Whisky retail pioneers The Whisky Store kicks off Collectors Club, a membership programme that gives whisky enthusiasts exclusive access to special whiskies.
As global whisky consumption rises, one of the enduring trends of note over the past two decades is the increasing interest in special whiskies outside of a distillery’s usual core range. From official original bottlings of the single cask variety to independently-bottled limited editions, whisky lovers have been hunting down and snapping these one-of-a-kind whiskies for their collections.
Over the past 15 years The Whisky Store has witnessed that shift in the whisky market. In many cases, the pioneering whisky retail shop – which started a humble whisky pop-up kiosk back in 2005 – helped drive that trend in Singapore, bringing in many special whiskies and commemorative bottlings for its whisky bars under the Quaich Bar brand, as well as the recently-opened Signature Reserve in The Fullerton Singapore.
The Whisky Store and, by extension, Quaich Bar ran a casual mailing list where they informed regulars whenever a special whisky dropped. Many of those come from its various principals whose whiskies they distributed, from distilleries such as Springbank, Tomatin, Tomintoul, and Glen Scotia, and independent bottlers such as Cadenhead.
The Whisky Store Collectors Club
The Whisky Store’s newly-launched Collectors Club essentially formalises that mailing list into a comprehensive membership programme to help whisky lovers build their own collection of premium whisky releases. For the price of an annual fee of S$100, membership allows budding and seasoned whisky collectors access to exclusive limited-edition bottles before they are officially released to selected whisky bars for on-site consumption by the dram at bar prices.
“Your passport to own a range of collectable exclusive and limited edition releases, while they are still affordable.”
The idea for Collectors Club, a spokesperson for The Whisky Store tells us, comes from the observation how prices for special edition whiskies have the tendency to skyrocket. “This puts the price of such bottles out of reach for many whisky lovers,” he shared. “We want to make these whiskies available for guests to enjoy before prices become out of reach in the future.” Membership would give them first dibs at getting one, accessible from the Club Room section on their website.
Other membership perks include special invites to whisky education sessions and whisky tasting engagements at partner bars.
Collectors Club Frank McHardy Collection
As part of the launch of its Collectors Club membership programme, The Whisky Store has lined up a collection of six casks personally selected by whisky legend Frank McHardy.
For those not familiar with McHardy, the former master distiller of Springbank oversaw the refurbishment of the former Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown which was closed in 1925. The Glengyle Distillery reopened in March 2004 and produces the highly regarded Kilkerran whiskies under his stewardship. He retired in March 2013 after having spent a total of 50 years in the production of Scottish and Irish whisky, but still dabbles in whisky whenever it suits his fancy.
Such as in this case. He specially handpicked six special casks on behalf of The Whisky Store – among which are a Braeval 24YO (Vintage 1997), a Glen Grant 23YO (Vintage 1997), as well as a Dailuaine 18YO (Vintage 2002) – for the Collectors Club Frank McHardy collection.
Are such whisky memberships worth the while, you may ask. It depends. If you’re looking to build a new special whisky collection – or grow an existing one – a Collectors Club membership is a no-brainer whether you’re a serious drinker or a dedicated collector. But if you’re a casual whisky enthusiast who is perfectly happy with drinking basic blended Scotch whiskies, this won’t make sense to you.
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