Oakroom slakes thirst for good whisky | Inquirer Business
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Oakroom slakes thirst for good whisky

WHISKIES galore at the Oakroom.               Margaux Salcedo

WHISKIES galore at the Oakroom. Margaux Salcedo

Why spend over P20,000 on a bottle of Yamazaki when you can get a good Scottish bottle for a fourth of the price?

This question is often raised by lawyer and whisky aficionado Monch Gupit, a regular and former resident of Kiplings whisky bar (he was there so often he seemed to live there).


Gupit prefers Islay whisky, or whisky made on Islay, one of the islands off the west coast of Scotland, such as Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg.


These are whiskies whose intense smokiness instantly transports you back to the days of Gable (“I don’t give a damn”) and Bogart (“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”)—the days of real men.

“I go for the impact of the whisky,” he explains.

Like wine, connoisseurs seek to identify a whisky’s nose and finish, aside from its flavor.

As with a lot of old Kiplings regulars, Gupit collects bottles.

“But it’s for sharing and drinking. It’s just a matter of when to open it,” he clarifies.

Unlike those who drink to get drunk, whisky connoisseurs are into taste discovery.


“I will not say anything bad about whisky until I have tried it,” Gupit says. That is why they drink it neat, because ice defeats the taste.


For those who want to start appreciating whisky, Oakroom (at the 6th Level of Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center in Ortigas, across ADB) is a good place to start.

The whisky bar—which has very classy interiors, by the way—has bottles from the six major whisky regions of Scotland or the ‘Land of the Gaels.’ If you are only beginning to appreciate whisky, it is best to first indoctrinate yourself with flavors from these regions.

For variety, Oakroom has extended the range of its collection to include over 100 malt whisky choices. The range covers whisky varieties from India, Taiwan, the United States and Japan.

They now also offer Whisky Nights where they invite a whisky expert to talk about certain bottles.

Last month, Francis Hasegawa of Lit whisky bar in Serendra, played the role of whisky guru and was their speaker on Japanese whiskies.

He enlightened guests on Ichiro, the latest “rock star in the whisky world.”

“It’s an artisanal whisky but his products don’t even reach the shelves these days,” he explains. “The volume is small and the demand is high that some bottles you can only get by lottery.”

Japanese whisky, he explains, has just in the past decade gained gradual international recognition.

Today, some brands like Karuizawa are so sought after that there are tales of a bottle that sells for the price of a Ferrari.

But real whisky appreciation is important so that you know what you are drinking and buying.

“Some of the brands that are in the market now are just all about media hype,” Hasegawa explains. He added that some whiskies sell by sheer virtue of their value. “Now you have to be careful of fake bottles, too,” he warns.

Good whisky is a result of many factors: environment, water, culture, seasonal transitions, aside from the cask and blend.

So how can you tell if a bottle is worth the investment? Like wine, the only way to find out  is to have a taste. Head over to the nearest whisky bar and compare notes or, if you like to be guided by an expert and be around other whisky lovers,  attend the Whisky Nights at the Oakroom (July 8 – Whiskies of the World; July 29 – Scotland vs. Japan).

There’s no other way.

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Oakroom. 6th Level, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center.

More from the author at margauxsalcedo.com. Follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

TAGS: liquor, Oakwood Premier, whisky

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