed their Veteran’s Club. Whipper Snapper’s own Veteran, Ryan, joined the team in 2021 after his long-standing commitment to the SASR. Having traded his uniform for civilian attire, Ryan was eager to recreate the same atmosphere of mateship he had experienced throughout the military. During this time, he noticed a shared appreciation many people in the military had – their love of whiskey and, because of this, has helped to bring the Veterans Club to life. For Veterans, past and present, WSD wants to provide a warm, welcoming environment where members can embrace the community of shared experiences and provide that sense of comradery where military members can be comfortable outside the realms of the defence force. WSD truly values the sacrifices of anyone who has fought to protect the Australian way of life and welcomes memberships from any current or ex-serving members of the ADF or allied military.
As with all good things, it started with two mates sitting down and discussing how they could make their whiskey dreams come true. With the support of their mentors, WSD has endured nine years of success and is flying high. Today, WSD is filled with Moonshine, a selection of Moonshine infusions, award-winning Whiskeys and a whole lot of young Whipper Snappers itching to share the story about how the distillery started with a bomber and ended with a barrel. Nothing can compare to the stories shared among mates over whiskey. As always, Whipper Snapper whiskey is to be enjoyed across all seasons and in good company.
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Join our Vets club today!