The buzz: Bangkok’s latest whiskey and cigar lounge is also a serious art gallery showing off the works of Thai talents.
The decor: Tucked away in the newly rebranded Gaysorn Village shopping center, Duke welcomes you with a variety of colorful contemporary art pieces lining the raw-cement walls by the likes of Kriangkrai Kongkhanun, an art professor at Sripatum University. Step further inside and you’re greeted by a beautiful, dark wooden bar, where dotted among the brown leather sofas are a variety of standing art pieces, including Sarakin Krue-On’s Line Dance, an eye-catching papier-mache sculpture of six dancing women in pink blouses. There’s also a dedicated cigar lounge with air purifier and two private rooms, reserved for members only.
The drinks: The huge list of whiskey is divided into different categories based on region. One must-try is Michel Couvreur’s Clearach (B690/shot; B8,600/bottle), a French single malt whiskey aged in French cherry wood barrels for a sweet and flowery aroma. You’ll also find imported beers (De Molen from the Netherlands [from B400] and Franziskaner from Germany [B250]) and plenty of other spirits—for cognac, we suggest the J. Dupont Grande Champagne Vsop Art Nouveau (B600/shot; B5,500/bottle), which won the gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2015. Cocktails are innovative—not to mention, pricey—like the signature Rangnok (Lecompte Calvados 18 years, lime cordial and bottled Scotch rangnok [bird’s nest], B1,200).
What else: Smokers will find a list of cigars, whether from Cuba, the Dominican Republic or other prominent producers, with prices starting from B280 for a Cusano Corona. Don’t go expecting a huge list of food, though, as there are only simple snacks (salted and tomyam flavored mixed nuts, B120) and a few pastas (fusilli with mushrooms and US bacon, B250).
The crowd: Suited-up execs throwing around their small change on simple pleasures.
Why you should care: One of the most varied drinks menus we’ve encountered, complemented by a long list of cigars and all that art. Their memberships start at B50,000 per year and go up to B300,000, but this is more of a pre-paid program than membership, meaning every time you go to the bar they deduct your bill from that account.