What is Single Malt Whisky?
Single malt whisky has gained popularity in Singapore in recent years, with a growing appreciation for the complex flavors and aromas of this famous brown spirit. While Scotch whisky remains a top choice for many, other countries such as the United States and Japan have also produced their own versions of this beloved drink, inspired by the rich history and tradition of Scotch. Whether enjoyed neat or in a cocktail, single malt whisky is a favorite among Singaporean whisky enthusiasts.
There’s undoubtedly immense pleasure in whisky, but not all are created equal — there’s a whisky style for all palates, budgets and occasions. The best of the best? That’s single-malt whisky. Here is all you need to know about single-malt whisky. If you want to enjoy such a special beverage while reading this article, explore our whisky selection in Singapore at Eclectique Wines & Spirits.
The Types of Whisky, Explained
All types of whisky are similar in many ways, but they’re also vastly different. All whisky starts with malted grains, mostly rye, steeped in water and fermented. The resulting alcoholic beverage is then distilled to get a high-proof spirit. The last step of the whisky-making process is aging. Wood barrels give colour, flavour and complexity to whisky, and the longer the ageing process, the more the influence of wood in the spirit.
Scotch whisky is made in Scotland, a relatively small country with few producers; there are only 143 distilleries in the country. Over time, it became traditional to share and blend the spirits from different distilleries to create more complex beverages. This is the origin of blended whisky.
However, most distilleries, or at least the most prominent ones, produce a whisky style that they don’t blend with others — a house style now known as a single malt. Now whiskey producers make single malts in other countries, and they’re well worth trying.
What Makes Single Malts Special?
Single malts are not only a spirit made in a single distillery, but they must also be batch produced in a pot still with 100% malted barley. Blended Scotch might use lesser grains. Single malts must also be distilled and matured in oak barrels in Scotland, and they must age for at least three years — many distilleries age their single malts for more extended periods.
In essence, a single malt is the flagship whisky of a distillery, and it’s often the most interesting and exciting. Of course, there are fantastic blended whiskies on the market. However, there’s something special about single malts that capture the imagination of whisky enthusiasts worldwide.
Single Malt Whisky to Try in Singapore
Lothaire Tourbe Whisky Single Malt de France. Scotland is not the only country making superb
single malts. French distillers with experience in making prestigious Cognac make excellent grain spirits. Lothaire has an exquisite sense of place, described with spices and cedar scents over a honeyed palate.
Hatozaki Pure Malt Japanese Whisky. Hatozaki Pure Malt has a rich profile of sweet cereals and malty dried fruit with a light touch of smoke and honey on the finish. All Hatozaki whiskies are the result of a twofold blending process. This two-fold process allows for the complexity and balance so prized in Japanese blended whiskies.
Glen Kirk Speyside Single Malt 12 Years Old. Straight from the heart of Scotland, Glen Kirk is a notable distillery, and its 12-year single malt is incredibly complex and rewarding. Expect fruit and oak spices over a mellow palate blessed with bee’s wax flavours and hints of flowers.
The Johnny Hepp Single Malt. This is a specialty from Alsace, the French region with a German soul. Here, whisky is not an afterthought, and Johnny Hepp’s Single Malt can compete with the best in Scotland. Expect orchard fruit, cereals and spices in every sip of this elegant whisky.
Tharcis Hepp Single Malt Sherry Cask. This is a single malt whisky from Hepp distillery. A slightly spicy and peppery floral nose. A very fruity mouth with woody and toasted notes.
Single Malt Whisky — The Best of the Best
Singapore has become a hub for single malt whisky enthusiasts, with a growing number of bars and shops offering a wide range of options. Single malt whisky is highly valued for its unique character and flavor profile, with each distillery producing its own distinct style. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a newcomer to the world of whisky, there's always something new to discover and enjoy in Singapore's vibrant whisky scene.
If you want to experience the universe of single malts, start with one that captures your attention — they all offer a lovely expression of what malted grains can become. You can continually expand your experience by tasting others. EC Wines is a reliable source of single malts in Singapore and a wonderful place to start your journey.
View our EC Wines curated Whisky Collection here.