Culturally Interviews: The Single Cask

For our Rallyers (you!) to get to know our Culturally Ambassadors (CAs) better, Culturally has invited some of our CAs to an interview session over zoom. In an intimate and casual chit-chat session, we sit down with the people behind the experiences found on Culturally as they share about themselves, their passions and their craft. In this installment of ‘Culturally Interviews:’, we are joined by our friends from The Single Cask, Brendan and Yi Xian. Here’s a snippet.


The Single Cask is Singapore's only independent whisky bottler and stocks over 400+ single malts, boutique blended malts and single cask rums. Also running Singapore’s first Whisky Ambassador accredited venue, a bar of the same name tucked in the corner of CHIJMES in the historic Caldwell house, The Single Cask has introduced countless people to the complexities of Scotch, one bottle at a time. 

At Culturally, The Single Cask shares with any who wish to learn about whisky — its origins, how to taste and how to enjoy. Find out more about our whisky appreciation classes here.

From left: Wei De, Brendan, Yi Xian

The Single Cask Team


Why don’t we start off with you guys sharing about yourselves? Tell us more about The Single Cask!

Brendan: Hi guys! So my name is Brendan, one of the owners of The Single Cask. We have been doing this for, personally, five years now. The brand itself has been around for 11 years. We are an independent bottler. We buy casks, we mature whiskies in Scotland, but we’ve been doing other spirits as well. We bottle for global distribution and most of what we bottle actually ends up in Singapore, at our flagship location at CHIJMES which is also called The Single Cask. 

You know, for us it’s basically about the passion for whisky. We would like people to find out more about different types of whisky, so whether it’s well-known or even obscure brands, we try to put them together and give people something interesting in terms of education and engagement. 

Yi Xian: Yup, Brendan has put everything in a short and sweet message. For me, this is my third year with them. [It was a] really big switch for me as I used to be from the financial industry. I met Brendan and he brought me in, and things just got better from there. There are so many whisky bars out there but for us, I think, the most important thing is creating a community [where] people will enjoy coming down to have not just whisky but also good company, make friends and get to know each other better [through] having whisky here.


Share with us your favourite story from the bar!

Yi Xian: There’s so many! I think for me it’s when I first started working there. I met Brendan through partying actually. One day he said ‘Oh I work at a whisky bar” and I was like “Oh I like whisky, I’m gonna come over”. So for me, the story at the whisky bar is more of me starting out as a customer. One day Brendan was like “You wanna come and join us?” and I thought, “Why not?” I get to hang out with a lot of different people, meet new people and also, instead of having to pay for all the whisky, I can try them without paying. *laughs* Honestly, the team has only three of us but it’s a good team. I think it’s important to have chemistry with each other.

Brendan: I’ve got one. Like Yi Xian said, we’ve been very good friends since 2016. We’d have a few friends over at the bar, and our group of friends actually got bigger and bigger. Pre-Covid days, before social distancing was a thing, we used to have these events called ‘crate nights’ which were actually free flow nights. It was $60 for all you can drink from 8pm till midnight. 

In particular, in January 2018—this is something we are proud of but shouldn’t be—we set a record for how many people we could fit in a bar. It was 55. Imagine this, we have 450 square feet and we managed to fit 55 people. Everyone was just enjoying themselves. Even for us, we were working but also enjoying ourselves. It was a day where you can unwind, enjoy a few drinks and there’s good music playing. It created a very nice atmosphere, to the point where people were like “When’s the next one?” 

We became known for it. It wasn’t just cheap alcohol. We were selling good whiskies with it. You could pour as much as you’d like. We sort of set the standard where you don’t have to drink a lot to enjoy yourself but the options are there so you can try many different whiskies. I think that sort of gave people a different idea; that it’s not just about chasing your next drink, it’s more about sitting down and enjoying it, evaluating it. And yeah, it was quite a nice [experience].


Anything for us to look forward to in the coming months?

Yi Xian: Hmm...I think the next biggest thing is our latest release. Our next batch would be the biggest we’ve ever had. We’ll be releasing 20 different whiskies at once, I don’t know how we will handle that. How many tastings to have to release it all? But I think that is something to look forward to and that is the biggest one for this year. 

Brendan: To put this into perspective, the biggest release we’ve had was about 15 whiskies at one go. So it’s going to be an interesting discussion on how we will carry this out. Considering how small the bar is, where we put all the whiskies will be quite a challenge as well. *laughs*


Wait! 

If you thought this was the end of the interview, this is only half! As the interview is way too interesting and way too long, we did not include all the questions asked in this article.😲

Sneak peek: 55 isn’t the largest number of people they’ve fit into the bar! We also may or may not have mentioned Brendan’s specialty brownies multiple times in the interview. We swear it’s not the illegal kind!

For the full interview, head to Culturally’s Instagram (@culturally.co) to watch the IGTV!


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