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The best kind of relationships are often like the finest whiskies – two wholly different personalities blended into an integrated whole that’s even better the sum of its component parts.
If he had met them, the great philosopher Aristotle would definitely have used that phrase he coined on these power couples – some visible, others less so – in Singapore’s whisky and nightlife scene.
And it was also whisky that led the couple to name their first-born daughter Islay, after the Scotch whisky region both loved so much during their honeymoon.
“Recently, Islay asked why her name was on a bottle of Bowmore, which we found rather amusing,” Elaine laughs.
The bar opened mid-2012, and Indra would quit his finance job to join her full-time.
And all this took place before they even got married.
“I was working there frequently as a waiter, cashier, and dishwasher,” he remembers, “(and) since Nan was a regular there, we were talking frequently with each other.” One day he plucked up the courage to ask her out for a drink, then more drinks, and that soon developed into something more serious.
Their first experience with whisky started with Nan.
Matthew first met Elaine Seah through a former colleague who studied in university with her.
He would land at Auld Alliance where he continued to hone his whisky expertise, and where he got spotted by William Grant & Sons for the ambassadorial role for its top-selling Glenfiddich brand.
“Without Elaine’s support in those early years, I never would have ended up as the Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador for APAC,” Matthew muses. But those who know will be aware than the pint-sized Elaine is founder of public relations firm Brand Inc that’s behind many editions of Singapore’s leading annual spirits fair Whisky Live.
He does think the most romantic thing he’s done was weave together a night through a series of bars in Washington DC that involved letting her drink all the rare Pappy Van Winkles to her heart’s content.
“Being in an industry where Valentine’s Day is one of the most important days of the year for the business, it usually means we rarely get to celebrate it ourselves,” sighs Nan, who today helps Howard run his growing F&B empire which includes the newly opened pizza parlour The World Is Flat at Changi Airport while taking care of their son Henry.