Whisky bars in Singapore
Image (LHS) adapted from: The Whiskey Library
From cheap beer towers to cocktail rooftop bars, we certainly like our glasses filled to the brim. But as much as we like our mojitos and Asahi beers, it always makes for a fun experience when we step out of our comfort zones. Whisky is often overlooked as an old man’s drink, but one sip will leave a lingering peaty taste that rivals no other.
Change up your Friday night routine by heading down to one of these whisky bars - and we’re not talking bars that so happen to serve whisky. These are full-blown experts in whisky. Most have whisky flights for you to savour the smoky palate, all while you’re enjoying the underground vibes.
1. The Whiskey Library at Hotel Vagabond - over 1,000 whiskies from around the world
Image credit: The Whiskey Library
It’s housed in The Vagabond Club, one of Singapore’s luxury boutique hotels.
When you first walk into The Whiskey Library, it’s almost as if you’ve been transported to the glitz and glamour of the ‘20s - plush velvet armchairs and gold decadence everywhere. But our eyes are immediately drawn to the glass cabinets, where hundreds of bottles of whisky are lined neatly.
They’ve got a curated collection of over 1,000 bottles from all over the world - you can expect limited-edition and single cask bottles from distilleries like Miltonduff and Bladnoch.
Join as a member ($3000/year) to get your own private locker - you’ll also get plenty of other perks like a 10-night stay (fully transferable) at The Vagabond Club.
We tried Penderyn, a single malt Welsh whisky aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in sherry wood. If you’re feeling peckish, they’ve got a food menu filled with savoury bites like Naughty Mozzarella Sticks ($16) and Brie-Licious ($19), toast slathered with truffled brie.
Order whisky on the rocks: its hefty ice cube comes with a single key imprint.
Address: 39 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207630
Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 6PM-2A
Telephone: 6291 6677
2. The Writing Club - gentleman’s club vibes
Image credit: @jopia_production
Don’t stroll right by Palais Renaissance the next time you’re in town, there’s a whisky bar hiding in the corner, with rows and rows of amber-coloured nectar. The Writing Club has over 500 labels, so simply lean back in one of their comfortable leather chairs while lazily swishing around your choice of whisky.
Image credit: @sherin_twc
They’ve got a selection of Scottish labels, including more commonly known distilleries like Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Lagavulin along with rarer bottles of Ardbeg and Hunter Laing. Prices start from $16 per dram, but of course, that depends on your choice of whisky. To try a few, opt for the Whisky Flight where you’ll taste three 20ml pours for $68.
Wines, craft beers, and bespoke cocktails are available here too, if you’re looking for a change of pace.
Address: 390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance #02-10, Singapore 238871
Opening hours: Mon: 12PM - 10PM, Tue to Thu: 12PM - 12AM, Fri to Sat: 12PM - 1AM
Telephone: 9362 8626
3. Quaich Bar - charcuterie platters of Iberian ham and smoked salmon
Image credit: @yuandammah
Quaich Bar - pronounced like “Quake” - refers to the Scottish drinking bowl, so it comes as no surprise whatsoever that their menu’s mostly made up of Scottish labels. If you’re new to the world of whisky, then order their Introductory Tasting Set where you can taste 5 whiskies for $40++. Prices start from $17 per dram but can also reach hundreds of dollars for rarer pours.
Image credit: @jenn_luv
Take a swig of whisky neat, but if needed, add a few drops of mineral water in for a greater depth of smoky flavour. If peckish, Quaich also serves up charcuterie platters of iberian ham and smoked salmon.
South Beach Avenue
Address: 30 Beach Road, South Beach Avenue #01-16, Singapore 189763
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 5PM - 1AM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 6386 5366
Address: 390A Havelock Road, Waterfront Plaza #01-09/10, Singapore 169663
Opening hours: Mon to Thu: 5PM - 1AM, Fri to Sat: 5PM - 2AM, Sun: 5AM - 1AM
Telephone: 6732 3452
4. The Auld Alliance - complimentary cracker-coated peanuts
Image credit: The Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance almost looks like an upgraded version of Harvey Specter’s office, with its plush leather couches and a motherload of whisky strewn across its shelves. The 70-page menu might be intimidating at first, but it’s only that thick because they’ve included write-ups on each bottle’s tasting notes.
Image credit: @patrick___costello
There are over 80 labels of whisky to try, ranging from coveted Islay distilleries like Ardbeg to highland whiskies like Glenlivet. Prices start from $14 per dram but like at all other bars, can go into the hundreds. For a whisky bar, it’s quite spacious since it seats 60 people - there’s also a private 14-seater room if you want a more exclusive setting.
Munch your way through the complimentary cracker-coated peanuts while sipping at your chosen whisky.
