After Malt Vault’s closure, serious dram-sippers are no longer stranded. The Vault’s owner, Mike Soldner, has moved a few blocks south-east to the basement of The Club hotel at 28 Ann Siang Road (hence the name). The result: a whisky encyclopedia of a bar.
The dimly lit 35-seat room has an Asian gentleman’s-club feel, with faux-teak ceiling beams and plush beige baroque chairs, and classic jazz constantly playing both live and on the stereo. The ambience befits a club which encourages private memberships for $2,800 a year (that’ll get you a locker, fine cigars and one of 90 existing bottles of single-cask Royal Lochnagar in the world).
But the whisky’s the thing, with 100 premium Scottish and Irish, American and Canadian malts. All labels are offered in nips ($10-$247), drams ($17-$420) or doubles ($29-$714). There’s a lot for connoisseurs: the discontinued Macallan 1965, say ($6,725 per bottle, only 90 left in the world); or the richly spiced Port Ellen 1979 ($65 per nip, $1,756 per bottle) from a now-closed distillery specialising in the lost Islay whisky style of the ’70s. For something more (relatively) affordable, the powerful, lingering Big Peat ($270 per bottle) is worth a taste.
The mostly classic cocktails ($22-$26) are provided by 24-year-old Aubrey Sim, Singapore’s 2009 Diageo World Class champion; the excellent wines are chosen by fine-wine purveyor Bruno Vaillant, who has picked out Old and New World wines ($20-$37 per glass; $80-$773 per bottle) as old as 14 years; while international beer judge Charles Guerrier has brought in craft beers such as Little Creatures, 1488 and Hitachino Nest White Ale ($14-$25).
There is no bar menu, except during cocktail hour (5.30-8.30pm weekdays), when complimentary rounds of pork sandwiches from Roast & Host are served, and 15 of the cocktails are priced at $15 each. This is drinking at its most serious. Zul Andra
Cocktails $15-$25; other drinks go up to $400.
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