Sakura whisky, Singapore’s first seltzer, and more new drink products this November 2022

If your home bar is looking barren, here are some new drink products to fill it with this November 2022.

Fans of Smoke & Mirrors can now bring the bar home with their latest bottled cocktail sets featuring five drinks from their latest menu, rooftop view not included. Local producer Trouble Brewing now has the distinction of making Singapore’s first hard seltzer, which comes in a range of three refreshing flavours.

This month’s new wines come courtesy of Cloudy Bay, which has released the 2022 vintage of their iconic sauvignon blanc in an entirely new bottle design, and premium Chilean winery Don Melchor drops their flaghship 2020 cabernet sauvignon. Savour these bottles for up to four weeks with Coravin’s new wine preservation system, which is aimed at a wider range of consumers.

Those with deep pockets can look to Hibiki’s latest limited edition Japanese whisky, which sees a part of it matured in sakura casks. Then there’s Bowmore and Aston Martin, who rev up their partnership to a rarefied level with the release of a 52-year-old single malt. It unlocks with a key, too.

Seven new drink products this November

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Bowmore ARC-52

Bowmore and Aston Martin challenge the notion that whisky has to come in a standard bottle with this super-premium release. Shaped like a lopsided pyramid or an alien paperweight, depending on how you look at it, the bottle has an aluminium top opened by a magnetic key, almost like unlocking the doors to your extravagant British sports car. Inside is Bowmore’s 52-year-old single malt, which has been aged in American oak hogshead and European oak butt casks to deliver herbal and medicinal notes with exotic fruits, praline, and a butterscotch finish. Only 100 examples are available globally. Two bottles have been allocated to Singapore in 2023 and are priced at US$89,000. It’s lavish, but still cheaper than an actual Aston Martin.

Register your interest here.

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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Challenging vintage, fresh new look is how Cloudy Bay is marking their 2022 sauvignon blanc. The New Zealand winery has updated the bottle with an entirely new design featuring the emblematic Richmond Ranges cut into the canvas label and embossed on the glass for a tactile feel, which is helpful for butter fingers like me. The wine inside came from a year of adversity: an optimal growing season followed by heavy rain right before harvest, which threatened to damage the fruit. But thanks to the terroir and their well-honed winemaking techniques, the sauvignon blanc carries all the hallmarks of Cloudy Bay, with a strong citrusy character and a saline backbone.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 will be served at Open Farm Community‘s Weekend Brunch from 4 November 2022 to 4 April 2023, which offers free-flow of the new wine alongside dishes made from local and regional produce. The Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022 is also available at Cold Storage for S$46.

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Coravin Pivot Wine Preservation System

We don’t talk about drinking-related equipment very much here, but Coravin’s new product is worth mentioning. The brand’s wine preservation systems are considered among some of the best in the industry, and they recently introduced a more affordable option aimed at general consumers. Dubbed the Coravin Pivot Wine Preservation System, it works by replacing the oxygen in an open bottle with argon gas, the same as its higher-end systems, and the difference lies in how the device attaches to the bottle. While the more expensive range pierces through the cork with a needle, this one relies on a stopper. Coravin says the new system will keep a wine fresh for up to four weeks.

The Coravin Pivot Wine Preservation System retails for S$215. It is also sold in a bundle (S$325) that includes a bottle of Le Ragose Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico Riserva DOCG 2011. Both are available at 1855 The Bottle Shop.

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Don Melchor 2020

Chilean wines continue to rise in quality, and the Don Melchor 2020 is an example of that. Coming from Maipo Valley in the Puente Alto region, cabernet sauvignon is planted at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, which sits around 650 metres above sea level, and the combination of volcanic and granitic soils, plus a Mediterranean-like climate allow the grapes to flourish. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels, producing a complex nose of ripe red and dark fruits, a bouquet of violets and roses, and a palate that is soft, fresh, and silky.

Don Melchor 2020 retails for S$200 at wine retailers across Singapore and distributor Angra Wines.

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Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2022

Hibiki takes two iconic Japanese symbols and bottle it in their limited edition release. The Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2022 is the latest in their line of whiskies inspired by the sakura flower, which is incorporated by using cherry wood casks. According to fifth generation chief blender Shinji Fukuyo, the malt and grain Hibiki benefits from having its grain component matured in sakura wood, which brings a floral bouquet to the whisky’s signature honey and citrus profile. It also adds a spicy, bittersweet note to the finish.

The 2022 Hibiki Blossom Harmony can be found in-store at 1855 The Bottle Shop outlets or purchased online from iShopChangi, Wines ‘n’ Spirits, 1855 The Bottle Shop, Alcohol Delivery, Alcohaul and Paneco.com. It retails for S$1,200.

It is also served at Goho Kaiseki & Bar from now till 30 November 2022 as an add-on (S$77++) to their omakase menus. The option gets you two Hibiki pairings: Hibiki Harmony served as a highball and Hibiki Blossom Harmony 2022 served neat.

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Joe's Singapore Seltzer

Local beer brand Trouble Brewing has launched Joe’s Singapore Seltzer, which is the first hard seltzer made here. It is produced by fermenting champagne yeast with organic blue weber agave – a plant-based sweetener from Mexico with a low glycemic index, which results in a sugar-free beverage at 4.8 percent ABV. Three styles are available – peach, lime, and grapefruit – created by adding natural flavour extracts to the drink. Each bottle is also gluten-free and contains under 100 calories.

Joe’s Singapore Seltzer retails at a promotional price of $96.00 for a case (24 bottles) with the option for a mixed case.

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Smoke & Mirrors The Real Art of Drinking Volume II bottled cocktails

Smoke & Mirrors lets you take their experience home with this gift set. It features five bottled cocktails from their latest The Real Art of Drinking Volume II menu such as Lacquer-tini, a Daiquiri-esque drink with jasmine bitter liqueur, and The Manhattan Project, a twist on the Old Fashioned with butterscotch fat-washed bourbon. Other tipples include the Negroni-based Light & Shadow with coffee and cherry, and the fragrant Lionheart, which infuses osmanthus and sencha in gin, then mixed with hawthorn vermouth and fino sherry. Each 500ml bottle should be served chilled or over ice, and garnish-free. There is also an option to add a personalised message on each bottle.

Available for S$138 on Smoke & Mirrors’ website.

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