Sip on it neat, on the rocks or shaken up as a cocktail—despite whisky’s intimidating reputation, there’s no wrong way to drink it. The city counts the spirit as one of its favourites, even hosting Whisky Live, the region’s premier whisky event that houses over 100 renowned labels under one roof. This weekend-long affair is packed with experiences, rare bottles and cocktails whisky buffs will enjoy.
Even if you’re not in town for the occasion, these five whisky bars will do the trick. Here’s a tip for our sweltering weather: order a highball, which is whisky mixed with soda water and served with ice.
La Maison du Whisky
For whiskies the world over
Escape the roaring crowds of Robertson Quay when you duck into this quaint and idyllic space dominated by shelves upon shelves of bottles. Rest assured, though, because La Maison du Whisky is not your average masculine, leather-bound whisky bar. Its mission is to make the spirit accessible to all.
It does so by keeping prices affordable—a bottle of single-malt Kavalan, an award-winning Taiwanese distillery, won’t cost you an arm and a leg—and by representing the many whisk(e)y-producing regions of the world. Hundreds of expressions from Ireland, Japan, the US, England, the Czech Republic and, of course, Scotland can be sampled from the comfort of its long bar. La Maison du Whisky also stocks other craft spirits (quinoa vodka, anyone?) if you’re looking to switch things up while you’re there.
The Pier@Robertson Quay. 80 Mohammed Sultan Road #01-10, Singapore 239013. +65 6733 0059.
Mon-Thu noon-1am; Fri & Sat noon-2am; Sun noon-midnight.
The Whisky Distillery
For the ultimate Scotch experience
This new establishment at the Downtown Gallery treats you to its growing collection of over 200 whiskies sourced from across Scotland. Become a more discerning imbiber by attending The Whisky Distillery’s specialised tasting sessions and private events. You’re also welcome to simply walk in and tell their whisky experts what whisky characteristics are your favourite, so that they can introduce you to a dram or two that you’ll get along swimmingly with.
The Whisky Distillery. 6A Shenton Way #01-11 Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815. +65 9818 4287.
Mon-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 11am-4pm.
The Single Cask
For a laid-back experience
“Small-batch”, “bespoke” and “welcoming” are the calling cards of The Single Cask at CHIJMES, an enclave of restaurants and bars set against grand, colonial-era architecture. But where The Single Cask lacks in size (it only seats up to 25), it makes up for in hospitality—and, of course, the 350 expressions of whisky and other spirits, mostly cult favourites, that rack its walls.
If you’re unfamiliar with the many types of the nectar on offer, suss out the bar manager and he’ll pick you a poison based on your preferences—if you like sweet, spicy or smoky flavours, for instance—and pair it with a chocolate, too. Like what you’re tasting? Then ask for the whisky stirred into a cocktail, like an Old Fashioned or Whisky Sour. At this fuss-free bar, no one will frown upon your choice.
CHIJMES. 30 Victoria Street, Caldwell House #01-25, Singapore 187996. +65 6837 0953.
The Auld Alliance
For a deeper understanding of dram
Imagine a grand old private library. Smell its leather and mahogany as low lights cast a glow upon handsome Chesterfield sofas. Now, swap all the books with bottles of whisky—that’s the vibe of this local whisky institution. The Auld Alliance is one of the city’s oldest whisky bars, and, with more than a thousand expressions on offer, the most comprehensive. There are limited editions, rare labels, classic Scotches, bottlings from up-and-coming distilleries… you can even sample an 1863 vintage if you—and your wallet—are up for it.
So it comes as no surprise that the tome-like menu can be daunting, especially if you’re a budding connoisseur. Thankfully, the chirpy and knowledgeable staff are on hand to soften the perceived stuffiness of the bar and recommend you a tipple to start with (prices available in store). Otherwise, you can always embark on a flight of whisky or whiskey (that’s an assortment of 15-millilitre pours) to get a feel for the spirit while soaking in the golden atmosphere.
Rendezvous Hotel Gallery. 9 Bras Basah Road #02-02A, Singapore 189559. +65 6337 2201.
Mon-Thu 5pm-1am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am; Sun 5pm-midnight.