No longer restricted to the whisky-making motherlands of Scotland and Ireland, it’s now possible to find a first-rate dram produced in just about all corners of the earth. Buoyed by the success of Japanese whisky, there’s a new wave of global producers taking experimentation in their stride.

Free from time-honoured tradition and strict regulations, distilleries from India to Australia are not only trialling new methods of maturation and blending, but celebrating local produce (such as Tasmanian peat or Himalayan barley) to create distinctive and unique drops.

Of course, the natural environment plays its part; whisky matured in hot, humid conditions will age much more quickly than the boreal Highlands, meaning a whisky aged for three years in Bangalore can taste every bit as oaky and complex as a 15-year-old single malt.

How we test world whisky

Our panel of experts and whisky veterans tested a range of world whiskies blind, tasting them neat and then diluted with a drop of water to soften the alcohol and allow the core flavours to shine through. They were seeking memorable drams that not only challenged the status quo, but offered complex aromatic profiles, well-integrated alcohol, and the versatility to sip straight up or stir into whisky-based cocktails.

These are the 12 bottles you’ll find on their bar cart.


WhistlePig 10 Year Old Rye Whiskey

Made by the master distiller behind Maker’s Mark’s best-selling blends, we had high hopes for this 10-year-old rye – and it delivered. The distillery scoured the globe before settling on casks from Sauternes, Porto, and Madeira; a combination that results in unparalleled complexity, with flavours of orange peel, green pepper, star anise, muscovado sugar at the fore and a hint of barrel char to finish.

70cl, 50%


Sazerac Rye

Our panel had nothing but high praise for the well-balanced aromas at play in this spicy sazerac by Buffalo Trace (think ginger, citrus oil, butterscotch and lingering smoke). The velvety mouthfeel makes this our new go-to for a manhattan, but it’s a surprisingly good sparring partner for native oysters, too. Trust us on that.

70cl, 45%


Agitator Single Malt Whisky

Hailing from Arboga, Sweden, this single malt impressed our experts with its unique fruit-forward flavour profile (think: bright citrus, crisp red apple, and a hint of dried fruit, thanks to the sherry cask maturation). On the palate, there’s a kiss of smoke and sea salt, making this one to savour straight-up, over ice, or with a dash of distilled water to bring out the nuttier backnotes.

75cl, 43%


Hautes Glaces Indigene Organic Whisky

The clever folk at Domaine des Hautes Glaces (which holds claim to being the oldest organic whisky distillery in the world) have created a classic single malt that pays homage to the surrounding French landscape. Barley grown in the Alps is first distilled over wood fire, before a lengthy maturation in ex-Cognac, ex-Armagnac, and ex-wine casks. On the nose, there’s sweet vanilla, almond, buttery brioche and toasted oats, followed by warming cinnamon, clove, and a hint of citrus on the palate. No self-professed whisky enthusiast should be without a bottle on their bar cart.

50cl, 44%


Never Say Die Rye Whiskey

Distilled in Kentucky and matured at the White Peak Distillery in England, this rye whiskey from transatlantic brand Never Say Die is as complex on the palate as it is on the nose. The result is sweet and warming aromas of rich caramel, apple cake, coconut and warming spices. Just as rich and complex on the palate as on the nose, flavours of butterscotch, roasted vanilla pods, toasted wheat and biscuits are all paired with wonderfully rich and spicy back notes. Offering excellently balanced sweetness, this would make a delicious old fashioned.

70cl, 52.5%


Starward Left-Field Australian Single Malt Whisky

Overlooked for too long, Australian whisky is beginning to make waves in the global market, with Port Melbourne’s Starward Distillery leading the way. Matured in red wine barrels, aromas of apricot jam, sultanas and toasted praline fill the nose, before richer flavours of stem ginger, dark chocolate and stewed apple join the party on the palate. If you’re after a sweeter sipping whisky, you won’t be disappointed.

70cl, 40%

Stauning Host Whisky

Stauning is no stranger to experimentation, and Høst (meaning harvest) is a marriage of single malt sweetness and rye spice in one memorable dram. It’s matured in heavily-charred new American oak casks and first-fill port barriques, which results in a fruity, floral profile, with red berries, apple blossom, and honey taking centre stage, while the sultry smooth mouthfeel makes this a nightcap par excellence.

70cl, 40.50%


Pike Creek 10 Year Old

If you gravitate towards sweeter bourbons, then get to know this Canadian whisky. Finished in rum barrels, the result is smooth and syrupy, with notes of dried orange, cooking spices, brown sugar and intense vanilla bean. Exceptionally versatile and food friendly, we’d opt for all-out indulgence and pair it with a post-roast sticky toffee pud.

70cl, 42%


The House of Suntory The Chita Single Grain Japanese Whisky

Grain whiskies are known for being lighter in flavour than malts, but this Japanese drop brings complexity in spades. Matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon and wine casks, you’ll find a mix of tropical fruits, caramel and vanilla with a hint of toasted rye-style grain. We’re confident you won’t find better.

70cl, 43%


Bulleit 95 Rye Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

Since its release in 2011, Bulleit 95 has earned its place on the shelves of leading bars across the globe – and it will work hard on your home bar, too. Exceptionally smooth with sweet notes of maple, oak and a light, woody finish laced with dried fruit and smoke, it’s versatile enough for all the classic cocktails, but brings something extra special to a mint julep.

70cl, 45%


Rampur Double Cask Single Malt Whisky

Another stellar single malt from Rampur, this expression is matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in European sherry casks, which creates a harmonious blend of sweetness (raisin, honey, tropical fruit, malt) and spice (pepper, oak, cinnamon, nutmeg). Savour on the rocks with an orange twist – this whisky will see you through every season.

