Signature Reserve at Fullerton Hotel is Singapore’s newest whisky-focused establishment, with a restaurant, bar, and retail section dedicated to celebrating the golden drop that is uisge beath.
Singapore’s newest whisky bar and restaurant is also possibly its biggest. Signature Reserve, located at the iconic Fullerton Hotel, is the fourth whisky bar concept by the folks behind Quaich Bar – after Quaich Bar in Havelock Road, Quaich Bar at South Beach, and Copper in Lanson Place – in collaboration with whisky purveyors Whisky Butler.
Signature Reserve takes up where Post Bar used to be, occupying over 4,000 feet of prime space dedicated to the promotion of whisky enjoyment. Among the mixed facilities is an open dining area, a sprawling retail section, a fully-kitted bar for making cocktails, and another bar wholly dedicated to serving whisky.
For those familiar with whisky, the term “signature reserve” denotes whisky of a certain quality. These are generally expressions that are highly representative of the distillery’s style, but are usually aged longer – or differently – and somewhat rarer compared to a distillery’s core range. Whiskies you find at Signature Reserve, appropriately, tend to fall in this category.
First, the restaurant. The cuisine offered here is eclectic, encompassing various pan Asian influences. On one hand you can find, say, the Japanese-inspired Lumpfish Caviar, Herbed Tomato Compote and Cold Tofu in Bonito Syrup, while on the other is Rosemary Smoked Duck Spring Roll with Honeyed Hoisin Sauce, a more Cantonese-Chinese inflection.
Then there’s the spiced Xinjiang Fennel Lamb Skewer – obviously a recreation of the classic northwestern Chinese favourite – or its more Japanese counterpart, Lime Glaze Teriyaki Chicken & Leek Skewer.
And then – bafflingly so – there’s Truffle Fries.
Cocktails at Signature Reserve are of a more classic bent, although their signatures adopt a few interesting twists. As befitting of a hotel-based bar restaurant you have your regular Classic Old Fashioned or Manhattan for the curious but unadventurous hotel guest. For a little more fun, their Bloody Maria is a Bloody Mary with a touch of kimchi, while the White Chrysanthemum Whisky Sour gives the classic whisky sour a local, floral take. Chin Chow Old Fashioned caught our eye, but we weren’t brave enough to order the classic cocktail with the suggestion of a grass jelly dessert influence.
There’s wine and beer here too, but the reason one visits a bar so named is for its whiskies (wine lovers should hit vino haven Grand Cru, Wine Concierge across the hotel lobby instead). Here Signature Reserve delivers them in spades. How many whiskies do they carry, we hear you ask? According to them, there are over 1,000 different whiskies on offer at any one time. With its inception, Signature Reserve is essentially the whisky showroom of Quaich Bar’s distribution arm, and is a veritable showcase of The Whisky’s Store’s entire inventory.
More amazingly, more than half of those 1000-over whiskies are available by the glass, with prices starting from S$11++ (20ml) and S$18 (45ml). These include whiskies both old and rare, or the new collectors’ limited-edition series from mainstream to lesser-known boutique distilleries.
“Whiskies are made for drinking. With whisky prices skyrocketing in recent years, we want to make these whiskies available for guests to enjoy before prices become out of reach in the future,” shared Benjamin Tan, co-founder of Whisky Butler.
You can expect, for example, the entire range from Campeltown-based Springbank distillery, including their peated Longrow and Hazelburn lines. From Islay there’s Bunnahabhain. There’s also the range of whiskies from independent bottler Cadenhead, which run the gamut from small batch to single cask offerings. And if you can’t decide, there’s a number of whisky flights to opt from, with prices starting from S$53++ per flight. The Quaich x Whisky Butler Exclusive Maltbarn Series tasting flight, for example, puts together four different whisky expressions from German independent bottler Maltbarn.
What’s unique at Signature Reserve is its “whisky omakase”, where you can leave it up to the bar to curate a flight of whiskies that come accompanied with various small bites for pairing. The five-course pairing could include, for example, the above-mentioned lumpfish caviar with a Glencadam 13YO Whisky Journey Exclusive, and match a Ledaig 18 year Old with the spicy lamb skewers. For whisky enthusiasts, such pairings can bring out different flavours in whiskies, making it a fun exploratory experience.
And if you really enjoy any of the whiskies you’ve tried, you can pick a bottle up from the retail section.
Signature Reserve, Whisky Butler’s Tan readily admits, is still in the works. The whisky range will rotates ever so often depending on availability, while the food offerings are also being worked on. Maybe they’ll remove the truffle fries?
But whether you’re a seasoned whisky drinker, or someone totally new to the category, Signature Reserve is absolutely worth at least a visit or four.
Signature Reserve (The Fullerton Hotel)
Address 1 Fullerton Square, Fullerton Hotel, Singapore 049178 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 4pm to 11pm daily