Oldest PH distillery showcases legacy at Intramuros museum
Tucked in one of the streets of Intramuros is a spirits museum. Not spirits like ghosts but distilled spirits brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey!
This is the Destileria Limtuaco Museum of the longest running distillery in the Philippines.
The space, which reeks of antiquity with its stone walls and hardwood stairs, was purchased in 1979 by the Limtuaco family although it was only developed as a museum later on by fifth-generation master distiller Olivia “Olive” Limpe-Aw.
Launched in 2018, this museum can now be visited as one of the five museums that are part of the Intramuros Day Pass, along with Fort Santiago, Baluarte de Santiago Gardens, Casa Manila Museum and Museo de Intramuros.
The museum was conceptualized by Olive after a visit to a wine museum in Germany. She realized the rich heritage of her family that could be of interest to the public through the museum.
Today, the museum will show not only the various products of Destileria Limtuaco—over 40 labels—but also a collection of bottles throughout the years, the machines they used to produce various spirits and family memorabilia, including the paintings of Olive’s father, Julius Limpe.
One of the most famous brands of Destileria Limtuaco is White Castle Whiskey, with the model riding on a horse on the beach, becoming an iconic commercial throughout the decades. The museum will show you that the concept came to Julius Limpe in a dream! And upon waking, he sketched it and this became the inspiration for the brand’s storyboard.
The museum will also show you other artworks of her father, awards of her lawyer-mother, company permits throughout the years and even their old cashier. What makes this museum distinct, aside from the rich family history, is that it is interactive. You can taste the various drinks produced by Destileria Limtuaco after your tour. Today, aside from White Castle Whisky, they also have Palawan Blanco Rum, Empire Vodka, Empire Gin, Napoleon VSOP Brandy, Maria Clara Sangria and Vigan Basi, among many others in an extensive list.
Olive has also personally developed her own brands. These include a whiskey made purely from corn dedicated to her grandfather and father called Julius James, as well as several liqueurs: Manille Liqueur Calamansi, Manille Liqueur Dalandan and Amadeo Coffee Liqueur.
At the ground floor of the museum, you can also have a private dinner for as many as 20 pax, with food paired or even cooked with Destileria Limtuaco spirits.
Today, Olive’s sons Clifford, Aaron and Brandon, are also helping out as the sixth generation of master distillers. But it’s great that they have this museum not only to remember but to continue sharing with the public the journey of all these iconic Filipino brands!