70cl, 45%


Paul John Brilliance Indian Single Malt Whisky

Made using barley from the foothills of the Himalayas and distilled in Goa, this unpeated Indian single malt makes for a very special sipper. There’s a clean core of barley, malt and apple skin on the nose, which is swiftly joined by aromas of roasted walnuts, bitter orange peel, vanilla and lively festive spices. It has a memorable finish, with the rye returning for the last hurrah.

70cl, 46%

Text By Millie West / VerifiedTested By Callum Black

Callum Black is our Food and Drink Testing Manager and has been part of the world of professional catering for 10 years, from cheffing to food manufacturing. While working in manufacturing he specialised in bespoke product and menu development for several start-ups and well-known brands such as Wrap It Up! and HOP Vietnamese. He holds the WSET Level 2 in wine, a Level 3 in spirits and has a particular interest in agave spirits.

Originally published on Esquire UK

From the dramatic landscapes of contemporary Scotland, William Grant & Sons proudly introduces WILDMOOR, an exquisite collection of high-aged rare blended Scotch whiskies. Embodying the untamed beauty of Scotland, WILDMOOR invites whisky enthusiasts on a journey through ancient moorlands, rugged coastlines, dense forests, unspoiled mountain ranges, and imposing lochs.

It started 60 years prior when William Grant & Sons went on a quest to acquire a vast reserve of rare, high-aged malt and grain whiskies from every corner of Scotland. WILDMOOR is one such acquisition. Selected for its unique character, much like the ever-evolving Scottish landscape, these whiskies have matured over decades resulting in a phenomenal depth and complexity.

Further honed under the keening eye of Master Blender Brian Kinsman, WILDMOOR's catalogue can be seen as a "flavour map" of Scotland. Within each glass of WILDMOOR, you're transported to the Scottish territories beyond the confines of a single distillery style. WILDMOOR's core range is recognisable by its dark hue—a unique profile to its whiskies—thanks to the sherry cask maturation.

All WILDMOOR bottle exteriors are designed with the rugged, elemental textures and forms of the Scottish landscape. From rural lowlands to unspoiled uplands, coastlines, rivers, and lochs; each bottle acts as a physical panorama of Scotland's epic beauty.

The Collection

WILDMOOR Dark Moorland: 23 Year Old

WILDMOOR Dark Moorland: 23 Year Old

A blend of Highland and Speyside malts combined with Lowland grain whisky. Matured in both American and European oak, this whisky evokes the windswept moorlands of Scotland, its rich flavour further enhanced by an Oloroso Sherry cask finish.

WILDMOOR Rugged Coast: 30 Year Old

WILDMOOR Rugged Coast: 30 Year Old

Drawing inspiration from Scotland's rugged western coastline, you get notes of peat, sea air and crashing waves. This bold whisky blends smoke with rich stone fruit, culminating in a lingering finish. The Oloroso Sherry cask finish adds an extra layer of complexity.

Travel Retail Exclusives

The Travel Retail exclusives

The Travel Retail exclusives include the WILDMOOR Waking Forest: 23 Year Old, WILDMOOR Tropical Coast: 30 Year Old and the WILDMOOR Black Mountain: 40 Year Old (the Black Mountain is also available for domestic sale).

Waking Forest marries virgin oak and sherry oak that results in smooth vanilla flavours with a rich sweetness. While, the Tropical Coast captures the essence of Scotland’s northwestern coastline in summer. Finished in a Caribbean Rum cask, it is smooth, fruity, and sweet with a touch of rum spice. Lastly, the Black Mountain is an extraordinary blend that features rare grain and Highland malts, enriched with Ghosted Distillery stock. Finished in a Pedro Ximenez cask, it delivers an intense, deep, and elegant experience.

WILDMOOR Travel Retail range is available at an exclusive pop-up. Located in Terminal 1 Departures (Transit), this immersive space invites visitors for a multi-sensory adventure through Scotland’s rugged lands. culminating in curated whisky and food pairings at the pop-up bar. Exclusive gifting and complimentary personalisation are available with every purchase.

The WILDMOOR Travel Retail range, including the 23 Year Old Waking Forest and 30 Year Old Tropical Coast, will be available at Singapore Changi Airport Lotte Duty Free shops until 23 May, 2024, and in selected Travel Retail markets from 24 May, 2024. The rest of the WILDMOOR range will be available at selected retailers and online.

The sea speaks of salt tang and stories, of siren calls and shanties about sea-faring lovers lost to the briny depths. The Psalms talk about revelation, where ”the secret sources of ocean are exposed”. And over 20 years, hidden along Scotland’s northeast coastline, a Glenglassaugh warehouse accommodated numerous rare casks.

Laid down back in the 1970s, these casks were left nigh forgotten and left to mature through the years with the coastal environment shaping their contents. They were uncovered in 2008 and the rest of the maturation was overseen by Glenglassaugh’s master blender, Dr Rachel Barrie.

Dr Rachel Barrie.

“It is extremely rare to find casks that have been left to mature in coastal locations for such a long period of time,” Dr Barrie says, “and our warehouses, perched on cliffs overlooking Sandend Bay, have acted as the custodians of this old and rare liquid for over five decades.

“These casks give a unique insight into the nature of whisky making at the distillery before it was closed and capture a moment in time like few other expressions can.”

Glenglassaugh’s 49 Year Old Bourbon Barrel and 48 YO Aleatico Red Wine Barrique.
Glenglassaugh’s 51 Year Old Oloroso Puncheon.

