An earlier version of this article stated that the independent bottling company involved were the ones who secured and aged Hakushu 12 and Hibiki 12 whiskies in Singapore. It has come to light that this is not the case, and that Koma Singapore are the ones who handled the ageing themselves.
Whisky fans on the lookout for the next rare whisky experience, here’s a new one to put on your radar.
Modern Japanese restaurant and sushi bar Koma Singapore at Marina Bay Sands has secured their own PX and Port barrels, and are putting Hakushu 12 and Hibiki 12 whiskies through cask-finishing in Singapore to result in two unique creations: the Hakushu 12 Years PX Cask Finish, and the Hibiki 12 Years Port Cask Finish.
From what we gathered, the base Hakushu 12 and Hibiki 12 are first put in small 1.2 litre casks. These small barrels are rebuilt from PX and Port wine casks sourced from bodegas in Jerez and Texas.
They are then left to age in a temperature-controlled environment for about 6 months. Because of the micro-ageing potential of the small 1.2 litre casks (compared to bigger barrels, more surface area of the inside of the barrel comes into contact with the whisky inside, accelerating ageing), combined with the inherently hastened tropical ageing speed in Singapore, the characteristics of the PX and Port are readily apparent despite the seemingly short ageing time.
The Hakushu 12 Years PX Cask Finish is instant sherry heaven, with layers of dried raisins, candied dates, and honey jam shining through. It complements the toasty and grassy notes of the base whisky well. Meanwhile, the Hibiki 12 Years Port Cask Finish brims with caramel sauce and spiced chocolate, with prune and plum tones adding dark fruit dimensions into the mix. Both are supremely enjoyable, but it’s the latter that stands out given its highly unorthodox finishing that really paid off.
We are not sure how much of these whiskies are produced at Koma Singapore. But given how rare and delicious they are (not to mention difficult to make), we are quite certain they will be limited in quantity. So try them while you can.
It’s also a great time to visit (or revisit) Koma what with new Executive chef Hiroshi Shimada onboard. The highly celebrated chef has a world (literally) of experience in the culinary space, including at acclaimed venues such as Michelin-starred Wakuden in Kyoto, Rokkaku in Honolulu, Inagiku in Singapore, and more.
Trust us and try the beef tendon omelette as well as the foie gras sushi. Despite the seeming normality of these decadent dishes, each packs a hidden surprise. The omelette, for instance, has bits of toasted rice mixed inside, adding a nice crunch to the mushy egg dish. It really speaks of how creative Shimada is as a chef. We’ll leave the surprise of the foie gras sushi for you to find out for yourself.
An added bonus is that he is currently in the midst of developing his menu, so expect something new at Koma Singapore every month as specials.
We can’t wait to see everything that the new dining programme has to offer. But for now, the allure of the two whiskies cask-finished in Singapore is all we need.
Koma Singapore’s Hakushu 12 Years PX Cask Finish and Hibiki 12 Years Port Cask Finish are available as 30ml (S$108/S$118 respectively) and 60ml (S$215/S$235 respectively) drams. Full bottle (500ml) orders are subject to availability.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.