Five Must-Try Scotch Whiskies
Cap off a hearty steak dinner with premium spirits offered by Sage Bar right below Sage Bespoke Grill
Aproperly grilled steak and fresh seafood are just the thing to prime the palate for fiery but nuanced spirits. Keeping this in mind, diners can make their way down from Sage Bespoke Grill to sample five of the world’s finest whiskies at Sage Bar downstairs.
Audacious and most commonly aged in oaken sherry casks, Glendronach is an old- style Scotch echoing its Victorian origins. Despite mechanization, it still utilises traditional, timehonoured distillation practices to craft the particularly fine single malts that have been its stock in trade since 1968. While many of Glendronach’s Scotches are fully matured in sherry casks, some of its best whiskies sit in Bourbon casks to pick up a sweet hint of vanilla sweetness prior to maturation.
While it has faced competition as Islay’s smokiest malt, Ardbeg can confidently state that it is one of the island’s sweetest. A rich sooty, tarry smokiness balances the Ardberg’s sweet, citric core: the mingled result of peat and malt from Port Ellen along with as a long fermentation process that softens the harshness of the citrus notes. Its use of a purifier pipe in the still adds an oily, textural, and refined quality to the final product while a new, modern wood policy has helped to give more roundness.
Masataka Taketsuru, the legendary father of Japanese whisky and founder of Nikka, originally trained as a chemist. Initially planning to hone sake brewing, an introduction to Scotch prompted a trip to Scotland where he learned the craft of whisky-making and met his wife Rita who inspired him as he revolutionised Japanese whisky. Originally opened in Hokkaido, Nikka established a second distillery in Honshu. The Hokkaido clime, peat heating, and oak maturation makes for a strong, smoky, and coastal finish. In contrast, the Honshu distillery produces rich, fruity and elegant whiskies. Nikka now enjoys a close following in its home country as well as throughout Europe.
Also from the Isle of Islay, the high-profile contemporary scotch tradition has been honing its craft since 1918. Using the tallest stills in Scotland and only using casks twice, the distillery pioneered the extramatured method in the 1980s. With water sourced from the Tarlogie Springs, its eight towering stills maintain distinctly citron and sultana vapours with a hint of honey enhancing the malt body. Its featured oak cask finishes are its 10- and 18- year old single- malt variants.
Of the many Speyside distilleries, this one captures the heart and charm of the Morayshire region. Drawing water from the Burnside springs under the distillery, BenRiach has built a reputation for single-malt spirits. It maintains a wide range of distillation methods that produce a spectrum of flavours for its whiskies: From peated to nonpeated brewing to finishes aged in wood casks other than oak.
All these traditions together with applicable cocktails can be sampled at the Makati Shangri-La Manila’s SAGE BAR, located at the first floor.
GATHER ROUND Cap the night off with pure whisky or premium malt cocktails
WORTHY OF THE NAME Only certain whiskies can be called scotch, and Sage's offerings are rightly so