The Serpentine Coastal Cask Collection

Termed as the Serpentine Coastal Cask Collection, the range takes its name from the serpentine marble found in the surrounding cliffs of the distillery. For this collection, only three expressions were bottled. They are the 48 YO Aleatico Red Wine Barrique (distilled in 1974); the 49 YO Bourbon Barrel (distilled in 1973) and the 51 YO Oloroso Puncheon (distilled in 1972).

This liquid gold is contained in glass bottles inspired by the sand of Sandend Bay and sealed with a serpentine marble closure. The 48 YO has a pleasing blueberry and peach scent and tastes of blackberry, lychee and raspberry and a hint of sea salt. Whiffs of exotic fruit, like guava, emanate from the 49 YO, with dried fruit enveloping the palate. Finally, the 51 YO has blood orange preserve, spiced vetiver on the nose and tastes of salted treacle infused with a tempting orange and balsamic raisin.

Dr Rachel Barrie signing a Glenglassaugh Sandend bottle.

Limited to a few hundred bottles worldwide, their scarcity is another reason to indulge in this serendipitous find of the year. Prices are available on request.

The move to Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa marked a new milestone for Maduro. Formerly located at Dempsey, the move to the luxury resort on Sentosa Island aligns with Maduro’s vision. Keeping to its goal as a lifestyle destination, providing an unparalleled experience for whisky and music enthusiasts in the region.

The beautiful new venue is filled with globally sourced artwork. Curated by Maduro’s culture-loving founder Peter Ng, the pieces add to its eclectic interior. Guests may spot a Banksy or two when exploring their new space. It is a haven of the arts for patrons looking for a respite from the relentless buzz of city life.

Live Jazz Music

Since its opening, Maduro has managed to build an identity and brand with patrons and the community through the gift of music, cementing itself within the local live music scene. Live music is held on most Friday and Saturday evenings, and it sure does know how to attract a crowd. Music takes precedence at Maduro, whether it's classical music, contemporary, fusion, pop or jazz. Unlike in other bars, when the music starts playing, the crowd goes silent as they listen attentively. No one talks over the music.


(Editor: Look, we really wanna to highlight the negative effects of smoking. We don't endorse smoking but you're an adult with excellent reading comprehension so you can make your own decision, natch.)

With a special private room meant for cigar smoking, Maduro provides a wide selection of Cuban, Dominican and Nicaraguan blends. There is a 24-hour temperature and humidity-controlled walk-in humidor, creating a sublime smoking experience. Additionally, a cosy retail corner offers a range of Davidoff accessories including humidors, cases, cutters, and Maduro merch.


At the whisky bar, a key highlight is Maduro’s focus in sourcing non-mainstream labels for their bespoke whisky selection, presenting a curated range of premium whiskies from Independent Bottlers (IBs). Regular masterclasses and tasting sessions are organised to unpack these gems, where guests are taken on a sensorial journey of smell, taste and storytelling led by a whisky connoisseur. Unlike mainstream whiskies, IB whiskies are bottled at cask strength, displaying the full flavour of the barrel and elements of the environment they were produced in.

Exclusive bottles include: Cask of Distinction Lagavulin 200th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition Aged 15 years, Isabella’s Islay Aged 30 years, and Eidolon Port Ellen 1983 Aged 36 years Sherry Butt, to name a few. Besides whisky, Maduro offers a range of other beverages such as rum, cocktails, champagne and wines.

“We are excited to present these new and choice selections and experiences to our clientele, many of whom are our loyal regulars who have grown with us since our early beginnings,” said Ng. “We look forward to welcoming new guests to Maduro and hope that they too will find comfort, inspiration and joy in our space.”

Maduro is located at 2 Bukit Manis Rd, Singapore 099891 Lower Lobby of Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

It's Chinese New Year and, of course, the brands will capitalise on the Year of the Dragon. We compiled several dragon-themed fashion pieces before and this time, we are showcasing spirits. From Martell to Asahi, here are some of our favourites.


Martell Cordon Bleu Limited Edition—The Swift of Peace

In this collaborative effort, Martell worked with Vincent Darré. Known for his flamboyant creations Darré brings a contemporary vision to this exclusive release.

Darré delved into Martell's archival illustrations and accounts to immerse himself in the alchemy of the distillery. He evoked the grace of doves of peace; weaving an allegory where the Martell Swift becomes a universal messenger of warmth and generosity. The blue ribbon of Martell Cordon Bleu serves as the thread connecting the swifts, mirroring the cognac's ability to unite people with its generous taste. In Darré's vision, the Martell Swift is a cognac ambassador, traversing land and sea to deliver a message of hospitality to all corners of the world. The gift box is a cut-away masterpiece that tells the story of the bottle: the swifts, the globe and the blue ribbon create a portrayal of the Swift's voyage and the globally acclaimed Martell Cordon Bleu. True to Darré's signature style, both the box and the bottle exhibit a watercolour effect.

Martell Noblige Limited Edition – The Surreal Encounter

Another bottle that Vincent Darré tackled is the Martell Noblige. His animal of choice? The stately dragon. As this Lunar New Year's latest zodiac representative, the dragon pays tribute to the meeting of two cultures, represented by a magnificent, dazzling dragon and an elegant, stylised Swift, symbolising Maison Martell’s spirit of freedom. It also highlights the historic connection between China and Martell, thanks of their first shipment to the country in 1858.

The bottle and gift box depict ships laden with precious cognac are guided on their voyage. From France, its marked by flying swifts, while twin dragons welcome them on their arrival in China.

Royal Salute 21 Year Old Lunar New Year Limited Edition 

Royal Salute, the blended aged Scotch whisky brand unveils a special edition gift pack. The artwork is courtesy of Chinese-born creator Yunshu Li. Echoing the festivity's vibrancy, it cradles the regal elixir—the Royal Salute 21 Year Old Signature Blend.

