There's a reason why I would never get sick of visiting Singapore or for the fact that how could this small little country which is 50 minutes away by flight could be more interesting than my country? I am always attracted to this island filled with a good mix of restaurants and its watering holes.
One of the must-visit-places on my list this trip was Auld Alliance. Situated at Chijmes, a historical landmark in the heart of Singapore's where it used to be a girls' convent and now transformed to a happening nightspot in the city. I had informed Emmanuel Dron, the owner of my visit as the last time we met, it was more than 6 months ago in Pavilion KL. This is the dream of Emmanuel whom is so well-versed in whisky as he has already been in this industry for many many years. I first met him while he was still attached with La Maison Du Whisky and now he has his own bar!
I asked him why the name "Auld Alliance" and it seemed that it was represents him, a Frenchman in an "alliance" with Scottish whisky. In the books of history, the Auld Alliance was an alliance between France and Scotland which played an important role during the wars. And thus he felt that this name befits the story of this bar too!
The bar area might be small and limited but there were two other rooms that can sit another 20 to 30 more. There is also a cigar room where you can just bring your own cigar and have a smoke while enjoying the whisky. I really love the concept as the furnishings and fixtures gives this place a rustic charm, looking like a time-warped bar and cosy at the same time.
The highlight of this place is of course the huge selection of whisky. Boasting of almost a thousand over bottles here, the Auld Alliance could consider itself carrying one of the most comprehensive selections of whiskies here in Singapore. Just look at the bottles displayed, and you'll think "My God, when can I finish having a taste of every bottle?!!" The 101 whisky resolution has been a great challenge but this bar makes the book looked like child's play.
Emmanuel is very proud of his collection of rare, old and collectible drams, including Macallans dating back to the 1950s, and I had the pleasure to try a rare Macallan 18yo White Label distilled back in 1984. He also carries a wide variety of Japanese whisky like the famed Karuizawa and Ichiro Card collections and also the American bourbons.
I'm very impressed with his collection and I managed to try a few whiskies before I called it a night. One of the more special ones include this Domaine de la Romanee Conti Fine Bourgogne 1991 brandy. The Benriach 1976 is also another rare bottle. These bottles are usually not on the shelves of the normal bottle shops.
There's this cute little gold cylinder shaped machine that was perched on the bar top where I was just curious what it actually is. The staff took a block of ice from the blue container, fit it into the gold cylinder and then reattach the top. Slowly, the cover forces the water out of this ice block and a big iceball is formed! This is so amazing! Ok, I was just being excited.
There were 2 guests whom ordered an Absinthe and I finally got to see how the Absinthe is prepared the traditional French way. The French Absinthe fountain was used to slowly drip the ice water onto the sugar and then diluted into the absinthe. It was quite interesting as I've never seen Absinthe prepared this way, opposed to the lighting up of sugar.
If you are not a fan of whisky, there's always Champagne, cognac, armagnac, absinthe and rum. One thing though, there's no food served here as this is a serious drinking place! hahah....
*BTW they have moved from Chijmes to the address below:
9 Bras Basah Road,
Gallery #02-02A Singapore,
Tel: +65 63372201