Tucked away in a corner of CHIJMES is The Single Cask, one of the newest whisky bars to hit town. But The Single Cask isn’t just riding the current growing consumer interest in whisky, it is also targeting a specific subset of whisky lovers who are curious about a specific whisky sub-genre – independent bottlings.
At The Single Cask, which had its soft opening in early September and will officially launch on 7 November, much of the whiskies – and other spirits – on offer are those of the independent bottling variety. It carries a range, for example, of those from the likes of Cooper’s Choice, Ian Mcleod, Chieftain’s and Dun Bheagan (both owned by Ian Macleod), Weymss, The Maltman, and more. In fact, the only core range of whiskies from an established distillery is Glenfarclas, mainly because the people behind The Single Cask are from Malt Vault, which imports Glenfarclas and these independent bottling ranges.
For those who aren’t quite so familiar with such matters, independent bottlings are whiskies (or other spirits) that come from barrels sold by distilleries to private blenders and bottlers as a way to generate additional income. Sometimes the independent bottlers purchase the raw new-make spirit from specific distilleries to age in their own barrels. And though the barrel(s) or raw spirit may come from a specific distillery the whisky can be very different from those in that distillery’s core range – mainly because the independent bottler decides for themselves when the whisky is ready to be bottled, or has its own master blender to create its own preferred expression – such independent bottlings are therefore normally rarer and can be highly sought after.
“Our focus are products from family-run, and family-owned distilleries,” says Ben Curtis (pictured below, left), director at The Single Cask and Malt Vault. “We may take products from other suppliers, but they need to preferably be from independent brands.” In fact, over 90 percent of the 220 to 230 SKUs carried at The Single Cask are from independent family owned companies.
The Single Cask offers chocolate and cheese pairings for your whiskies as guided by bar manager Fab Arm (pictured centre), and for those who aren’t too much into whiskies, there is a decent cocktail list as well. Try to catch Shah Dillon (pictured right) – of Elite Bar Solutions – behind the bar whipping up your preferred tipple too, if you can.
The Single Cask offers a special membership (at $2,888) where members get their own personal lockers to store their bottles on-premise, as well as get a 25% discount off for bottle purchases. There’s even a super tier – open only to 4 VIP members – that at $8,888 not only offers the privileges of a regular member, but also get a share of a quarter cask of whisky currently aging at a distillery. The four members will get voting rights on what to do with the cask, like when would be the right time to send it for bottling.
“The Single Cask has been some five years in planning,” shares Curtis, who adds that he believes that the whisky enthusiast community has finally grown to a sufficient size and passion to make a place like The Single Cask work. “It’s a nice little space for the community to come and meet one another and share their love for whisky.”
The Single Cask is located at #01-25 Chijmes Caldwell House, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996.