A look at how The Balvenie aims to preserve craftsmanship in Southeast Asia

A look at how The Balvenie aims to preserve craftsmanship in Southeast Asia

To each his own

Text: Janice Sim

The whisky label's ongoing initiative, 'The Balvenie Connoisseurs of Craft', sets out to celebrate and cultivate the meaning of craftsmanship

There's a certain kind of profundity when it comes to sipping on a glass of whisky. The act is often dubbed as an exclusive, tasteful affair — which aficionados associate with a Don Draper stereotype — and it's come to a point where the appreciation of whisky has become an art in its own form.

Balvenie whisky craftsmanship

Embodying this class act is The Balvenie, revered for its unique range of single malts. The Scottish whisky label encompasses five unique traditional crafts when it comes to producing a single malt Scotch whisky — and what's more impressive is that it remains the only distillery in Scotland to do so till this day. These five rare crafts include growing their own barley, retaining their own traditional floor maltings, housing a coppersmith to tend the stills to boil the whisky, in-house coopers that build the casks, and their own malt master to deliver the final winning product. 

With that strong foundation, it comes as no surprise that The Balvenie has also rolled out a dedicated campaign to promote and celebrate craftsmanship in every way possible. 'The Balvenie Connoisseurs of Craft' launched in 2015 because the team behind the world's most handcrafted single malt recognised a gap in appreciation for craft in Southeast Asia, and wanted to create a platform for budding craftsmen in the region to practice and showcase their skills. Two years ago, it started out as a project with traditional carpenters in Indonesia creating bespoke The Balvenie furniture for The Halia in Singapore. This year, The Balvenie has brought four new craftsmen into the fold — Morgan Yeo, Olivia Lee, Ewe Jin Tee, and Cherin Sim — to conduct workshops for anyone looking to pick up a new set of skills.

The best part about 'The Balvenie Connoisseurs of Craft'? You don't even have to like whisky to sign up. The focus is entirely on the art of learning and crafting through different workshops — for instance, you can try your hand at building your own tool box, pick up the art of monogramming, or get your hands dirty painting a signboard. What really caught our attention was a candy-making workshop by designer Olivia Lee, where participants mastered the intricate skill of casting sugar and creating candy from spices and dried fruit.

So raise your glass with us because connoisseur or not, we're all for appreciating craft and celebrating talents of the world. Cheers, The Balvenie.