Introducing Spirited Dispatches, our monthly column where we pull together some of the more interesting drinks, dining and travel news from around the world.

In this first-ever edition, we look at some of the wine- and spirits-related events that took place in Singapore this November, and some other news that also caught our eye.

  • Inaugural Bar Convent Singapore sets the bar for the Asian drinks industry

Bar Convent celebrated the debut of its Singapore edition on 6 and 7 November 2023, drawing over 2,000 attendees from the professional bar and beverage industries (of which 35% were international visitors from 44 different countries) to a show floor at Pasir Panjang Power Station showcasing over 150 global spirits brands from around the world. A Japan pavilion featuring some 25 different brands indicate a strong desire for international expansion by Japanese producers.

  • Over 3,000 attendees at recently concluded Whisky Live Singapore 2023 

Held on 25 and 26 November, the 12th edition of Whisky Live Singapore hosted more than 60 exhibitors – offering over 500 different whisky, bourbon, rum, and other spirits for tasting – and attracted some 3,000 spirits enthusiasts to the Singapore Flyer where it was held. The event featured Singapore’s first whisky masterclasses in the air, and for the first time, a new food and cocktail street. Whisky Live Singapore 2024 will take place on 23 and 24 November 2024 at the same venue.

whisky live benromach masterclass at the singapore flyer
[Photo credit: Whisky Live | La Maison du Whisky Singapore]
  • Borsa Vini makes a grand 2023 return

Italian wine trade exhibition Borsa Vini concluded to resounding success on 23 November at InterContinental Singapore, hosting 21 wineries from different winemaking regions across Italy. Organised by the Italian Trade Agency, winery representatives from regions like Toscana, Friuli–Venezia Giulia, Puglia, Campania, Piemonte, Sardegna and Veneto were on hand to showcase their offerings to buyers, importers, distributors and media from Singapore and across Southeast Asia.

  • Woodford Reserve crowns the winner of its ‘The Wonderful Race’ cocktail competition in Singapore

Woodford Reserve has named Raz Ng from rum-focused cocktail pub Sugarhall as the winner of its recent ‘The Wonderful Race’ competition, selected out of 10 finalists who each presented their take on an Old Fashioned cocktail as part of Old Fashioned Month. Ng’s winning entry called ‘Not Too Conventional 2.0’ bizarrely blended Woodford Reserve bourbon with soya sauce yet won the heart of the judges. Her prize? An all-expenses paid trip to the legendary Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. Well done her!

  • Wine Enthusiast names Charlottesville, Virginia as Wine Region of the Year in its 2023 Wine Star Awards

King Family Vineyards - Charlottesville, Virginia
[Photo credit: Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau]
Charlottesville, Virginia has won the accolade of ‘Wine Region of the Year’ by leading wine publication Wine Enthusiast in its 2023 Wine Star Awards. Charlottesville, and in particular its Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA), was one of the five winemaking regions around the world nominated for the award and came ahead of Italy’s Lambrusco, Provence in France, Victoria in Australia, and South Africa’s Swartland. We know Virginia better for its craft beer and distilling scene, but it looks like we need to pencil in a trip to Old Dominion to check out its wine cred.

  • Michter’s releases 25 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Michter’s has announced a December release in the United States of one of its rarest offerings, the Michter’s 25 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, to celebrate its coming up top of UK-based Drinks International annual top 50 list of The World’s Most Admired Whiskies. The recommended retail price of one 750ml bottle comes in at US$1,500. It’s likely to see overwhelming demand, as the last time Michter’s released a 25-year old was in 2020.

  • ThaiBev unveils Ruang Khao Siam Sapphire

Leading Thai beverage company ThaiBev has recreated Ruang Khao Siam Sapphire, a historic rum using an original recipe that dates back to 1786. The new premium rum is said to “harmoniously (integrate) age-old traditional production methods and artistic influences, seamlessly merging the best of Western and Eastern traditions”. Whatever that means. If you’re keen Ruang Khao Siam Sapphire is available for tasting and purchase (for now) at all Duty Free King Power branches in Thailand.

  • Mother of Pearl Vodka of the Sea to use Frugal Bottle

Australian drinks brand Mother of Pearl Vodka of the Sea showcased at the recent Bar Convent Singapore its IWSC award-winning grape-based vodka in a revolutionary paper-based bottle made from mostly recycled cardboard. It is the first Australian spirits brand to employ the world’s first and only commercially available paper bottle for wines, spirits and olive oils, possibly paving the way to greater adoption of sustainable packaging.

[Main image credit: Bar Convent Singapore]

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