With a dazzling swirl of details, Li weaves figurative cues, unleashing a cascade of colour that captures the spirit of celebration. The iconic "gun salute" is a shot fired from the Tower of London; the bouquets symbolises wishes of happiness, growth, prosperity and love. At its core, the 21 Year Old Signature Blend, is a sophisticated and opulent character. With notes of ripened fruits and delicate spice notes, making it the choice for the elevation of celebratory moments.

William Grant & Sons

Glenfiddich A Gift For Blossoming Futures

Glenfiddich's celebrates with "A Gift For Blossoming Futures." Collaborating with Raku Inoue, this limited edition collection symbolises the anticipation of new starts and a life in full bloom. Inspired by nature, Inoue's artistry breathes life into the fusion of the iconic Glenfiddich stag and the mythical Wood Dragon.

This limited edition series extends throughout Glenfiddich's core range— the Reserva Rum Cask 21 Year Old pack, the 12, 15 and 18 Year Old variants. Each gift pack comes with Glenfiddich-branded whisky glasses.

(Find an immersive Glenfiddich experience at the CNY Pop-Up at Suntec City Atrium Tower 3 & 4 until February 4, 2024.)



Macallan's "A Night on Earth," a single malt Scotch whisky that transcends the ordinary. It's about reuniting with a loved one and this limited-edition bottle is the product after the maturation in sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks with American ex-bourbon barrels.

Working with mixed-media artist Nini Sum from Shanghai, each layer of the pack becomes a canvas of meaning. Sum's vibrant illustrations adorn each "A Night on Earth" package. From the first glimpse to the final pour, every moment with "A Night on Earth" is designed to invoke a sense of awe.


Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year edition (James Jean)

Artist James Jean can do no wrong and he gives the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle a lovely festive facelift. In his reinterpretation of the Wood Dragon, the serpentine beast "springs from bountiful flora
and fauna, and bursts to life with auspicious ambition". Composed of flora elements, the dragon sits in a layered artwork that has nods to Johnnie Walker like the chrysanthemums that represents the liquid gold. "I want the viewer to peel back the layers and discover more about the image," Jean says. "I want my work to function from far away but reveal more details the more closely you explore the imagery.”

Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore

Hennessy "Dragon's Odyssey" collection (Yang Yongliang)

From left: the Hennessy V.S.O.P, Paradis and X.O; all given the Yang Yongliang treatment

Roping in the talents of Chinese multimedia artist, Yang Yongliang, the "Dragon's Odyssey" collection takes the traditional dragon and breathes new life into it via a digital reworking. Hennessy has its bottles—Hennessy V.S.O.P; Paradis and Hennessy X.O—given a makeover that's inspired by Yang's "Dragon's Odyssey" piece. The V.S.O.P is a vibrant red hue to usher in CNY and the Paradis the porcelain decanter features hand-painted gold dragon motifs and is crafted by Bernardaud, a 160 year-old French heritage porcelain maker. The Paradis is limited in 485 numbered pieces. Lastly, the X.O is another limited edition that comes in a gold colourway.


Benriach The Twelve Dragon Edition

From Speyside, Scotland, Benriach puts out its 2020 relaunch of its 12 year olds. Called The Twelve, the single malt was overseen by Master Blender Rachel Barrie as it mature in a troika of casks—sherry, bourbon, and Port. The results are dried fruit notes, coffee and spices. This limited edition is made even special thanks to the dragon edition; the taste is the same but the design gets a CNY treatment.


Asahi Super Dry (Hermippe)

Asahi gives their Super Dry beer the pixelated once-over. Japanese pixel artist, Hermippe, gives his own spin of the dragon. Hermippe’s intricate design uses something called a “mixel”, which is a technique that combines several types of dot sizes to create the illustration. The final result is the dragon that reflects a future full of possibilities and with the collaboration, it gives the vibrancy of modern Japan.

A lot of whistles were wet

In a symphony of flavour and tradition, Whisky Journey 2023 was held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Jasmine Ballroom. This year's programme superseded last year's event with a staggering 2,500 attendees and played host to 30 distinguished brands.

Curated by The Whisky Store, Whisky Journey started as Singapore’s paramount whisky exhibition in 2019. Then, the pandemic forced it to pivot into an island-wide bar and restaurant whisky trail that ran over 10 days. In its fourth year, Whisky Journey offers patrons an exclusive portal into the world of spirits. With esteemed distilleries and brands hailing from Japan, Scotland and beyond.

In 2023Whisky Journey didn't disappoint. Showcasing a curated selection of over 300 whiskies and expressions, the event goes beyond mere tastings. There's also an immersion into the expertise of industry stalwarts via masterclasses hosted by luminaries from Bruichladdich, Kanosuke, Tomatin and more.

The Highlights

The 2023 edition not only boasted the title of Singapore's largest Japanese whisky showcase, with more than six eminent Japanese brands to be showcased; there was a new digital wallet feature that streamlined the attendee experience like seamless purchases, exploration of exhibitors and whiskies and the redemption of free samples. All these and more, all within a single platform.

But there was also a celebration of the future of whisky. For whisky culture to succeed in the coming years, newer brands needed to be introduced. Boutique local brands like Sing Sing Whisky and Compendium Spirits were featured among other international luminaries like The M&H (Milk & Honey). Other brand owners and distillers included Ken Usami, the Distillery Owner and Master Distiller of Shinobu and Iain Forteath, the Master Blender at Angus Dundee Distillers.

The Currach boys

Attendees were the first to taste the newly launched Currach Single Malt Irish Whiskey, the Atlantic Kombu Cask. This libation is finished in Killahora Orchards Apple Ice Wine Cask and was only available exclusively at the event. Founder Patrick Shelley shared the intricate craft behind this groundbreaking creation, adding an extra layer of excitement to the array of exclusive Whisky Journey bottlings.

