Whisky Magazine Issue 134
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Singapore airport wins plaudit for its whisky knowledge
Customer service and product knowledge at duty-free shops has improved immeasurably over the past ten years from the days when even the simplest of in-store whisky enquiries would often lead to blank stares and shrugged shoulders. Leading the way in this important area is DFS Group, one of the world's biggest duty-free retailers.
In fact, the company's Singapore airport team has just been given Venue Accreditation by the Whisky Ambassador scheme. The Glasgow-based firm claims to be the UK's only retail and on-trade training scheme to focus solely on whisky.
The sales team at Singapore Changi had to undergo extensive training about how whisky is made, tasting and nosing, the long history of the drink, its cultural and economic impact. They also had to brush up on their general customer service skills. The course not only covered Scotch whisky, but Japanese and Taiwanese whiskies, which are growing in importance at Changi where the overall range of single malts is now one of the biggest anywhere in Asia, extending to some 110 brands.
The highlight of the Changi whisky offer is undoubtedly DFS Group's giant Duplex Store in Terminal 3, which even features a cocktail bar run in partnership with Singapore's famous Raffles Hotel. Master classes for cocktail mixology, bar tending and hosting at home are run regularly, and brand ambassadors and master distillers often stop by to promote new launches.
As for the whiskies on offer at Changi, take your pick from ultra-releas...