Changi Airport doubles its wines and spirits selection with T2 DFS duplex

New selections await the savvy traveller - Wine Reserve, Cigar Room & Whiskey House.

Changi Airport unveiled its second DFS duplex in T2 recently. The sprawling 15,000 square feet, double storey space designed by award-winning interior designer Masamichi Katayama, is truly a sight to behold, fully engaging travellers in an interactive shopping experience.

The duplex features three unique DFS in-store concepts – the Wine Reserve, the Cigar Room and The Whiskey House - all of which encourage travellers to sample and experience their extensive range of products available before buying. With a selection of over 900 items from over 240 wines, spirits and tobacco brands, passengers are indeed spoilt for choice.

First up, the Wine Reserve greets travellers at the first floor. The large walk-in, temperature-controlled cellar is home to over 350 wines from the world’s top wineries in places like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Australia. Besides being able to find DFS-exclusive wine such as the Vieux Chateau Certan double magnum set, travellers would also be able to sample selected wines from the wine dispenser & preservation systems housed in the Wine Reserve.

For cigar lovers, some of the world’s finest cigars from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Honduras can be found in the Cigar Room, including cigar-related accessories, such as limited-edition cigar humidors and cigar cases.

Taking the escalator up to the second floor of the duplex, travellers who are whiskey lovers will find their haven as they enjoy complimentary tastings of over 100 different whiskies from across the world at The Whiskey House. In addition, the duplex also houses seven boutiques featuring some of the best known whiskey brands in the world - Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Johnnie Walker, The Dalmore and The Macallan, with each installation tailored to reflect the unique essence and culture of each brand. Many of the boutiques also offer an experiential whiskey shopping experience. For example, at the Glenfiddich boutique, travellers can nose the decanters on display to identify their preferred aroma. Then, they place the selected decanter on the aroma selector. A screen will display the various whiskies that embody this aroma for their selection. 

Meet Alvin Woon, Team Leader (Sales) at the T2 DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex store to find out more about what it means to be a Whiskey Ambassador.

15 Minutes with Alvin Woon: Exciting Customers about Whisky

Meet Alvin Woon, Team Lead (Sales) of DFS Changi Airport

If you haven’t already heard, DFS at Changi Airport is the first travel retail space in the world to receive The Whisky Ambassador’s Venue Accreditation – selected employees undergo extensive training specially designed by DFS University (DFS’ very own learning and development programme), to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence to engage customers with Scotch whisky. Changi Journeys chats with Alvin Woon, Team Lead (Sales) at DFS’ newest wines and spirits duplex store at T2, to find out more.

We heard that you’re one of the few certified Whisky Ambassadors in Singapore – tell us more!
(Laughs) Of the 16 certified Whisky Ambassadors deployed across the terminals at DFS Changi Airport, I’m one of the seven certified trainers of this programme. Of course, this number is set to increase. The Whisky Ambassador programme is the UK’s only accredited training course focused solely on whisky – we educate participants on how whisky is made, the history of the drink, the economic impact and culture of whisky, as well as customer service.

What does your job entail, and what do you enjoy most?
Besides day-to-day business and operations management, one of our priorities is people development and in-house skills training – both in subject-matter knowledge and customer experience. I enjoy customer service, which explains why I’m in this line instead of a desk-bound job. I enjoy interacting with people and exciting them about whiskies. In the past 12 years, I met a lot of customers-turned-loyal customers-turned-friends, many of whom I still keep in touch with, and catch up over whiskies occasionally.

What is your most memorable encounter to date?
Just this year, there was a customer who came up to The Whisky House looking for McDonald’s, but instead, but he got attracted by my sharing with another customer and requested to join in. The group soon got bigger and he shared with me later that he really enjoyed the session and wished he had checked-in earlier to learn more – that was particularly heartwarming.

What is one common misconception people have about whisky?
I recently went on a learning trip to Islay in Scotland, famed for its Islay whisky. Traditionally, most Islay whiskies tend to be smokier and give off a medicinal smell, which some might even liken to Dettol. Certainly not appealing to most. The surprising thing in Islay was that none of us could smell that – even the non-Islay whisky-lovers were converted, and thoroughly enjoyed the flavours of their new found favourite. It was interesting to experience firsthand how the taste of whisky changes according to the environment.

Lastly, what is your go-to whisky?
I have tried close to all the (300!) whiskies that DFS has brought in… it’s a tough call. Because I’m born in the year of the Monkey, I would say I lean towards the Monkey Shoulder – a blended malt Scotch whisky that has both spicy and fruit nodes. Smooth, sweet and very easy to drink, just on its own.

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