For more info, visit Whisky Journey 2023

A Rare Discovery from Distant Shores. THE BALVENIE

Whisky is great. I may not know enough about its complicated manufacturing processes, nor of the distinction between the numerous Scottish distilleries that pepper Speyside, but I know that each creation can be very individually nuanced.

As most fellow enjoyers of the smooth liquor, I am generally familiar with William Grant & Sons' widely-popular Glenfiddich, but lesser of its specialised sibling The Balvenie. Coming to learn of the small size yet longstanding tenure of its workforce—many of which spend their lifetimes tending their role—, it's clear that dedication to craft is a priority.

Besides one of a handful of distilleries in Scotland that grows its own barley and upholds traditional floor malting, The Balvenie was also pioneer to cask finishing at the helm of Malt Master David C. Stewart (MBE). Cask finishing, maturing whisky in a second cask previously housing another liquor type to create further palate complexity, is just one of the interesting tales to unfurl during the 130 year legacy.

The Balvenie Stories Range

A Revelation of Cask and Character. THE BALVENIE

So it's clever, regardless of possible marketing-driven motives, that the brand has a collection of these anecdotes bottled up. Originating from suggestions on a whim, or even pure accident, production volume of these creative expressions is highly limited.

Take, for instance, 'A Day of Dark Barley 26'; derived from a delivery error of dark roasted malted barley, commonly used for stout, that arrived at the Distillery in 1992.

The new expression, the mouthful ‘A Revelation of Cask and Character’, is the first in the range to be matured entirely in 100 percent European Oak sherry cask. It's a neat manifestation of the precious relationship the distillery has with its coopers, being among the few that keep cooperage on site. Fruit and nut naturally become the distinct notes, which make it an easy pairing for food.

And since 'A Day of Dark Barley 26' is no longer available, ‘A Rare Discovery from Distant Shores’ is an equally heady addition with 27 years of aging in Caroni rum casks. The signature honeyed taste gives way to richer and darker layers here. With the 48% ABV, do let it air longer before consumption.

Just as how every whisky has a unique hue (hold it up to the light; it's not half as pretentious as you think it is), storing and sharing their peculiar stories certainly makes each moment of savouring one of greater depth in significance and enjoyment.

The Balvenie.

Harmony Collection III. THE MACALLAN

The Macallan has partnered with Bentley, collaborated with Christopher Kane, has an entire experience at the The Macallan House. A lifestyle collection with Stella and Mary McCartney, though, was not on our bingo list. The limited edition series, TOGETHER, marks the first creative union of the McCartney sisters.

The inspiration

The McCartney sisters' emotional ties to Scotland have inspired the designs crafted with master artisans and craftspeople. The complete set includes vibrant handmade glassware, an ombre ceramic flask encased in an apple leather alternative sleeve, brass ice stamps with hand-painted ceramic handles, and a brass napkin weight shaped like an acorn—a tribute to the oak casks maturing The Macallan whisky.

The curated selection draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the forests, the sea, and the River Spey. The green hues represent The Macallan Estate, amber tones nod to the whisky's natural color, and the color red symbolises the brand's deep respect for tradition, craftsmanship, and nature—a core value of The Macallan for almost 200 years.

Harmony Collection III. THE MACALLAN

The Harmony Collection

The McCartney sisters have also collaborated on the third edition of The Harmony Collection, which feature two distinctive expressions: Amber Meadow and Green Meadow. Packaging is made from discarded meadow cuttings, showcasing a commitment to sustainability, with Mary McCartney's photography of The Macallan Estate.

“This range wouldn’t be what it is if we weren’t able to spend that time with The Macallan," says Mary McCartney, who has previously worked with the brand. "I felt really proud to bring my little sister with me to The Macallan Estate on Speyside, as I knew Stella would fall in love with this just as much as I did."

“We feel really lucky to be launching our first collaboration and making this range of pieces with The Macallan,” Stella McCartney added. “The Macallan, Mary and I wanted to create a collection that celebrated the highest quality of materials and incredible craftmanship that would be fitting of the shared values between us all. We envisaged pieces that were limited, yet would work together as a family. The idea was to have it live in your home, stand out, and of course be of the highest quality.”

TOGETHER: A Collection for The Macallan by Stella and Mary McCartney includes:

TOGETHER: A Collection for The Macallan by Stella and Mary McCartney.

The exceptional contents of the Highland 54 Year Old is housed in an equally-exceptional bottle and box

From the Orkney Islands, comes the Highland Park’s 54 Year Old single malt scotch whisky. If you think “54” is a very specific number, there’s a reason for that: Highland Park never expected to produce a whisky that old. As one of Orkney's most esteemed distilleries, Highland Park kept a careful eye on the rare few casks that would flourish during the maturation process.

In 1968, several casks were stored away. And since 2008, Highland Park Master Whisky Maker, Gordon Motion chose 10 refill casks—four butts and six hogsheads—and transferred them to first-fill European sherry butts. Add another 14 more years for the maturation process and the final result is a robust natural hue and rich complexity in palate.

After 54 years in the ageing, the single malt scotch whisky is ready for Highland Park's 225th anniversary. Factoring in the angel's share (the longer the maturation period, the more whisky is lost to evaporation), the 54 Year Old is divvied into 225 bottles; each bottle representing the year that the distillery has been in existence.

“Representing a quarter of Highland Park’s life,” Motion said, “we felt it was a fitting way to mark our 225th anniversary; born and crafted in the heart of Orkney.”

