Whisky expert Dr Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie shares their list of top bars in Asia to visit – here’s what makes them special
Fancy yourself a real whisky connoisseur? Can’t resist a fine glass of liquid gold Scotch, even while on vacay? Us neither, which is why you’ll want to have this on your holiday itineraries! World-famous whisky distillery Glenmorangie is retailing their latest Legends malt whisky range, comprising bottles of the Duthac, Tayne and the limited edition Tarlogan, exclusively at DFS in Changi Airport Terminal 3.
For the uninitiated, Glenmorangie, known for creating multi award-winning whiskies using techniques that combine innovation and tradition, is the producer of one of the finest single malt whiskies in the world, boasting a history that dates back to 1843. Its distillery uses only the tallest stills in Scotland for a smoother taste (and one that’s a whopping eight metres, too!), and their whiskies are matured in fine oak casks that are used only twice, so you get an elegant but earthy flavour.
Keeping with – and also challenging – the brand’s ethos is Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, who’s the man behind the label’s signature single malt bottles. He’s also turning the whisky scene on its head by exploring various cask finishes wood management techniques, and the use of extra maturation. While the brand’s 10 year-old Original is undoubtedly, one of its front runners, the Ardbeg and Ultimate Islay Malt whiskies have garnered a strong following – both of which were created under his watch.
With multiple awards under his belt, it goes without saying that Dr Bill’s our go-to guy for all-things whisky, and that is why the Honeycombers HQ jumped at the opportunity to pick his brain on his favourite whisky bars in Japan and Taiwan, which he says are “the two leading markets for single malt Scotch in Asia”.
L’arrière-cour (Backyard) Whisky Bar, Taipei
The place This 16 year-old bar by liquor importer Steven Lin, offers about 400 different types of whisky, served in an intimate and casual setting. It’s one of the most noted specialist whisky bars in town – an estimated 3,500 varieties of whisky have been sold there.
Why you should go “It’s been arguably, one of the longest established specialist whisky bars in Taipei.”
Star Bar Ginza, Tokyo
The place Ranked 40 on this year’s World’s 50 Best Bars list, this cocktail bar is known for their simple interpretations of classics using precise cocktail-making techniques such as the Infinity Shake. This is also where you’ll find a solid selection of whiskies, including those from Glenmorangie.
Why you should go “They are big supporters of single malt scotch in general and they always have a big leg of pata negra, so you can have slices of that to have with your malt whisky and it’s a wonderful combination.”
Bar Leigh-Cadboll, Osaka
The place You won’t find fancy tufted chairs or prohibition-inspired decor at this discreet and under-the-radar whisky bar in Osaka. Instead, it focuses simply on offering quality Japanese malt whiskies and of course, Glenmorangie’s single malt Scotch series.
Why you should go “This bar has the best highball I’ve ever had in my life, and it’s called the Cadboll Highball. It’s served in a tall glass with a huge rectangle of ice, a measure of the Glemorangie Original, a little bit of the Glenmorangie Lasanta, and some very high quality Suntory soda.”
Can’t make it to these top bars in Taiwan and Japan? You can also find a noteworthy selection of Glenmorangie on the menus of popular watering holes in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok such as The Auld Alliance (Singapore), Maggie Choo’s (Bangkok) and Angel’s Share (Hong Kong). We’ll definitely be ticking these places off our bucket list – what can we say, we love our whiskies!
For more on Glenmorangie and the Legends collection, see here.
This article is sponsored by Glenmorangie