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How To Find Great Whiskey Without Breaking The Bank

If you choose your whiskey wisely, you can easily find great value at a reasonable price. Here's a tip: Choose a bottle of whiskey from one of these 5 alternative whiskey-producing regions.

According to Fitch Solutions, a data and research firm, Singapore's alcoholic drinks sector is expected to recover in 2021, with spending projected to grow by 2.6% annually over the medium term (2021-2025). It's likely that whiskey will account for a significant portion of this growth. Unfortunately, buying a bottle of whiskey in Singapore doesn't come cheap.

Singapore Cost of Alcohol Compared to the Global Average

Based on the list of the top 10 most expensive countries to buy alcohol, you may need to think outside the box to find a high quality bottle of whiskey at a great price. One way to do this is to buy whiskey from alternative whiskey-producing countries that offer excellent whiskey at a reasonable price.

1. India

$80-$120 for select single-malt whiskey (70cl)

Similar to Japan, it hasn’t been long since whiskey lovers have been interested in Indian spirits. There are a good handful of excellent distillers in India producing whiskey that have recently been winning major accolades, like Amrut and Paul John. Particularly coming out of Bangalore and Goa, the hot climate is said to mature these single malt whiskeys quickly, packing them with intense flavors.

Although there aren’t too many online retailers offering a wide selection of Indian whiskey, it is a growing category. Singaporean whiskey enthusiasts should keep an eye out for Indian whiskey brands on the shelves.

2. Sweden

$100-$155 for select single-malt whiskey (70cl)

The Swedish are no stranger to distilling spirits, but their foray into whiskey only begins in the late 20th century. There are a little over a dozen distillers in Sweden who have made a name for themselves, like award-winning brands Mackmrya and Box Distillery.

With barley often kilned with juniper and peat, many Swedish distillers offer single-malt whiskey with herbal notes. You will also find many distillers in the region aging their whisky using Swedish oak, infusing spicier flavor profiles to your glass. Although finding a bottle originating from Sweden may not be as easy as other countries on this list, you can still find a few alcohol distributors offering Swedish whiskey on their shelves.

3. Japan

S$85-$200 for select single-malt whiskey (70cl)

Arguably, Japanese whiskey paved the way for unconventional international single-malts to make ground in the global marketplace—which is why we have them as number one on our list. After winning a series of international competitions in the early 2000s, whisky drinkers worldwide are demanding unique international brands to add to their collection.

Today, consumer demand for Japanese whiskey is sky high, which means you may end up paying a premium on popular bottles. However, with the enormous global demand, online retailers in Singapore are working overtime to keep shelves stocked. This means it also isn't uncommon to find regular promotions on these bottles at reasonable prices. So if you are lucky, you just might find a bottle of excellent Japanese whiskey for under S$100.

4. Taiwan

$99-$150 for select single-malt whiskey (70cl)

Just a stone’s throw away from the whiskey Cinderella story of Japan, is Taiwan, which has recently been making a name for itself in the world of whiskey. Like India, Taiwan’s hot and humid climate accelerates the maturation process, producing award-winning whiskey.

Although relatively new in the whiskey world, there are two globally recognized brands coming out of Taiwan, Kavalan and Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation. Taiwanese whiskey is becoming more popular in Singapore, so prices are slightly higher than some of the other countries on this list. However, Taiwanese whiskey are still affordable compliments to your scotch whisky collection.

5. France

$90-$145 for select single-malt whiskey (70cl)

From Bordeaux, Burgundy to Champagne, France takes the cake as one of the world’s most premier wine-producing countries.

But what about whisky? This may come as a bit of a surprise, but France has been producing whiskey for over a hundred years and consumes more whiskey per capita than any other country. Dwarfed by its sweet older sister, wine, you may just have not noticed. That being said, you can find quality blended and single-malts in Singapore that will compliment your whiskey cabinet and not break your wallet.

Maximise Savings With The Right Cashback Card

As you shop around for a high quality and affordable bottle of whiskey, remember to set a budget and spend within your means. Additionally, why not earn rewards for your purchase? To maximise savings and earn cashback, consider using one of the best shopping credit cards or check out the latest credit card promotions.

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Stephen Lee

Stephen Lee is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, specializing in insurance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of Washington, and his prior work experience include risk management and underwriting for professional liability and specialty insurance at Victor Insurance. Additionally, Stephen is a former US Peace Corps Volunteer in Myanmar (serving between 2018-2020), where he continues to provide business development consulting services to HR companies in Asia Pacific.

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