The wind-swept cliffs of Orkney

Location, Location, Location

Time and space are the immutable constants in whisky-making. For the 54 Year Old, its maturation is balanced out by the Orkney Islands’ environment. Located 16km north of mainland Scotland, salt-tinged sea winds lashed at the coasts of this isolated archipelago. Reaching speeds of over 100mph, the moorland peat is bereft of any standing foliage but they are heather-rich.

For over 220 years, this 4,000 year-old peat is hand-cut from Hobbister Moor and is used to smoke their barley. The peat's slow-burn imbues a complex floral aroma; a smokey sweetness that's unique to Highland Park. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, the Orkney climate is temperate. This an ideal situation for the island warehouses to mature the whisky.

Highland Park's Senior Brand Ambassador, Martin Markvardsen, was in Singapore to introduce the Highland Park 54 Year Old at a luncheon held at Burnt Ends.

The 54 Year Old

At the end of the dining table, there the 54 Year Old awaits. Taking cues from the plains of Orkney, the vessel for the 54 Year Old bottle is an example of craftsmanship. Michael Rudak, senior designer of Stoelzle Flaconnage fashions the embossed bottle. There's a conical 'push' at the base; an homage to the mash tuns at Highland Park's distillery.

The box, sculpted to represent the Yesnaby cliffs in Orkney, cradles the bottle. Hand-blasted, each piece of Scottish oak will be unique due to its colour variations. Led by John Galvin, who designed the presentation box, the Highland Park 54 Year Old retails for SG$71,500.

It's a princely sum but such is exclusivity. A deep autumnal russet swirls within the belly of the bottle. On the nose, one can pick out lychee, camphor, vintage oak and delicate peat. On the palate: warm spices; crushed cumin, coriander seeds, summer rose and jasmine. A ghost of kiwi and pistachio lingers in the mouth. Sweet and spicy notes linger at the finish.

Out of the 225 bottles, only six are available in Singapore. Limited exclusively to selected private clients and the 54 Year Old is available upon request only.

"Please enjoy Highland Park responsibly."

Prepare to get your whistles wet with the return of Whisky Live Singapore. Organised by La Maison Du Whisky, this grand celebration of exceptional tipples—once held at Andaz—will now grace a new scenic location—the Singapore Flyer. Over two days (18-19 November), the event will feature a gamut of spirits, masterclasses and new highlights. But how do you expand on what is an already-successful alcohol festival? We got Arthur Morbois, Managing Director of La Maison du Whisky, to spill the beans on that and more.

What can we expect from the 2023 Whisky Live Singapore (WLS)?

We expect higher attendance from both consumers and trade partners. There are also more masterclasses to help our guests discover more about their favourite spirits. 

With a strong focus on education and information, Whisky Live Singapore will showcase a diverse lineup of booths, exhibits, masterclasses and tasting sessions. Over 800 members of the trade and 100 participating brands will provide unprecedented insights into the drinks industry. 

We understand that WLS will be hosted at the Singapore Flyer.

While this is our first time setting up Whisky Live Singapore 2023 at the Singapore Flyer, it will be a triumph as it will be our festival's 12th edition. I anticipate that this move will solidify its position as the authoritative spirits show in the region.

Is that your biggest challenge for this 2023 edition?

Our biggest challenge had been the logistics and planning of moving to the Singapore Flyer—a challenge we wholeheartedly embraced. 

After 11 years of pioneering the way for whiskies and fine spirits in Singapore and Southeast Asia, it was time for Whisky Live Singapore to step out of its comfort zone. We want to firmly establish it as a fixture on local, regional, and international calendars. 

The move to the Singapore Flyer will open doors like never before. Whatever challenges will soon transformed into opportunities that we fully intend to maximise. We've also added Cocktail and Food Street next to the venue as the cherry on top. Hosting the event at such a prominent local landmark gives Whisky Live Singapore a prestigious and significant association.

Cocktail and Food Street?

Cocktail and Food Street fully takes advantage of the Singapore Flyer as a venue. It'll serve as an additional platform to engage with an anticipated attendance of over 3,000 visitors. 

Bringing together bartenders with curated food partners, we were inspired in part by similar themes our sister show, Whisky Live Paris. Non-ticketed and open to the general public, Cocktail and Food Street embodies what Whisky Live Singapore 2023's move to the Singapore Flyer is. That this is for everyone, regardless of their level of interest.

A preview of Whisky Live Singapore in the Singapore Flyer capsule

How do you plan to use the Singapore Flyer as part of the Whisky Live event?

The move from the Andaz Hotel, where previous editions were held, to the Singapore Flyer has proven to be almost as big of an attraction as Whisky Live Singapore itself! It’s a fresh and original avenue to welcome the friends we’ve made over a decade. It's to celebrate how Whisky Live Singapore has gone from strength to strength. 

The association of the Singapore Flyer with Whisky Live Singapore is significant. As the venue, the Singapore Flyer has the potential to make Whisky Live Singapore 2023 the most memorable edition to date. Imagine looking out over the iconic Singapore skyline and waterfront with your best friends and favourite brands. That can only lead to breathtaking moments.

Are there more masterclasses for Whisky Live Singapore?

Our focus for each Whisky Live Singapore event has always been to serve as a reference point for information and education in the whisky and spirits industry. Each edition provides a fantastic opportunity to connect the wider public with passionate members of the trade. That's when the magic happens. 

Whisky Live Singapore 2023 will feature more than 20 masterclasses, doubling the number from 2022. They will be held in two dedicated meeting rooms. By increasing the number of expert voices in additional seminars, we hope to provide valuable insights and ignite passion that will have an impact on both our public and trade guests.

Arthur Morbois, Managing Director of La Maison du Whisky

Why is Singapore the ideal location to host Whisky Live?

