Last weekend I made my second visit to The Auld Alliance Singapore, one of the greatest whisky bars in the world and of even greater significance to Japanese whisky fans, one of the 2 best places in the world to try Japanese whisky.
Celebrating it’s second anniversary, The Auld Alliance is the dream become reality of Director/Manager Emmanuel Dron. Previous to opening The Auld Alliance, Emmanuel worked in other areas of the whisky biz for around 15 years. More about Emmanuel further down the post but for the moment I’ll comment a little more on the bar itself.
The Auld Alliance is located at Chijmes, a restored historic building housing bars and restaurants situated diagonally across the street from Raffles Hotel. Visually The Auld Alliance is stunning. The site of over 1000 whiskies beautifully laid out behind a classic style of bar is quite something to behold . There is a separate lounge area to the left of the bar with Chesterfields to relax in, more rare bottles to ogle at and a small library of whiskey books. To the right of the bar is another area housing two private enclosed rooms for those who wish to enjoy their whisky with a select group of family or friends. Also handy for those who enjoy a fine cigar with their whisky as these are also dedicated smoking areas.
So plenty available for most whisky fans, but what if you have tried over a thousand whiskies already? No need to worry, Emmanuel is constantly seeking out rare bottlings to add to, or, replace the ones already stocked. For instance, there was at least 5 new Karuizawa’s available since my last visit 7 months ago. So, lets focus on the Japanese ‘stuff’ available to try. Normally there at least 140 bottlings. Lots of Karuizawa, Ichiro’s Malt Cards, Single Cask Yoichi, Miyagikyo, Yamazaki and Hakushu as well as a number of ‘standards’. New stock on it’s way will include offerings from Akashi, Waketsuru and Mars Shinshu. More good news is that we’ll also be seeing more Japan only releases stocked in the future such as the Suntory Owners Cask series and other rarities. Obviously some of the bottlings can cost a bit for a dram, but The Auld Alliance offers half shots to help keep the cost down and least give you the opportunity to try a couple for those on a budget. Going with a friends or family who don’t drink whisky? The Auld Alliance also offers rum, wine, champagne, beer, cocktails and more.
So, back to Emmanuel Dron the Director/Manager of The Auld Alliance. You could not find a more affable, knowledgeable host. Emmanuel is never static. You will seeing him constantly checking on patrons as to their well being, answering questions and offering advice. As a man of egalitarian tastes, Emmanuel is just as likely to recommend an Irish whiskey, a real passion of his, or Japanese whisky. This open minded, unbiased approach, is extremely refreshing. Having had the opportunity to chat with Emmanuel on a few occasions now, I can say that he is a true whisky enthusiast, not just a business man making a living from whisky.
So, if you are going to Singapore and you have even a passing interest in whiskey or a student of history, The Auld Alliance is a must visit.