Robb Report Singapore

Empirical Spirits’ Fallen Pony Blend

It’s like a carnival in the mouth, says Hannah Choo.


FOR FOUR YEARS, Noma was named the best restaurant in the world. And for eight years,

Lars Williams, a buff man distinguis­hable by his tattoos, ran The Nordic Food Lab, Noma’s research and developmen­t facility. He was part of a culinary mecca that had it all: two Michelin stars, fame, acclaim and the visionary approach to terroir-focused New Nordic cuisine. When it shut down in 2017 in favour of a reboot, Williams left to focus on alcohol.

Together with Mark Emil Hermansen, another Noma alumnus, they started Empirical Spirits. Like Noma, Empirical Spirits embraces unsung foraged products (oyster, for instance), and unlike your average spirit maker, it plays by its own rules and falls under no category. It wants to introduce people to flavours that spark curiosity and at the same time, familiarit­y and enjoyment. For starters, Empirical creates its own base via a mash-up of eastern and western techniques. It takes the best parts of sake and fuses them with the best parts of beer, resulting in a neutral spirit that tastes somewhere between vodka and sake.

I’ve tried a handful of its produce, including F*** Trump and His Stupid Fucking Wall, a delicious habanero-based spirit. But loveliest of all is the

Fallen Pony Blend. Made with the base ferment and quince tea kombucha, it smells of peaches and tastes like bubblegum. The tea-led spirit is a good balance of bitterness, astringenc­y and acidity, and at 35 per cent ABV, it goes down as smooth as a slip and slide.

It’s a carnival in the mouth, and in my opinion, best savoured neat. Yours for $107 (500ml) – a steal, but you can’t really put a price on some things.

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