The passion exhibited by Singaporeans towards whisky and fine spirits is truly inspiring. Especially when it comes to their enthusiasm for welcoming new expressions, bottlings, labels and distillers. As well as their openness to acquiring knowledge about the practices and methods involved in crafting such works of art. 

Geographically, Singapore's importance to the Southeast Asian region as a gateway cannot be overstated. Firstly, it serves as an entry point for brands from established regions seeking to enter Asia via Whisky Live Singapore. Secondly, it provides a launchpad for the rapidly growing distilling culture of Singapore's neighbours. Countries like Cambodia, Australia and India, to help them gain prominence outside of Asia. 

Whisky Live Singapore is the perfect platform for brands and connoisseurs to come together under a single roof. It's where important conversations and interactions occur, furthering the growth of the Southeast Asian spirits industry. We see Singapore taking on an increasingly significant role in this regard as time goes on.

Who are the major partners for Whisky Live?

Luminaries such as Amrut’s Ashok Chokalingam; Velier CEO Luca Gargano; Foursquare’s Richard Seale; Neisson’s Grégory Vernant and Waterford Founder Mark Reynier will be present. Whisky Live Singapore is all about public education, and there’s no better opportunity than together with the makers.

Registration and ticketing for Whisky Live Singapore is now open. Buy tickets with any of our codes for SG$30 off (ESQ_WLSSAT23; ESQ_WLSSUN23). VIP and Connoisseur Passes are still available.

Origin Spirits is the brainchild of Patrick Shelley. This smiling unassuming individual is a veteran of the fine spirits industry; who has worked internationally for LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) for 20-odd years. In 2013, Shelley left LVMH to pursue his own calling—his own spirits company. Called Origin Spirit, his inaugural launch was Kalak Single Malt Vodka, which was one of the world’s first single malt vodka. Then came Kalak Peat Cask Single Malt Vodka and Ornabrak Single Malt Gin.

Situated in West Cork, the south coast of Ireland is assailed by the Atlantic storms and warmed by the Irish sun—these two factors greatly aided the growth of barley. Add to that the years of water being purified by the land's porous rock and you get a perfect storm of distillery magic.

Shelley returns to this year's Whisky Journey and we managed to snag some time with the Origin Spirits founder about what we can expect from them.

ESQUIRE SINGAPORE: What can we look forward to your return to this year’s Whisky Journey? 

PATRICK SHELLEY: First of all, I'm thrilled to return to Whisky Journey 2023. Last year was amazing and probably one of the best whisky fairs I've attended in years. Apart from our existing portfolio of products which will be on show, we have created another very special Whisky Journey exclusive for 2023. This time we are releasing a Currach Single Malt Irish Whiskey—Atlantic Kombu Single Cask, finished in a Killahora rare apple Ice wine cask. This incredible Irish apple ice wine works wonderfully with our whiskey and I can't wait for people to try it.

ESQ: There’s a healthy influence of Irish influences in Origin Spirits’ line. What is an Irish folktale that stuck with you?

There is one particular folktale that has resonated with me since I was a child. It was the story of "Cailleach", the Celtic goddess and queen of winter. Cailleach was the symbol of mother nature to the Irish Celts and represented the darker and more powerful side of nature. She roamed Ireland with her army of deer, sculpting the landscape with a wave of her staff while protecting all animals and crops.

I always found something mystical and beautiful about the cold and dark winter evenings in Ireland with the howling winds and piercing rain. This was Cailleach personified. Cailleach inspired the first product I launched in 2015, Kalak (aka Cailleach) Single Malt Irish Vodka.

You’ve experimented with flavours; what are some taste profiles that you’re trying to get right with your products? What is the process for you like?

In the creation of Currach Single Malt Irish Whiskey, I was actually more inspired by gastronomy than whisk(e)y. I'm fascinated by how different ingredients and flavours work together. The story started years earlier in Tokyo. I was sitting in a whisky bar in Shinjuku and drinking an Irish single malt. Instead of the regular bar snacks I was used to in Europe, here I was served dried Kombu chips. I was immediately intrigued by the flavour interaction between the single malt whisky and seaweed. The umami element of the latter appeared to really complement the whiskey while paving layers of additional complexity. It also balanced the natural sweetness and roundness of triple-distilled Irish single malt.

It was a long road to bring this taste experience from a bar in Shinjuku to a finished whiskey. In 2020, we eventually launched Currach Single Malt Irish Whiskey—Atlantic Kombu Seaweed Cask. This was the first whisk(e)y in the world to be influenced by seaweed. 

Ireland, as an island in the Atlantic, is as much defined by the sea as by the land and seaweed has been an integral part of our history and life since the very beginning. I felt that bringing together two of our most native ingredients (Irish malted barley and seaweed) would create something truly unique while telling the story of our culture and traditions.

Essentially we started with our 3-5-year-old single malt Irish whiskey. We then sourced organic, hand-harvested kombu seaweed from the West coast of Ireland, and used this as a fuel source to char American virgin oak casks. We subsequently filled these casks with our single malt whiskey and left it to finish for three months. The roasted kombu adds beautiful dark chocolate, roasted coffee, toasted black sesame, salted caramel and maritime umami notes to our whiskey.

We launched our second whiskey a year later, this time using Atlantic Wakame seaweed. In contrast to the Kombu, the wakame seaweed adds more vegetal, spicy oak, butterscotch, and earthy green tea undertones.

For our vodkas and gin, we developed a mixology programme, however, for Currach Single Malt Irish Whiskey we focused on food pairing so gastronomy remains the principal inspiration.

What is that one whisky you’d always return to?

