It’s no secret that whisky drinkers in Singapore take their drink of choice very seriously.
Today, more than 20 whisky bars are scattered across the island, some of them featuring some of the rarest whiskies in the world.
Furthermore, statistics released by the Scotch Whisky Association last year revealed that Singaporeans were the third-largest consumers of whisky in 2016, having consumed 41 million bottles of whisky worth a total of £225 million.
So the announcement of Auchentoshan’s latest whisky should come as no surprise to anyone. For the first time in the distillery’s history, Auchentoshan has handpicked and bottled a rare expression of single malt Scotch just for Singapore, the Auchentoshan 1987 30 Years Old Single Cask.
Any whisky drinker worth his or her salt should be familiar with the Scottish brand. Founded in 1823 on the outskirts of Glasgow, Auchentoshan has established a legacy for itself over its 195 years of excellence.
Auchentoshan whisky is renowned for its delicate and exceptionally smooth flavour, which stems from an unyielding dedication to the purity of its ingredients, the skill of its workers and time-honoured methods like triple distillation — rare for a Scottish distillery — and the use of wooden washbacks.
The 30 Years Old Single Cask is no exception. A gorgeous shade reminiscent of burnished gold, the whisky tastes just as good as it looks. It has an initial aroma of sweet honey and molasses, which slowly gives way to a medley of exotic fruits — guava, melon and white peach.
The taste, in true Auchentoshan fashion, is incredibly nuanced, with a taste of acacia honey with lychees and rose petals, cooked apple sprinkled with cinnamon, a hint of white pepper, sweet spices, and a tang of light ginger for a spicy tinge.
And the 30 Years Old Single Cask finishes strong, leaving fresh oaky spices and vanilla to linger long on the palate.
Auchentoshan’s master blender Ron Welsh personally handpicked a refilled oloroso sherry butt for the 30 Years Old Single Cask. It is one of two sherry butts specially selected from a parcel of five butts filled on December 11, 1987, having reached peak age and quality.
According to Mr Welsh, Asia’s favourite taste profile for malt is a sherried whisky that has hints of wood spice and butterscotch. The 30 Years Old Single Cask espouses all these traits — but with unmatched depth and complexity.
“That’s why I felt it would appeal to the Asian palate, allowing more of the spirit character from the distillery to come through,” he says.
He recommends savouring a dram of the 30 Years Old Single Cask neat — it is, in his own words, “perfect as it is”.
Mr Lim Jing Zhe, managing director of 1855 The Bottle Shop, says that the tastes of Singaporean whisky drinkers are becoming increasingly adventurous, but this has failed to diminish the demand for traditional Scottish and Japanese whiskies.
“Since the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was crowned the world’s best whisky by the 2015 World Whisky Bible, the interest in Japanese whiskies has increased significantly,” explains Mr Lim.
However, as Japanese whiskies grow in popularity, so have their prices. Thanks to this, the popularity of single malt Scotch is entering a newfound renaissance, due to its comparative affordability.
Plus, adds Mr Lim, more and more customers are starting to purchase whisky as an investment.
This only makes sense: skyrocketing demand and short supply in the local market, particularly for whiskies with age statements, has led to year-on-year price increases.
So as a limited-production Singapore exclusive, the 30 Years Old Single Cask presents a valuable investment opportunity for whisky collectors — particularly when, according to Mr Welsh, personalisation and premiumisation are becoming increasingly popular trends.
All the more reason to move quickly if you want to get your hands on the 30 Years Old Single Cask: only 383 bottles exist in the entire world, and all are exclusive to 1855 The Bottle Shop.
“We aim to raise the bar by bringing one-of-a-kind whisky experiences to our customers, and we are proud to partner with Auchentoshan to offer the Singapore-exclusive 30 Years Old Single Cask Whisky,” says Mr Lim.
The Auchentoshan 1987 30 Years Old Single Cask is available now at all 1855 The Bottle Shop outlets for a price of $1,088.