I bet people are wondering why I chose to feature The Whisky Society Philippines’ Christmas Party for the blog’s Christmas special.
It’s simple, really… While I’ve been to so many parties and events meeting so many cool people, suppliers, and beverage organisations, there has always been something particularly enjoyable about partying with The Society’s members.
I can’t quite put the reason behind it in words, but I think it has something to do with the spirit (pun intended!) of the group… While a lot of the members do know their whisky and have even created a safe, informative space for people to learn about the drink, they sure know how to have fun.
I guess what I’m trying to say is… In the hustle and bustle of the year, I just wanted to let my hair down and, well… Party like it was 2019 with like-minded (“like-livered,” more like… assuming the expression existed) people.
Of course, being the learned drinkers they are, there was no shortage of good drinks for the night.
Here are some of my favourites:
Aultmore of the Foggy Moss Speyside 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
I realised that one of the best parts of just hanging out with any member of the group is that they would always have a bottle to share. I particularly enjoyed this Dewar’s beauty (trivia: John Dewar was the first Scot to blend whisky) for its crisp green apple, banana, and flowery flavours.
Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Virgin Oak
I love that there was a correlation between the distillery’s thrust of being all about the community it belongs to, and a similar spirit coming from a guy (again, did not know him, but he was game enough to share a few fingers of the Deanston with me). It reminded me of a very pleasant Christmas fruitcake, with its candied fruit flavours and nutmeg notes on the nose.
Singleton Glendullan Select Game of Thrones House Tully
The heady mix of vanilla, cloves, apples, and cinnamon was a mere bonus to its geeky, pop culture appeal. I found the bottle on the “donation” table, where I decided to park myself. PS, teaser alert: We’re doing something next year with some of our own GoT bottles. 😉
Balcones Texas Pot Still Straight Bourbon Whisky
It was, again, a gem from the donation table. I’ve never had Texan bourbon before, and the whisky’s sweet notes balanced with woody aromas were an absolute treat.
Nikka Whisky From The Barrel
My first thought when I found it among the donation pile is: “Why…?!? Well, more for me!” If there was one bottle that made me stay right by the donation table, it was that chic looking, richly and deeply flavoured Japanese whisky.
Matsui Single Malts (Sakura Cask and Mizunara Cask)
Right next to the donation table was the Matsui booth. Chad (husband, whisky junkie, and forever date to these events) and I decided to make a beeline for this one because we were in the middle of planning our Japan trip (“ooh, a distillery we could look at!”). Without knowing what to expect, we were given a sample each of the Sakura Cask and the Mizunara Cask. They were both equally delicious… I loved the cherry blossom aroma (which gave way to a malty yet approachable flavour profile) of the Sakura cask, as well as the delicious woody aromas (with baking spices on the mouth) of the Mizunara Cask.
Confession: I once associated Chivas Regal with the old businessmen I saw my mother’s company’s boss transacting with. I don’t know why… I think somewhere in my career as a hotelier, I may have encountered some of them in our bar, praising the beauty of the brand.
Fast-forward to recent years, admittedly, I ended up looking into the brand again after they got Chris Evans as a spokesperson. Talk about making it cool… for me (and my sister!), at least.
Anyway. I couldn’t decide which one I liked the best: The Chivas XV (which, right now, is only in Duty Free, but will apparently be available in local online and/or physical stores early 2020) for its orange-cinnamon flavours, the velvety and intricate Chivas 18 (Chad’s favourite from the flight), or the soft flavoured Chivas Mizunara (which I imagined would go well with sushi).
I have written about the brand in-depth, but finishing this article strong, I decided to include some of the people that made my year in alcohol so much fun: Joey Pineda (a pillar in the industry, IMHO), ultimate social media influencer Mike Soon, and Cognac educator extraordinaire, my good friend Kévin Charuel.
Again, in the spirit (I’m overusing this pun, I know) of friendship and camaraderie (preferably over alcohol, naturally), Happy Holidays from us here in 2shotsandapint! Cheers!