By Jack Walsh
Glasgow-based drinks firm Dram2O is set to launch its new ready-to-drink whisky cocktail, Òrach, into the on-trade after signing a deal with JW Filshill’s craft distribution arm, Craft Beer Clan Scotland.
The brainchild of Dave Millard, David McLauchlan and James Doig, the blended whisky-based cocktail was first devised as a concept last year, and became a physical product a couple of months ago.
The bottled cocktail incorporates a double shot of Dram2O’s blended Scotch – Dram Òrach (the golden dram in Gaelic) – which is then mixed with natural flavourings. Two flavours have been launched so far: Strawberry, Vanilla & Ginger Beer; and Lemon, Lime, Mint & Ginger Ale.
Dram2O managing director James Doig said the product has already secured a listing with retail chain Aldi, and he is confident the partnership with Craft Beer Clan Scotland will help kick-start an on-trade presence.
Speaking to SLTN, Doig said they aim to get the product stocked in venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow “for students coming back, in August or September time”.
“We’re hoping to try and create some longevity there and use that as a platform to get into other bars, starting off in Glasgow and Edinburgh and working our way throughout Scotland,” he said.
“That’s our masterplan.
“We don’t have the money to throw at brand ambassadors and we don’t really have any value in cold calling.
“We would rather have a product that stands on its own and people are attracted to and approach us.”
In terms of Òrach’s target market, Doig said the whisky-based cocktail is pitched at the younger end of the market, and he reckons that by coming from a “different angle” the product will appeal to non-whisky drinkers.
“We’re not trying to follow trends, it’s just us, and I think people follow that scenario rather than being told,” he said.
“So that’s what the whisky industry has lacked over the years, people are just trying to do and tell instead of just doing their own thing. I think young people tend to follow that rather than being told.”
And there’s no slowing down in terms of innovation, as Doig told SLTN there are three new flavour variants of Òrach in the pipeline.
Whilst still under development, he described the new additions as “traditional whisky cocktails that everyone knows of” which will have the “Dram²O slant”.
The trio also has overseas ambitions for the new product, and is in talks with a partner in Canada as well as eyeing the American market.
But Doig said the main focus for now is in Scotland and the UK.
“Òrach is testament to the fact that Scotland’s national drink is not only incredibly versatile, but still has lots of opportunity to reach new markets, and we hope to capture that with our offering,” he said. “The whole company is based on a couple of guys just trying to do something different.”