Buzz: Staking a very believable claim to having Southeast Asia’s largest collection of whiskies, The Auld Alliance is helmed by one-time regional manager of La Maison du Whisky Emmanuel Dron. If you’re wondering, the bar gets its name from an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France signed in 1295.
Décor: Dripping with class and old world charm, the dark timber, distinguished leather couches and towering shelves where the bar’s spirits are displayed certainly look amazing. It only takes a moment for you to realize you are somewhere special.
Food & Drinks: Over 1,000 whiskies. There, we’ve said it, but a number can only express so much. With a menu about as thick as a mid-length novel, The Auld Alliance has whiskies from every distillery in Scotland. You’ll see familiar names like Macallan, Bowmore and Highland Park, but you’ll also find names you’ve never heard of—distilleries that don’t even exist anymore like Banff and Littlemill. If you think that everything here must be hoity-toity and out of reach, you’d be wrong; many quality whiskies are available from $14-400 a dram. Having said that, there are some truly astonishing bottles at The Auld Alliance, including a Mortlach 70 year old and a Laphroaig bottled by Berry Bros. in the 1920s. Even if the average whisky-lover can’t afford them, their mere presence gives The Auld Alliance a certain aura of grandeur. The bar also has a number of whiskies from outside Scotland (Japan, the US, Ireland), Armagnac made as far back as 1893, over two dozen absinthes and an impressive Champagne selection. The Auld Alliance doesn’t serve food, but patrons can order in from surrounding restaurants.
Music: Soothing oldies.
Crowd: Expats, tourists and people who understand the value of a good, neat whisky.
Why you’ll be back: You could spend a lifetime working your way through the vast selection here, and that would be a lifetime well spent.
The Auld Alliance has relocated to Rendezvous Hotel.
The Auld Alliance is in I-S Best Bars Guide 2014. Download your copy to see where else you should be partying.