Dream a little dram: With its gentle clink of ice and swirl of aromatic nuances, a glass of whisky in hand is a luxurious way to end the week
There is something undeniably comforting and indulgent about unwinding with a glass of whisky. Perhaps that’s why whisky sales have steadily risen globally and in Asia, even in the face of negative economic growth. In Japan, the export of whisky overtook that of saké in 2020, and just last year, a cask of rare Scotch whisky from the 208-year-old Ardbeg distillery was sold to an Asian collector for GBP16 million ($27.5 million). Scotland’s leading whisky writer Charles MacLean, quoted in Financial Times, said that the cask was “a remarkable piece of liquid history”, adding that the factors which make a whisky investable are rarity, flavour and variety.
Whether to imbibe for enjoyment or to collect, whisky proves that good taste is well within reach. Here are some new expressions of the liquid amber to treat yourself to.
Westward Whiskey Pinot Noir Cask, Stout Cask & Cask Strength
Fans of American whiskey would be forgiven for doing a double take: Westward Whiskey now sports a polished new livery along with three new flavour profiles: Pinot Noir Cask, Stout Cask and Cask Strength. These award-winning additions to the Westward Whiskey family were brewed from scratch using locally malted barley and ale yeast, then distilled twice in custom low-reflux pot stills like a single malt and matured in heavily toasted, lightly charred American Oak. Barrels in small batches are mixed to produce the bold, signature profiles with their complex earthy, fruity and spicy flavours. The Pinot Noir Cask features fruity notes of fig and apricot with a dark chocolate finish. The Stout Cask presents hazelnut, honeycomb and roasted barley aromas with an oaky vanilla finish balanced by a hint of mint and citrus. The Cask Strength is recognised by Whisky Advocate as one of the Top Five Whiskeys of 2022, bringing notes of toasted almond and black pepper to the nose and finishing with honeyed, deep fiery malt. Available at www.whisky.sg, The American Club and selected bars.
Glenfiddich Grand Yozakura
Few have tasted Awamori, known as the oldest distilled alcoholic spirit from Japan. Now, Glenfiddich offers discerning collectors a taste of Awamori’s subtleties in its first limited-edition release, the Grand Yozakura. A 29-year-old single malt matured at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown and finished for six months in rare Awamori oak casks, the Grand Yozakura “elevates the smooth Glenfiddich profile, accentuating the mouthfeel characters and zingy herbal notes”, says Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s malt master. Changi Airport is the first in Asia Pacific to launch the Grand Yozakura.
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The Glenrothes’ The 42
The first limited release of its age, The Glenrothes The 42 brings together four casks that have matured for over four decades on The Glenrothes Estate. Handpicked by master whisky maker Laura Rampling, the casks were judged to have reached their individual pinnacle of flavour — together, they present a wonderfully complex, vibrant profile for the connoisseur. Distinctive notes of apricot, sugared almonds, orange peel and coriander seed tickle the nose before creamy vanilla, honeycomb and fragrant orange oil soothe the palate with a lingering aromatic finish. Only 1,134 bottles of The 42 are available worldwide; enquire in Singapore at Oaks Cellars and 1855.
Macallan James Bond 60th Anniversary Release
One of the most famous lines ever uttered on the silver screen, “Shaken, not stirred”, has been quoted and parodied more than anyone can count. It is apt, perhaps, that as 007’s whisky of choice, renowned distillery The Macallan is launching the James Bond 60th Anniversary Release — six limited-edition bottles, each encapsulating a decade of the famous spy’s storied legacy. Created by The Macallan’s master whisky maker Kirsteen Campbell, this collection is undoubtedly a collectible for fans of Bond, no less because acquiring all six will take some determination; only selected decades are available at The Macallan boutique at Raffles Hotel Singapore via registered interest.
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Louis XIII Rare Cask 42.1
Drawing on the eaux-de-vie of tierçons made from French oak trees over 100 years old, the precious Louis XIII Rare Cask 42.1 is a limited 775-decanter release. Discovered by fifth-generation cellar master Baptiste Loiseau from his close observation of the delicate interaction between the century-old oak and the eaux-de-vie, the Rare Cask 42.1 presents a unique aromatic profile never encountered before in a Louis XIII cognac, with an unexpected 42.1% alcohol by volume. Encased in black Baccarat crystal, a work of art in itself, the Rare Cask 42.1 is the first edition to be presented in a ritual set, accompanied by Pillet crystal glasses and a serving pipette. For more information, visit www.louisxiii-cognac.com/products/rare-cask-42-1.