Whisky Live Manila 2018: 131 Different Styles for the Tasting!

Whisky Live was recently back in Manila for its third year. (Did you know that Manila is one of the very few cities in the world where this event is hosted?)

The event was held early this month at Shangri-La The Fort. It was my first time to attend and I was excited to find out what I had been missing. I have been a long-time beer drinker and it was only a few years back that I started to enjoy wine, so I figured the next step in the alcohol hierarchy was whisky!

Whisky Live is brought to us by Grand Cru Wines and Spirits. It is the perfect event for someone like me to be initiated to whisky drinking. You get unlimited tastings from 131 different styles of whisky, scotch, bourbons and blends around the globe.

Upon entering, I made a beeline for the most popular booth of the evening; Johnnie Walker. I don’t have a say on who is the best, but I can say JW is one of the most popular brands in Asia. I’ve known of Johnnie Walker since I was a kid. In fact, the booth was so popular that I had to line up.

Johnnie Walker, White Walker Edition

Everyone (including myself, a GOT fan) was curious to see the Game of Thrones White Walker bottle! While it was not available for purchase, I was able to taste it. They say it tastes similar to JW Gold. The packaging is the winner, though, as it changes color when it’s cold.

Johnnie Walker, White Walker Edition

I walked around and tasted several different types during the night, including the 25,000-peso bottle of Ile de Ré by Camus. I enjoyed this one because it is very smooth and easy to drink.

Jameson Black Barrel

The best whisky I tasted that night was the Jameson Black Barrel. This whisky made me understand why people like whisky. This one definitely gets my blue chip.

The event also showcased other alcohol beverages like gin, rum, cognac with familiar brands like Roku, Hendrick’s and our very own Don Papa Rum.

Our Own Don Papa Rum

I was fortunate to taste the Purple Puffin cocktail by Lester Ligon. He was the Philippine’s Bartender of the Year who represented us in Berlin for the annual Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2018, the Olympics of the bartending community.

Purple Puffin Cocktail

OMG, it was so good! It was refreshing, citrusy, and super balanced. It is made with Lambay whisky, one of the biggest exhibitors of the event.

There were a lot of gimmicks to get you to visit different booths. Ardbeg had a Virtual Reality camera to show you the landscape of Islay in Scotland where their water originates from.

Another popular booth was Shackleton, where you could brand your own ice!

Shackleton Ice

Bono Gelato infused Lambay into the gelato right in front of you with liquid nitrogen.

It was very entertaining to watch. The gelato was delicious, but I could not taste the whisky in it.

Naturally, I paid tribute to the beer exhibitors, as well. Beer, after all, is what whiskies are made of!

Compadre Craft

Compadre Craft is a locally brewed craft beer that is AMAZING. My ultimate favorite is the Wheat Beer.  It is so crisp, cold, light, and fruity. You can really taste the quality! It is comparable to German, Belgian, and Austrian Weiss Beers! I even bought a bottle home with me; it was so good. As of now, it is only available at Draft and The Brewery.  I cannot wait for them to mass distribute.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable night for me. I can say that I went home with a deeper understanding of whisky and why so many people like it. Based on what I saw, I think Whisky Live will continue to be a popular and much-anticipated event in Manila.

Whisky Live Manila

Website: https://www.whiskylive.ph

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whiskylivemanila


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