Who would have thought that easy access to grapes in ancient times could lead to the production of one of the most in demand liquor beverages today?
Initially used for perfumes and aromas, whisky is a product of distilling fermented grains. Owing to its mass appeal, the production of this beverage lingered in Northern Europe and its popularity has stayed even stronger in this generation.
However, because wines and beers have ruled bars and restaurants in the Philippines for decades, whisky’s chance to snatch the spotlight from the two leading alcoholic drinks in the metropolis has taken several years.
According to some observers, this thrilling change of preference might be the work of the Internet and Filipinos’ travels to other countries where experience a bigger variety of food and drinks.
In the last three years, importers and distributors have reported a very high interest growth for this bracket as restaurants started to introduce more whiskies, and people began looking for special bottles of this strong drink.
The Filipinos’ love for brown spirits —the smoky, malty characteristic in beverages—is eyed as a good start to heighten their pleasure with whisky. This in mind, an event dubbed Whisky Live was mounted by Grand Cru Wines and Spirits, Inc. at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La Hotel at Fort Bonifacio, which showcased an amazing 121 whisky brands in the market.
The goal of the event was to enhance the familiarity of Filipino drinkers for the beverage via a two-day celebration that is touted as the biggest international whisky tasting and sampling party.
On top of sipping the goodness of their favorites, eight master classes led by two world-renowned whisky masters – Jim Murray, author of the superior Whiskey Bible, and Dominic Roskrow, author of the World’s Best Whiskies and one of UK’s top whisky experts were also held.
Murray talked about how he grades and notes whiskies from around the world during his blind tasting sessions, while Roskrow discussed unique and rare single cask whiskies.
Grand Cru managing director Rad Sadwhani said, “This event – bringing the brands and the people behind the whiskies – can help provide the information that the whisky market is looking for to help it grow even more.”
A bartending competition ensued showcasing 16 brands of whisky and non-whisky drinks, with the country’s noted mixologist, Lee Watson, winning the preliminaries all the way to the finals.
Concoctions created out of local rums, like Don Papa, and globally-recognized Filipino distillery Tanduay, whose new product Tanduay CLX was also launched as a highlight of Whisky Live, with only 500 bottles especially distilled for the occasion.