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DFS Changi: Exceptional wine, whisky, and liquor to buy

Top-shelf liquors from the eighth edition of the DFS Masters of Wines and Spirits.

Obtaining the very finest things in life often requires a little legwork, but for over half a century the DFS Group has taken it upon itself to bring the world’s most precious liquids easily available to discerning travellers everywhere. The culmination of those efforts is presented every year at the DFS Masters of Wines and Spirits event.

As the leader in global travel retail, DFS has the ability to bring together leading wine, spirits and champagne brands to offer customers exclusive access to one-of-a-kind products. Thanks to the group’s close ties to the brands and merchants who have spent a year travelling the globe to source these gems, DFS’s selection is peerless, demonstrated once again in eighth edition of one of the most celebrated and prestigious events in the industry.

Masters of Wines and Spirits 2019 was held on 23 and 24 March at Infinite Studios, and it was a celebration of the theme of “Masters at Work”, where homage was paid to luminaries whose commitment and knowledge have raised the bar in their respective industries.

Guests were taken through an immersive and interactive journey that explored what the various categories of wines and spirits had to offer, including classes by four masters: Diageo’s Ewan Gunn as Master of Whisky, The Macallan’s Sarah Burgess as Master of Malt, Fabrice Papin of Chateau Lafite Rothschild as Master of Wine and Hidetsugu Ueno of Ginza’s Bar High Five as Master of Cocktails.

The 140 incredible products that were showcased at the event are now available for purchase at DFS Changi Duplex Stores in departure terminals 2 and 3, with selected items also available on iShopChangi.com – but here’s a guide of what to look out for.

(Related: What twists are boutique whisky distilleries in Scotland pulling off?)

In the spotlight

When it comes to elevating whisky enjoyment, don’t underestimate the power of exclusivity. These are editions that will raise your Scotch collection to a new level.

  • The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique — The Genesis Decanter

    The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique — The Genesis Decanter

    The Macallan 72 Years Old in Lalique - The Genesis Decanter is the oldest Macallan ever released and was launched to celebrate the opening of its new distillery. Distilled in the 1940s and housed in a crystal decanter made by renowned French glassmaker Lalique, the spirit has a balanced character of sweet oak and peat that’s lifted at the end by hints of fruit. Only 600 decanters are available, and the purchase comes with a VIP experience that includes a two-way airport transfer, a guided tour of the The Macallan Estate and distillery, a private tasting, a whisky pairing dinner and a night’s stay at the brand’s charming Easter Elchies House.

 

Covetable whisky

Just like wine, the diversity of whisky is truly remarkable, and discovering lovingly crafted gems from around the world is an unparalleled indulgence for the astute connoisseur.

  • Karuizawa Single Cask 1995

    Karuizawa Single Cask 1995

    The Karuizawa Single Cask 1995 is possibly the last ever cask from Karuizawa to be bottled in Japan and was distilled in 1995, just a few years before the distillery closed. It spent 23 years in red wine casks before being bottled at cask strength in 2018, bringing with it a unique richness and complexity, and a dark amber tone.

(Related: Private casks: Diageo is now offering customers the chance to buy a whole barrel of rare single malt)

Rare Baijiu, Cognac and Wine

There are people in the know, and there are people who want everyone to know. The folks who fall in the latter category want their containers to be as outstanding as the liquids they hold, be-cause an appreciation of craftsmanship begins with the vessel.

  • Remy Louis XIII Le Mathusalem

    Remy Louis XIII Le Mathusalem

    Remy Martin knows that the Louis XIII name is enough to evoke envy (and thirst), but now it has the size to match its reputation. The Louis XIII Le Mathusalem is the first cognac of mathusalem size (6L) to be produced in crystal. That crystal is made by none other than La Maison Baccarat, and each hand-blown decanter requires over 20 master craftsmen to produce. Only 50 decanters are available a year, each of them individually numbered. Good things ought to be shared, so each Louis XIII Le Mathusalem comes in a display chest containing eight crystal glasses, a serving platter, a pouring pipette and an invitation to a private tour in Cognac for four.

 

Innovative whisky

Whisky’s reign over the spirits category is far from over, and fresh ideas from the industry’s esteemed distilleries are going to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

  • Glenmorangie Rare Cask 14 YO

    Glenmorangie Rare Cask 14 YO

    Glenmorangie was among the first to pioneer and popularise wood-finishing, where the aged spirit gets additional time in various casks — from port to sherry butts — for a boost of flavour just before bottling. The practice has led to the transformation of the Glenmorangie Original into expressions like the Lasanta, Quinta Ruban and Nectar D’Or. But occasionally, a single cask proves so exceptional it demands a release of its own. Such was the case with the Rare Cask 14 Year Old, from Cask 1399. First distilled in 2004, it was aged for a decade in American white oak ex-bourbon casks to obtain the distillery’s signature notes of orange, peach and vanilla. It was then moved into oloroso sherry casks to develop further notes of cocoa, treacle toffee and spice, resulting in a whisky with a long finish, integrated complexity and great depth.

 

Wines for the collector 

A good wine is capable of elevating everything it touches, from food to company. Here are two outstanding examples to savour.

  • Chateau Pichon Baron 1988

    Chateau Pichon Baron 1988

    No cellar is complete without a stellar Bordeaux. Chateau Pichon Baron’s brilliance lies in its rigorous selection policy in the vineyard, earning it a reputation for producing some of Bordeaux’s best “super seconds” (second growths that can easily rival the quality of their first growth peers). Its Grand Vin captures the nuances of the vineyards’ unique terroir, and the Chateau Pichon Baron 1988 is a vintage not to be missed. Rated 90 points by Robert Parker, the deep red 1988 rolls out layers of blackcurrant and spice aromas, with gentle tannins and density on the finish.

These highlights alone will have you poised for a year of very good drinking indeed, but it would be remiss of any true connoisseur to miss out on the rest. For more information, visit www.ishopchangi.com/mows2019.

(Related: Gift guide: 6 exceptional wines for the vinophile)