During my time at LVMH Moët Hennessy, I discovered Ardbeg Ten and this is a whisky I always return to. This helped me discover what terroir means in whisky and it is something I have been focused on ever since. 

My 'desert island' whiskey would however be Midelton Very Rare 2013. This is spectacular and one of the best whiskies I have ever had the privilege of drinking. It makes me proud that this is Irish!

With the world becoming smaller and more accessible, do you take into account differing cultures with your whiskies at Origin Spirits?

Actually, with the world becoming smaller and more accessible, it is important to have consistency in our global product offerings. Consumers are travelling more and they like to find the same product wherever they land. We do, however, work with our importers around the world to create specific single cask finishes that appeal to local audiences. In Europe, we have released red wine and sherry cask finishes and sake and umeshu cask finishes in Asia. We are also seeing more demand for cross-cultural flavours. So we have started bringing more Asian-inspired cask finishes to Europe and vice versa.

When you’re in Singapore, which bar do you go to, if any?

I always stop at one of the Quaich Bars to discover new whiskies. The staff are so knowledgeable and I always have a great time. 

Atlas is also one of my favourite bars in the world and a perfect place to taste new gins. For great food and drinks, FOC is an obvious choice. To be honest, one is spoiled for choice in Singapore. It's home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the world.

What is a spirit, other than those from Origin Spirits, that you wished you’d come up with?

All our products are Irish and made from local Irish ingredients, using traditional production techniques.

There is no particular spirit or alcohol that I wish I had come up with. But there are a number which have really inspired me, and all are external to Ireland. For me, provenance and terroir are what makes a product unique. As Irish malted barley defines our products and culture, I love how other ingredients, terroirs and traditions define theirs. Two in particular are sake and mezcal. Ireland can't replicate these. We don't have the favourable climatic or soil conditions to grow rice or agave.

We have previously finished our Currach Wakame in Sake casks and are planning a Currach Kombu in Mezcal cask release. This is a great way of celebrating a "tale of two terroirs". To show our consumers how different ingredients and flavours from around the world can come together in harmony.

What is something that you wish people would credit you for?

My objective has always been to create unique and world-class products that would both appeal to and inspire our consumers. We have three brands and five core products (two single malt vodkas, one single malt gin and two single malt Irish whiskies). Each has its own soul and personality. And yet they all possess the same DNA of Irish malted barley, copper pot distilling and single malt. I like to think we are constantly pushing the frontiers of fusing tradition and innovation while keeping our products authentic. Therefore it's very encouraging to hear from our customers and consumers that Origin Spirits is seen as a trailblazer in the global spirits world.

What’s next for Origin Spirits, especially since the pandemic is a dot in the rear-view mirror?

For the coming year, we will focus on consolidating our global distribution. As well as concentrate on "deepening" our penetration of existing markets, in addition to "widening" to select new markets. Ultimately, it is all about touching more spirit lovers with our products in more parts of the world. From a product perspective, we will launch our first series of 'Limited Release' bottlings in October, focusing on a "tale of two terroirs". This range will sit between our current commercial-release products and our single-cask offerings.

Patrick Shelley and other whisky-centric individuals and products will be at Whisky Journey. Tickets are on sale now.

The façade of The Macallan House Singapore.

After months of renovation, The Macallan House reveals its stunningly transformed space. Housed at Raffles Singapore, the experiential retail space showcases The Macallan Estate in Scotland. Following the success of The Macallan Experience in 2020 and the strong relationships built through the boutique, The Macallan built the concept of "Nature Culture" to exemplify the brand's commune with nature and time through multi-sensory touch points. Designed by renowned architect Jamie Fobert, visitors will traipse through the 3,000 square area and experience nature through "sight, scent, touch and taste".

No detail is too small for the construction of The Macallan House Singapore. Each aspect of the different spaces showcases key elements of our six pillars making up the storied history of the brand and the mastery that plays into every drop of The Macallan. Like the copper walls (represents The Macallan's curiously small stills); the colour red (associated with Alexander Reid, The Macallan's founding father); Albariza stone (celebrates the fertile soil from Jerez la Fronter, Spain, home to the sherry wine cask that The Macallan is aged in); waved walls (illustrates the River Spey and the beauty of the Scottish county) and oak flooring (denotes use of the sherry seasoned casks that gives our whiskies its unique flavour profile and natural colour).

The exquisite design of The Macallan House Singapore brings together unique references from the brand. Embodying the spirit of innovation and creativity, it strengthens the profound connection to nature that defines The Macallan.

Collaborating with Singaporean artists like Nathan Yong and Tiffany Loy adds a local specialness to the occasion. Yong's sculpture "The Estate" and Tiffany Loy's woven fabric mural, "Natural Colour," are inspired by The Macallan’s commitment towards the natural colour of its whiskies and its amber hues. To round up the sensory aspect of the experience, Mimi Xu Studio provides an original ambient score—"The Macallan Ballad" which is a field recording of the surrounding nature sounds from The Macallan Estate.

"The Estate" by Nathan Yong.

Walking through The Macallan House adds on to the chapters in the ongoing story of The Macallan. Be transported to the grounds of Speyside, Scotland. Where you're privy to the rich biodiversity that nature affords in The Macallan's ethos. Via the sight, scents, sound and even touch, experience the four micro-climates of The Macallan Estate: the fields of barley; the River Spey; the woodland and Easter Elchies House.

Private dining by the bar.

The Macallan House will host various seasonal programmes and menus from 13 September. Other offerings like the daily gift wrapping and bottle engraving are available every Saturday. To celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, from 14-30 September, a complimentary Raffles Singapore signature mooncake will accompany every dram ordered.

Click here for more information and/or to book a guided tour.

"Crafted without compromise. Please savour The Macallan responsibly."