What whisky should you bring to your boss’s house vs a CNY party with friends?

What whisky should you bring to your boss’s house vs a CNY party with friends?

Channel NewsAsia·2018-02-12 04:45

Or maybe a bottle of cognac or rum? Here’s a helpful guide to finding the right spirits for the right people this festive season

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog Limited Edition. Photo: Johnnie Walker

SINGAPORE: Chinese New Year festivities are just around the corner, which means plenty of feasting, visiting and fending off marital-status questions with family. It is also the season for house parties with friends, colleagues and – sometimes with considerable stress – the big boss. Just what do you bring to the boss’s party? 

A set of mandarin oranges and some red packets (if you’re married or just older) will do the trick on most house visits. However, on certain occasions – like when the boss invites your team over, or perhaps if you’re visiting a friend’s new home for the first time – bringing a little something extra is a great way to show your appreciation.

A bottle of wine or bubbly is a safe bet for such visits, but if you’re looking to make a lasting impression, a more thoughtful, spirit-forward option might be in order. Here’s a sensible selection of bottles to take along depending on whose home you’re heading to.

Just don’t drink and drive.


The Chita Whisky. Photo: Beam Suntory

Japanese whiskies are still very popular in Singapore but with their prices steadily rising over the last few years, purchasing a reputable bottle of Nihon whisky can burn a sizeable hole in your wallet. That’s where Chita Whisky comes in.

This Single Grain Whisky brings the elegant and balanced character synonymous with its reputable sister brands like Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakusu, while showcasing milder notes of mint and deep honey with each sip. This makes for a refreshing whisky that pairs perfectly with the richer food served during the season that you can enjoy all through the day.


The Macallan Quest Collection. Photo: The Macallan

While there is a limited-edition packaging of Macallan Rare Cask available this Chinese New Year, you might want to consider one of the bottles from their recently launched The Macallan Quest Collection instead.

Available exclusively from travel-retail, the range of four brings a unique variation of flavour notes depending the respective styles of maturation. From Quest (matured in four different types of European and American oak casks) to Enigma (matured solely in first-fill Sherry seasoned European oak casks), there’s a bottle that each and every whisky-drinker will appreciate.

If you’re unsure which to choose, know that older fans of the brand will appreciate Terra and Enigma, as these are reminiscent of the Macallan whiskies from before the Single Malt boom.


Martell Cordon Bleu Extra. Photo: Cyrillerobin

An established name in the cognac and nightlife game for decades, a bottle of Martell Cordon Bleu undoubtedly conjures up all kinds of nostalgia for almost every former partygoer.

But we’re all older now and probably prefer something a little more special. The Martell Cordon Bleu Extra takes the already sumptuous Cordon Bleu blend and adds a good portion of older Borderies (a tiny region of Cognac, France) spirits to the mix. This raises the intensity of the familiar flavour notes of candied fruit and dried spices while maintaining a smooth finish on the palate.

Definitely one to be savoured later into the night.


Bacardi 8. Photo: Bacardi-Martini

Rum might not be the first spirit that comes to mind when you think “Chinese New Year revelry”, but what’s a new year without changing things up a little?

Bacardi 8 is a lovely sipping rum made from a selection of barrel-aged reserve rums that are aged for no less than eight years. This brings refined notes of prune, apricot, nutmeg and vanilla, making for a welcome alternative to conventional Chinese New Year spirits.

Also, it has the number 8 on the bottle, which is always an auspicious crowd pleaser. Huat, ah!

Plus, its more affordable price tag makes it a winner in our books.


Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog Limited Edition bottle. Photo: Johnnie Walker

If your host is a little more old-school and perhaps born in the Year of the Dog, a re-designed bottle of a familiar spirit might do the trick.

The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Dog Limited Edition bottle, designed in collaboration with Taiwanese artist Page Tsou, is emblazoned with a combination of Asian canines, auspicious Chinese characters, as well as symbolic items that will provide everyone who’s admiring it a Where’s Wally-esque CNY edition experience.

It’s not necessarily for newbies, but it definitely sets the mood for the season in a more traditional way. With flavours like dried fruit and dark chocolate along with a good balance of smokiness that’s unmistakably Johnnie Walker Blue Label, you can’t really go wrong.

And you might score a few brownie points along the way. Couldn’t hurt, right?


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Singapore Festival Food & Beverage