Lifestyle / Alcohol

TSH Corporation’s 2023 Whisky Journey is a Trip Worth Tasting

Whisky Journey aims to both entertain and educate while offering a warm welcome to anyone seeking a unique whisky experience.

Aug 22, 2023 | By Florence Sutton

For some, whisky is a form of liquid gold. From Scotch to Single-Malt, Bourbon to rare blends, each has its own complex profile and multi-layered range of flavours. No one understands this better than Benjamin Tan, the Head of Business Development and “Chief Butler” for TSH Corporation. Whisky Journey started off as Singapore’s first island-wide bar and restaurant whisky trail that spanned across 10 days in 2020 and 2021. After witnessing its initial success, Whisky Journey returns in 2023 for its most expansive exhibition yet, taking place at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre. This year sees Whisky Journey is going back to its orginal convention-exhibition style showcase. The show will feature over 20 exhibitors, with over 100 different whiskies and expressions available for guests to discover, explore and try. LUXUO sits down with the face of Whisky Journey, Benjamin Tan to find out more about his passion for whisky, what we can expect to see from this year’s Whisky Journey and the future of this one-of-a-kind exhibition.

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

You have been running Whisky Journey since 2019. Tell us more about how Whisky Journey’s concept came to fruition?

Actually, I joined the company in 2020. Whisky Journey was due to take place in 2019, but given the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, the team decided to take a pause at the event until government regulations were a little more slack in 2020. So the first edition of the “Bar-hopping” whisky journey took place in 2020 and I was then assisting my predecessor on running the event. Therefore, I would say the initial idea was developed by the previous team and currently the team and I have enhanced it and brought a convention-styled (exhibition style) Whisky Journey since last year.

What is the relationship between Whisky Journey and Whisky Butler, Singapore’s most vibrant whisky-tasting club?

So when I joined TSH Corporation Ltd, Whisky Butler was brought together with me; and now both Whisky Journey and Whisky Butler are part of the concepts under TSH Corporation Ltd, providing an array of whisky products and services to our consumers. 

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

The 2022 Whisky Journey edition staged at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has been an overwhelming success. What should we expect to see, experience and taste with respect to the 2023 edition?

Do expect this year’s edition to be bigger with more interesting brands coming on board. We even have an independent bottler from Taiwan that is flying in to take part in this year’s event! At the same time, some of last year’s exhibitors are also trying to put together some experimental masterclasses for our consumers. So expect more exciting brands and masterclasses coming in this year at Whisky Journey 2023!

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Do you plan to introduce more workshops this year 2023?

Yes, we have increased the number of masterclasses this year on both days to give everyone a chance to participate in the masterclasses that they are looking forward to.

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

Who conceptualised the brilliant idea of the Whisky Journey Passport? Can you explain the passport concept to our readers and whisky lovers?

This was the collective effort of the previous team after many rounds of brainstorming, they decided that a jet-setting format of whisky exhibition is a novelty and an interesting theme to go with, and hence the passport as a tool to make the whole jet-setting experience more real (especially in times of Covid). 

Read More: Top 5 Whiskies To Keep an Eye Out for at Whisky Journey 2022

Why is Singapore the ideal location to host Whisky Journey?

Being a Singaporean company, it is always good to build our base from here. Although we acknowledged that competition is stiff here, but we firmly believe that it is also the (whisky) hub and trendsetter for the region. 

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

Who are your major 2023 partners?

Our official water sponsor is Perrier, our media partner is Heart Media (you guys) as well as our event goodie bags sponsor is Black Bull by Duncan Taylor, which is also one of our premium exhibitors.

How is Whisky Journey different from other Whisky events?

“EEE” is our concept and the key differentiators to other whisky events. The three “E” are namely:  Explore; Educate; Experience. You need to allow consumers to explore themselves rather then telling them what is good or bad; educating them about the brand philosophy, brand history, and the process of creating the products allows consumers to understand and appreciate the brand more; lastly, you need to allow consumers to experience it themselves by allowing them to try it. “Explore” is paramount amongst the three; we make sure that participants will get to find a wide range of whiskies provided by the official brands, and buy directly from these brands. Therefore, at Whisky Journey, you can find limited edition whiskies; aged whiskies as old as 40 years old opened by the dram for consumers to have a chance to try and experience them. 

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

How do you see the Whisky Journey evolving three years down the road?

I hope to take Whisky Journey to multiple cities with more fringe events being organised in different parts of the world for consumers around the globe.

Will you bring this event concept to other capital cities in Asia?

Yes. That is definitely in our plan for the next three to five years.

Read More: The Nuances Between Japanese And Western Whisk(e)y

What is your favourite moment of true accomplishment in the life of Whisky Journey? 

The biggest moment definitely comes from the smiles of all my participants and exhibitors. Because they are all my stakeholders. Only when they are happy, we are accomplished. 

Benjamin Tan Whisky Journey

Can you share with our reader the name of the mentor who has inspired you the most in your career and life?

I am actually very fortunate to have met many people in my life. I believe that everyone is unique in their own way and there is always something you can learn from everyone. Combining all these unique experiences together, I turned them into my own life principles that guide me to walk my own path. Therefore I wouldn’t say there is a single person that inspired me in my professional life, but as a collective whole; I’ve learned from everyone that crossed paths with me. Recently, a speech by a local female entrepreneur resonates with this belief of mine. She said, “One of the biggest life lessons is learning how to admire someone’s gift without questioning your own”. The statement coincides with how I believe that everyone is unique and instead of being jealous of someone’s talent, we embrace and learn from these people. Because life is not about what happened to us, but how we respond to it. You can choose to be bitter or be a better person.

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