Want to travel all over the world? Start by attending a Whisky Live event.
Last October 20-21, Grand Cru Wine and Spirits once again amazed Filipino whisky drinkers with an impressive event held at The Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La The Fort. From last year‘s event, they have expanded their venue and range. They brought in 12 whisky experts from all over the world to give a master class to a number of class participants. With over 100 whiskeys, bourbons, scotch and blends from all around the world, we definitely felt an overwhelming sense of joy in seeing and TASTING all the drinks they especially made for both whisky and non-whisky lovers.
Upon arriving at the venue, we were given 10 chips to use at the different booths inside the Grand Ballroom: 8 chips for the drinks and 2 chips for the awarding ceremony. A bag was also given with a whisky glass and a bottle of water to use when tasting the different alcoholic drinks. There were also water stations around the room to ensure that we are always hydrated and we won’t be tipsy or drunk after the event.
I am not a regular drinker. I’m not even an occasional drinker because I only drink alcoholic beverages when I’m in the mood, but that rarely happens. Once I stepped inside the ballroom, I was amazed and overwhelmed by the number of booths and drinks available.
The first drink I was able to try was the Roku Gin, a Japanese-crafted gin. It has a mixture of 6 Japanese secret spices and has a slight hint of chocolate and peanuts with lemongrass and ginger. Roku Gin has a cherry and walnut flavor that mixes with sweet cereals and nutmeg. It is not too strong and has a touch of apricot and mint. This was one of my favorite because drinking it made me feel like I was amidst cherry blossoms.
The Monkey Shoulder booth was a crowd favorite at the event as they offered 2 kinds of whisky to their spectators. I was able to try the old-fashioned infused with orange. Monkey Shoulder is strong. Even though it’s mixed, you can definitely feel the kick of alcohol in the drink. Its smell has a zesty orange and vanilla flavor with a hint of honey for sweetness and spiced oak. It tastes citrusy with a hint of vanilla and spice, making it a little spicy. The finish of this drink is super smooth, but it is still strong for my tastebuds.
After trying out the Monkey Shoulder, I was able to try out a hazelnut drink at the Tanduay booth. I was quite disappointed, though, because it weirdly tastes of rotten eggs with a hint of chocolate and hazelnut. However, my companion Trixie liked it.
Trixie was also able to try the famous Teeling whisky. We learned that there were secret whiskies being offered in different booths and we needed to find out the password for each drink, so we could try their specialties.
We were also able to attend a whisky class spearheaded by Mr. Darren Hoise, a whisky expert based in Hong Kong. I was able to try 4 whiskeys from the master class. You will definitely be drowned with too much information when attending a master class. There was this one whisky, which I learned was inspired by Queen Elizabeth II of England.
It was such a tiring yet incredibly fun experience to try out different whiskeys from all over the world. It made me feel like I was traveling around different countries without having to leave the country. The experience and taste of every whisky from different cities varied differently from each other, making each experience one of a kind.
I never appreciated alcoholic drinks before, but after talking to a lot of people who are passionate about whisky, I am sure I will be trying them out again once given the chance. Just like me, I’m also sure you’ll love whisky more once you get to know the drink better and immerse yourself in the art of drinking one. I can’t wait for the 3rd year of Whisky Live Manila next year!
Whisky Live Manila