Singapore craft brewery Off Day Beer Company releases Wax On and Wax Off, the former of which has been aged in a barrel that once contained Scotch single malt whisky.

Barrel-aged beers – that is, beers aged in barrels that once contained whisky, rum, wine, or other alcohol for a period of time – aren’t uncommon in Singapore. But those we get here tend to be imported from overseas breweries with a significant barrel-aging programme such as legendary names like Denmark’s Mikkeller, Scotland’s BrewDog, Brouwerij de Molen from the Netherlands, or Chicago, Illinois’ Goose Island.

Until now. Local craft beer brand Off Day Brewing Company has launched a barrel-aged beer that may just be Singapore’s first-ever commercially available beer of that style, setting a new milestone in Singapore’s craft brewing scene.

The Off Day Wax On takes specially brewed base beer, in this case a Belgian-style Tripel, and sticks that into a whisky barrel that once held Scotch single malt whisky. Then there’s also Wax Off, the base beer. Off Day head brewer and co-founder Daryl Yeap shares that the team explored various beer styles for this ambitious project, but finally settled on the classic Belgian monastic style to suit and complement the profile of the whisky that once was aged in that barrel. “We decided on a Belgian Tripel, a style characterised by a bouquet of malty-sweet pomme fruit married to a dash of peppery spice with a gentle warming finish,” Yeap shared.

Off Day Wax On, Wax Off
Officially released on 21 April 2021, Off Day Wax On will be the first-ever beer that’s been wholly barrel-aged in Singapore and made commercially available. Label art by French-based Artist Khalaf Chebbo.

For whisky aficionados who want to know more about the whisky in question, that barrel hails from Speyside-based distillery Glen Moray. The entire barrel – both spirit and wood – was originally purchased by Singapore-based independent bottler M&E Drinks and Porcine Partners for an independently bottled whisky, who passed the barrel on to the folks at Off Day.

The beer was then aged in the barrel for a period of a month. According to Off Day, the barrel-aged Tripel took on a smooth notes of creamy vanilla, Halvah-like nuttiness, ripe plums, and apricots.

Singapore’s tropical climate worked in Off Day’s favour, which sped up the aging process while reducing the risk of contamination and oxidation. “We harnessed our island’s tropical climate as well as flavours and aromas from Scotch-soaked oak to create a sublime beer profile,” shared Casey Choo, co-founder at Off Day. “We are stoked to release both the unaged base beer and the barrel aged version concurrently.”

M&E Drinks Glen Moray 11YO
The whisky whose barrel was used to age Off Day Wax On was independently bottled for Singapore as the Glen Moray 11YO by M&E Drinks.

And if you’re wondering about the names for the beers, yes, Wax On, Wax Off is a direct reference to the iconic line by Mr Miyagi in 1984 film The Karate Kid. “The famous quote captures the idea of having faith over the course of time,” Choo shared. “This was something we found extremely relevant to the concept of barrel aging.”

Wax On (9% ABV Scotch BA Tripel) and Wax Off (9% ABV Belgian Tripel) by Off Day Beer Company launches officially on 21 April 2021. Both beers will be available in 640ml bombers at all good craft beer outlets at a recommended retail price of S$40 and S$34 respectively, as well on tap at three bars: Good Luck Beerhouse, Orh Gao Taproom, and Smith Street Taps, while stocks last.

Those interested in the M&E Drinks 11YO Glen Moray (56.3% ABV) can purchase it through this link. Key in the promotion code “OFFDAYME” to take S$15 off the usual price.

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