As an international city, Macau is keen on creating new spaces for people to enjoy the most varied activities. There is a strong focus on gastronomy and beverages, which include whiskey. The word has its origins in early forms of Gaelic and Latin in which distilled drinks were described as the “water of life”. These types of drinks were strongly associated with the church, especially in Ireland and Scotland, where it all started. When monasteries were shut down and monks started living with the common people, distilleries started selling to the public, hence the quick spread of this drink amongst the people. “Whisky” and “whiskey” are both distilled alcoholic beverages made of fermented grain mash but you may have noticed that they are spelled differently. Actually, “whiskey” is a common spelling in Ireland and the United States whereas “whisky” is used in other whiskey-producing countries. Whisky made in Scotland is known as “Scotch whisky” or just “Scotch”. Macau doesn’t have its own artisanal whiskey… yet, but there are places where you can find it! Read on to find out more.
The Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge
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Serving over 400 different malt whiskeys from all over the world, this is a top-notch place for all whiskey lovers. There are also bottles for sale, so if you are in need of a gift for a loved one who’s also a fan of this drink, don’t hesitate to head there and see what they have in store!
With a special range of Scottish whiskies, the bar itself has a strong Scottish vibe. The Macallan Whisky Bar & Lounge also holds whisky-themed events for those whisky lovers out there. Spaces are limited so make sure to book your place.
Opening hours: Monday–Thursday, 6:00pm–12:00am; Friday and Saturday, 6:00pm–1:00am
Duffy’s Irish Bar
Besides being one of the only Irish-owned bars in Macau, Duffy’s Irish Bar is a must if you are looking to have a relaxing afternoon or night with a glass of whiskey and friends. Amongst a wide list of drinks is rare and Irish imported Proper Twelve. They have some other whiskeys you won’t find elsewhere in town. Check their Facebook page to stay updated.
Opening hours: Daily, 5:00pm–2:00am
Whisky Bar at StarWorld Macau
Close to several corporate buildings, it is usually full during happy hours. The combination of buy one, get one free, with music and a great view of Macau, this is a great option for those looking to have a solid glass of whiskey with a group of friends. Head here if you are looking to savor some of the most exclusive whiskeys in town. Whisky Bar has a special monthly selection, allowing you to enjoy a discount while savoring something new and different at the same time. Hidden in their selection of more than 100 different distilled beverages hailing from Ireland, France, the United States, and Japan, it’s the rare Macallan 1946 Inspiration Scotch. For those yet to dip their toes in the waters of “whiskey on the rocks”, try their whiskey-based cocktails!
Opening hours: *Currently closed*
The St. Regis Bar Macao
The newly opened signature bar of The St. Regis Macao will stun you with the gorgeous New York inspired design, classy atmosphere with live jazz, and masterful mixology. Should you wish to have some whiskey, this is the ideal place to enjoy it. First of all, the selection they crafted is extensive and features some rare bottles. You will find Japanese whisky, bourbon, rye, Scotch, Irish whiskey, and a long list of single malts. There are plenty of aged single malts for sophisticated guests, with the most expensive one being the 40-year Balvenie for MOP $78,888. If you decide to purchase a bottle, The St. Regis Bar offers an exclusive “Bottle Keep” service. The staff will create a personalized card in a leather case and attach it to your whiskey or cognac for you to come back to it next time. For the ultimate relaxing experience and salon vibes, head to the “Decanter” room, where velvet sofas will embrace you with comfort while you savor your drink over a pleasant conversation.
Opening hours: Monday–Thursday, 5:00pm–1:00am; Friday–Sunday, 2:00pm–1:00am
Wynn Palace’s steakhouse is known for its juicy prime beef cuts, fresh seafood, and a mesmerizing theatrical show. But not everybody knows that SW’s bar deserves particular praise for the barrel-aged cocktails, as well as the spirits list. That calls for a whisky-based aperitif or, if you are not a cocktail drinker, go straight to the bourbon, scotch, blended whisky, and single malt section on the menu. The selection includes bestsellers like Chivas and Jameson, as well as small-batch bourbon and exquisite aged Macallan. The bartending team at SW boasts a broad knowledge in both mixology and spirits, so don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations.
Opening hours: Thursday–Sunday, 5:30pm–11:00pm
Boasting an incredible view from–yes, you guessed it right–Altira’s 38th floor, this is one of the quietest and most relaxing terrace bars in the region. Besides cocktails, mocktails, and other spirits, its whiskey list is astonishing: starting with Scottish and Irish, it then offers exotic Japanese, bourbon, and single malt whiskies too.
Hibiki Harmony & Super Nikka (Japan), John Jameson (Ireland), Johnnie Walker, and Macallan (Scotland) are just some of their most budget-friendly choices, ranging from MOP $88 to MOP $300 a glass. Check its full menu here and keep up with their Facebook page as well.
Opening hours: Wednesday–Sunday, 7:00pm–2:00am.
Sky 21 Bar & Restaurant
Without a doubt, this bar has the best 180º views of both Macau and Taipa! With a menu featuring more than 30 different whiskeys, there’s something for everyone: Scottish, Irish, but also American and Japanese brands. Their selection might not be as extensive as other places in town, but the view would surely make for a unique experience. Sip your whiskey and enjoy the stunning sunset! Check their menu and be sure to book a table before you get there.
Opening hours: Monday–Saturday, 12:00pm–2:30pm, 5:00pm–3:00am; Sunday, 6:30pm–2:30am
Prem1er Bar & Tasting Room
Tucked away in Taipa Village, this is a highly underrated spot in the city. Besides serving exclusive drinks, homemade gin, spirits, and original cocktails, their array of whiskeys is wide because they also supply different types of alcohol to numerous bars in Macau.
Their list includes The Teeling Super Premium Irish Whiskey Collection and many others so be sure to check it out if a vintage ambiance and your old pal whiskey are all you need.
Opening hours: Daily, 5:00pm–4:00am
Vida Rica Bar
The iconic sunset-watching spot and a mecca of cocktail aficionados, Vida Rica Bar is a sleek bar at Mandarin Oriental, Macau. If you wish to combine visual esthetics with a glass of fine whisky, Vida Rica would totally satisfy this desire. Its whisky list is not that extensive, but rather diverse, with Japanese, Irish, American whiskey, and bourbon. The collection of Scottish single malts is grouped by whisky regions: Isle of Skye, Highland, Speyside, and Isle of Islay. Ask Vida Rica’s knowledgeable staff if you are unsure what to indulge in.
Opening hours: Monday–Thursday, 5:00pm–12:00am, Friday, 5:00pm–1:00am, Saturday, 3:00pm–1:00am, Sunday, 2:oopm-11:00pm
This article was originally written by Leonor Sá Machado in October 2019 and updated by Ksenia Kuzmina in December 2020.