For many years now, I abandoned drinking entirely. I declined any invitation that involved alcohol altogether. This changed recently after a series of invites that included known brands in various wines and spirits. I realized in order to learn, and share more to you, my readers, I have to at least appreciate and take a few in. The intention has changed and last weekend I was in the second year of Whisky Live Manila.
It was held at the posh Shangri-La Hotel at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City. There were thousands of whisky enthusiasts and curious drinkers that got to sample over 100 whisky variants, which included the award-winning Kavalan from Taiwan and other known international brands. Organized by Grand Cru Wines and Spirits, this event is the most sought after whisky tasting and sampling event in the country. This two-day event wasn’t all about drinking, as it featured 12 Master Classes that covered topics such as the filtration and deconstruction processes of whisky. These ‘short courses’ were led by international experts like Keith Nair, Matthew Ferguson, Murphy Chang, Adam Knox, Yvonne Chou, Darren Hosie, Mark DeSimone, Neil Strachan, Alex Whang, Andy Williams, Hamish Houliston, and Martin Lynch.
Curiosity got the best of me so I got a bit in depth for Chivas Regal Master Class. Here, I learned that there are as much as 85 different notes (tastes) that a whisky could leave in your mouth even though only 4 primary ingredients are used to create it —water, wheat, grain, and yeast. I also took note of how to drink it the optimum way. One must twirl it a bit, smell, sip, and chew. It is about taking it slow to appreciate its sophistication. Interestingly enough, people passed out on the second day. It is, after all, a hard drink at 40% Alcohol By Volume. If you’re a first timer just like me, make sure that you have your periodic Alcoholic Blood Content checked thru their tester to avoid this from happening. That’s about it for my whisky escapade. It was quite an experience. It was a lot of discoveries and worthy observations, despite a few sips.