Here’s a list of things that are younger than this distillery: the two World Wars, Disney, tissue paper, Ateneo, DLSU and UP, and even Enrile (I know, right?).
Destileria Limtuaco was started by a Chinese immigrant in 1852, and the family has proudly kept its legacy alive for 165 years. You might know it as the company behind White Castle Whiskey, Manille Liqueur, Maria Clara sangria (a personal favorite), and Paradise Mango Rum Liqueur, among others. The company is well-awarded both here and abroad. To memorialize how far it has come, Destileria Limtuaco has opened a museum that is designed, according to curator Marika Constantino, to have “all your senses engaged.”
As you walk in, a host of smells waft in the air, a cloying reminder that you are not in the dusty streets of Intramuros anymore. The oak barrels, big enough to be Dionysus’ dreamboat, make the room smell like an underground cellar. As you walk past the barrels, the smell of distilled whiskey wafts in the air as part of a demonstration. The alcoholic acidity brings back memories of reunions and other family gatherings — a reminder that food and drink have been a part of Philippine history — a central part of it. It’s definitely the place to get drunk in history.
The alcoholic acidity brings back memories of reunions and other family gatherings — a reminder that food and drink have been a part of Philippine history — a central part of it. It’s definitely the place to get drunk in history.
At the ground floor you can learn how various spirits are made. Aspiring tycoons can get a peek into how the business evolved from a martial artist’s quest to make medicinal wine public, to producing Western-type liquors.
The second floor gives one the opportunity to interact with tangible artifacts of the company and the people who ran it. If you love vintage branding and logos like I do, you’ll love seeing how the labels changed throughout the years. Those who feel at home around antiques and vintage things will enjoy seeing the display of old phones and typewriters used by the company. The artifacts owned by former company president Julius T. Limpe and his wife give one the sense of continuity, that we are taking part of history as we walk through the museum.
The Destileria Limtuaco Museum is a good place to end a tour of Intramuros. It’s also worth a single trip if you just want to load up on some facts, trivia, and how-to’s of local drinks for Pub Quiz Night.
Make sure to check out the Premier tour they’ve curated, which culminates at A Matter of Taste, the name of the bar set-up in the ground floor. According to their curator Constantino, “It’s for over-18s only, and it’s a tour that incorporates tastings as well.”
The Destileria Limtuaco Museum is open from 9:00-6:00 PM, Tuesdays to Sundays. Ticket prices: Student & senior: 50 php; Regular visitors: 100; Premium (with free tasting) 200. Buy tickets at the museum. Call Ann Roque, Marketing Manager (0917 652 8935) or Aaron Limpe-Aw, HR & Business Development Manager (09175837413) for any questions and inquiries.