Just in case you have an extra gym bag of cash and a penchant for single malts, you can put that money to use at The Malt, a new whiskey bar recently opened beside the BTV building near Jianwai Soho. A bottle of The Macallan 55 Year Old will cost you rmb500,000, with shots at rmb30,000. Those on a budget might instead order a bottle of Glenlivet 1937 at RMB180,000*. (I have been lucky enough to try single malt almost that old though novelty is what most makes it special. I could keep myself happily drinking good whiskey for years for the price of one of those bottles.)
While it is fun to see such oldies but — at least on my budget — out of reachies, it is happy news that this place has more than 50 single malts priced at less than rmb100 per pour. I had the Caol Ila 1998 pictured above for rmb98. The options start, if memory serves, from ~rmb60 and there is a good range of single malts priced from rmb100 to a few thousand renminbi. I also liked that the accompanying water wasn’t simply poured from a bottle of Nongfu but that the owners seem to be interested in whiskey and to consider such details.
As for decor, while I expected the usual dim lighting-dark paneling combo, The Malt was brighter, with one decor touch being colorful but muted tiles, and it came off less as stuffy and more as modern. I only made a brief stop, after hearing about the bar while trying the new smoky martini at Twilight (more coming on this), but will be back soon for another look.
Note: I was fortunate to be at the bar when one of the owners doled out samples of the Yamazaki 1993 pictured above. A nice whiskey for those who like it fruity.
* I’m guessing those prices are negotiable.
And I liked that, when one of the owners suggesting adding a few drops, they didn’t pull out a bottle of Nongfu, as I’ve seen at some places but had thought about such details ahead of time.