Whiskey talk with Bruichladdich’s brand ambassador

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Richard Gillam visited Manila to hold a masterclass session at Sage Bar

Richard Gillam visited Manila to hold a masterclass session at Sage Bar

Makati Shang’s Sage Bar holds masterclass session

Makati Shangri-La continues to deliver the winning combination of jazz and whisky with a series of events at Sage Bar. The Manila Times attended one such gathering when an exclusive Masterclass Session with Bruichladdich Brand Ambassador Richard Gillam was held at the hotel’s nightly destination.

Gillam introduced “the world of Bruichladdich”—the intricacies of what makes the brand different, its heritage, and traditions in whisky brewing.

The whiskey brand Bruichladdich has its distillery on the Rhinns of Islay in Scotland. They produce mainly single malt whiskey and also offer artisanal gin.

“We are the only distillery on [the isle of]Islay to keep our whiskey there. The others distil it, put it in the tanker and send it to the main land and it ages there. We bottle on Islay, because the barrels are like lungs—they do breathe—and also if we bottle it on Islay, it gives people jobs,” Gillam shared during the session on September 6.

According the whiskey ambassador, their classic Bruichladdich is “unrepeated, floral and complex.” Trickle distilled from 100 percent Scottish barley using much of the original Victorian machinery, the methods employed by the craftsmen to coax the spirit into being, remain unchanged.

“Our spirit matures for all its life in our warehouses on the shores of Loch Idaal and is bottled at the distillery using Islay spring water. This is natural whiskey, non-chill filtered and coloring free,” he added.

Gillam that anyone who has visited Bruichladdich Distillery will have been struck by the sheer variety of whisky casks and barrels stacked in and alongside their warehouses. They come in all shapes and sizes, their contents gently and slowly maturing as an elegant floral single malt on the Atlantic coast on the Rhinns of Islay.

“When you make American whiskey, you can only use a barrel once, then you have to sell it. You’re not allowed to use it again. In Scottish whiskey we prefer that because new barrels give a lot of flavor and what we want is barley flavor, not barrel flavor,” clears Gillam. “We only use a barrel three times maximum, then we sell it. We refuse to use it more than that because after the third time, we think that the whiskey won’t be good,” he added.

The expert then talked about how the human tongue is perfect for whisky appreciation. “The tongue works even if it’s cold and numb. So after having whisky, the tongue tells our brain in an instant all the tastes we should be tasting,” he explained.

Alongside the Bruichladdich brand ambassador’s visit to Sage Bar, the week’s celebration of whiskey flights and tribute nights carried on through the week with Jazz music featuring the Booze Brothers, international jazz artist Henry Katinidig, Jeannie Tiongco, Colby dela Calzada, Lawrence Nolen, and Eddie Katindig in successive shows.

As an international trendsetter when it comes to whisky and jazz, Sage Bar promises to keep on adding a touch of class to the Manila bar scene with more global whisky brands spotlighted through the end of 2016, and of course, endless jazz music to go with the luxurious liquor.

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