Address: 9 Bras Basah Road, Rendezvous Hotel Singapore #02-02A, Singapore 189559
Opening hours: Mon to Thu: 5PM - 1AM, Fri to Sat: 5PM - 2AM, Sun: 5PM - 12AM
Telephone: 6337 2201
5. The Single Cask - handmade chocolate truffles
Image credit: @boredtooquick
There’s plenty of choice at The Single Cask, with more than 400 single malts, blended malts, and single cask rums. It’s conveniently located in CHIJMES, so the next time you’re having a nice dinner out, pop over to try their range of whiskies by ordering a Whisky Flight ($45 onwards for four 20ml pours).
Known for their more indie bottles, The Single Cask carries bottles like Glenburgie 21 Year Old 1995, known for its well-balanced flavours of oak and floral - to a more obscure Macduff 19 Year Old 1997 that’s both sweet and savoury on the palate.
Image credit: @kaywhyaxe
A dram of whisky starts from $15, and cocktails - both bespoke and classic - are all $22 each. If you want something a little more luxe, you can pair your whisky with handmade chocolates for a sweet finish.
Address: 30 Victoria Street, #01-24 CHIJMES Caldwell Hall, Singapore 187996
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 5PM - 12AM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 6837 0953
6. The Wall - Japanese char-grilled skewers
Image credit: @thewallsg
The Wall is a whisky bar like all others, but it also has a full-fledged food menu that serves up Japanese sumiyaki - charcoal grilled food. Their Whisky Flight is categorised according to distillery, so you’ve got flights featuring pours from Balvenie, Speyside, and Glenfarclas.
If you’re up for something a tad more mysterious, the Smoke and Peat Flight series will showcase a variety of whiskies from across Scotland so you can taste the distinct notes of each region.
Image credit: @boonyuru
Their East Meet West Flight ($49) comes with Auchentoshan Three Wood, Les Moissons, Kavalan Single Malt and Yamazaki Distiller Reserve, along with four sumiyaki dishes. If you’re there for just a dram of whisky, they start from $14 onwards. Otherwise, try one of their many whisky cocktails for a twist on the traditional Old Fashioned.
Address: 76 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088497
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 6PM - 1AM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 6225 7988
7. The Flagship - beer pong and Rock n’ Roll music
Image credit: @fishyvee
The crowd at The Flagship’s slightly more eclectic than the classy whisky bars we’re used to - instead of leather couches and dim lighting, there’s a beer pong table to crowd around. From a proudly-displayed mural of Gene Simmons to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit blasted loud and clear, you can tell that whisky bar is all about Rock n’ Roll.
Image credit: @mrsamgoh
But still, there are rows and rows of whisky bottles splayed across shelves. Messily with band posters behind, but with a huge range of Scotch labels nonetheless. You’ve got your single malt whiskies like Macallans and Balvenies, but also rarer pours from Littlemill and Rosebank. A dram of whisky starts from $16 but as usual, prices vary greatly.
A gentleman’s pour of Balvenie 12 Year Old will set you back $22 while a Balvenie 21 Year Old is priced at $62.
Address: 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834
Opening hours: Mon to Thu: 6PM - 1AM, Fri to Sat: 6PM - 2AM (Closed on Sundays)
Telephone: 9011 8304
8. La Terre - Japanese establishment with daily cheese selections
Image credit: @w_naococco_w
La Terre sounds Italian but is wholeheartedly Japanese. It’s got typical bar-seating so you’ll be up close and personal with the bartenders. Their whisky list here features both new and old-world bottles, but of course, Japanese whiskies are their speciality.
Image credit: @yasuzysg
Prices start from $18 for a gentleman’s pour of labels like Akashi White Oak and Nikka Coffey Grain. If you’re looking to spoil yourself, La Terre also serves up rare pours from the likes of Karuizawa where bottles go for thousands of dollars - some fetching more than a shocking $50,000.
There are also light bites served, ranging from Mixed Nuts ($6) to Jamon Iberico (from $20).
Address: 11 Upper Circular Road #01-01, Singapore 058409
Opening hours: Mon to Sat: 6PM - 11PM
Telephone: 6532 1031
9. The Swan Song - complimentary chips
Image credit: @theswansongbar
The Swan Song was was opened late last year by two friendly blokes who know their whiskies inside and out. They’ll take their time to explain the intricacies of whisky-tasting. Try their range of rare and vintage whiskies with a dram or two - they’ve got exclusive bottles like a Laphroaig 1970 and a Linkwood 28 Year Old.
For a few drams, prices are estimated to start from around $40/person, but this depends on what you order. Their Laphroaig 1970’s one of 720 bottles worldwide, and goes for $450 per 20ml dram.
Address: 50A Prinsep Street #02-01, Singapore 188680
Opening hours: Thu to Sun: 7PM - 12AM
Singapore’s best whisky bars
Put your assumptions aside: whisky bars aren’t just for the cigar-smoking suits. Since Singapore has its own fair share of whisky bars, try swapping out your regular heartland bar for something a lil’ more exciting for a change. Whether it’s a full-fledged whisky flight or a whisky cocktail you’re after, these bars promise a taste of smoky goodness that’ll leave you swooning for more.