‘Durian Whisky’ launched in Singapore last month – but people are saying it’s not even a whiskey at all

One of the most striking differences between whiskey and Durian Whisky lies in alcohol content.
The Durian Whisky

Of all the strangest food and drink combinations, durian whiskey might just take the cake.

The product, which was first launched in Singapore at the Yummy Food Expo on June 27, is said to be “brewed from 100 per cent pure, delicious flesh of the Musang King durian”.

Durian Whisky – made by Malaysian company Tropical Wine Sdn Bhd – is supposedly made from the “best grade Musang King Durians” from “vintage trees”.

The company also claims it uses a “patented fermentation technology” to brew the alcohol.

But as much as Durian Whisky has the potential to be the next big trend, the product has already raised some eyebrows because, well, it’s technically not even a whiskey.

Alcohol volume

One of the most striking differences between whiskey and Durian Whisky lies in alcohol content, Dramocracy – a Singaporean whiskey blog – said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (July 16).

In its post, Dramocracy pointed out that the alcohol by volume (ABV) level of Durian Whisky is lower than the minimum ABV level of whiskey stated by Singapore law.

In Singapore, a whiskey is defined as a product which contains an ABV level of less than 37 per cent at 20 degrees Celsius. However, Durian Whisky has an ABV level of only 18 per cent.


In a commentary published by Star2, writer Michael Cheang flagged several differences in the production of Durian Whisky and regular whiskey.

First, the addition of ethanol and sugar into Durian Whisky suggests that it fits the definition of a liqueur better than a whiskey, Cheang said.

Here’s how Durian Wisky is made.
The Durian Wisky

According to bartending resource website A Bar Above, liqueurs are defined as spirits or hard alcohol – such as gin, brandy, and whiskey – which have had sugar and flavor added.

Additionally, there is no such process as “pressing” in whiskey-making.

Instead, “pressing” is more widely used in wine-making. According to Wine Skills – a training programme that supports the UK wine production industry – “pressing” is a process whereby the juice in grapes is extracted after crushing. 

Cheang also wrote that Dorian-inside, another product also made by Tropical Wine, had the same ABV level as Durian Whisky.

And although both products have a similar manufacturing process, Dorian-inside is labelled as a liqueur and not a whiskey.

In its Facebook post, Dramocracy said that it wanted to “ensure that consumers in our community are aware of what they are purchasing and drinking”.

“If you’re looking for unusual whiskey, we do not believe ‘Durian Whisky’ is what you are looking for, we think it is probably a mislabeled liqueur,” Dramocracy added.

Business Insider has contacted the Singapore Food Agency and Durian Whisky for comments, but has yet to hear back.

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