Looking to purchase a bottle of whisky without breaking the bank? Here’s a look at new world whisky producing countries that offer excellent whisky at good value.
A new report by Fitch Solutions, a data and research firm, reported that Singapore’s alcohol industry is projected to bounce back in 2021. They highlighted the spirits category as a consumption outperformer in the next four years, expanding by 4.1% annually.
Whisky will likely capture a significant part of that demand as Singaporean appetite for the brown liquid grows. Unfortunately, this appetite we’ve grown to love doesn’t come cheap. We already know that alcohol in Singapore can be expensive.
Ranking in the top 10 most expensive countries to purchase alcohol by the World Bank’s 2017 International Comparison Program, consumers may need to get a little more creative to find value on today’s shelves.
So if you are looking to purchase a bottle of whisky without breaking the bank, world whisky is an option. Here are 5 alternative “new world” whisky-producing countries that offer excellent whisky at a reasonable price.
S$85-$200 for select single malt whisky (70cl)
Arguably, Japanese whisky paved the way for unconventional international single malts to make ground in the global marketplace — which is why we have them as number one on our list. After winning a series of international competitions in the early 2000s, whisky drinkers worldwide are demanding unique international brands to add to their collection.
Today, consumer demand for Japanese whisky is sky high, which means you may end up paying a premium on popular bottles. However, with the enormous global demand, alcohol retailers in Singapore are working overtime to keep shelves stocked. This means it also isn’t uncommon to find regular promotions on these bottles at reasonable prices. So if you are lucky, you just might find a bottle of excellent Japanese whisky for under S$100.
$80-$120 for select single malt whisky (70cl)
Similar to Japan, it hasn’t been long since whisky lovers have been interested in Indian spirits. There are a good handful of excellent distillers in India producing whisky that have recently been winning major accolades, like Amrut and Paul John. Particularly coming out of Bangalore and Goa, the hot climate is said to mature these single malt whiskys quickly, packing them with intense flavours.
Although there aren’t too many online retailers offering a wide selection of Indian whisky, it is a growing category. Singaporean whisky enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Indian whisky brands on the shelves.
$99-$150 for select single malt whisky (70cl)
Just a stone’s throw away from the whisky Cinderella story of Japan is Taiwan, which has recently been making a name for itself in the world of whisky. Like India, Taiwan’s hot and humid climate accelerates the maturation process, producing award-winning whisky.
Although relatively new in the whisky world, there are two globally recognized brands coming out of Taiwan, Kavalan and Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation. Taiwanese whisky is becoming more popular in Singapore, so prices are slightly higher than some of the other countries on this list. However, whisky from Taiwan is still an affordable compliment to your whisky collection.
$90-$145 for select single malt whisky (70cl)
From Bordeaux, Burgundy to Champagne, France takes the cake as one of the world’s most premier wine-producing countries.
But whisky? This may come as a bit of a surprise, but France has been producing whisky for over a hundred years and consumes more whisky per capita than any other country. Dwarfed by its far more popular older sister, wine, you may just have not noticed. That being said, you can find quality blended and single malts in Singapore that will complement your whisky cabinet and not break your wallet.
$100-$155 for select single malt whisky (70cl)
The Swedish are no stranger to distilling spirits, but their foray into whisky really only began in the late 20th century. There are a little over a dozen distillers in Sweden who have made a name for themselves, like award-winning brands Mackmyra and Box Distillery.
With barley often kilned with juniper and peat, many Swedish distillers offer single malt whisky with herbal notes. You will also find many distillers in the region aging their whisky using Swedish oak, infusing spicier flavour profiles to your glass. Although finding a bottle originating from Sweden may not be as easy as other countries on this list, you can still find a few alcohol distributors offering Swedish whisky on their shelves.
Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.