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The oldest distillery in the PHL opens a museum in Intramuros

Right on time for the first-ever Manila Biennale is the opening of Destileria Limtuaco Museum on San Juan de Letran Street in Intramuros.

Destileria Limtuaco, in case anybody needs remembering, is the oldest distillery in the Philippines, manufacturing local spirits like the ever-popular White Castle Whisky since 1852 — that's more than 165 years ago.

According to Aaron Aw, a member of the Limtuaco family, the museum has been there since 1982, but it was only for family and their guests. “The family acquired the site in 1979 with the intention of preserving the company’s history in a museum,” he writes on Facebook.

“It was really just the family placing items inside the museum, but we eventually hired a curator, Marika Constantino, because we needed help in tying in all the stories,” Aw tells GMA News Online in an email.

The museum's second floor is dedicated solely for that, holding personal stories and belongings of the family.



The first floor meanwhile is dedicated to processes and factories, where guests can see the very different steps it takes to make a bottle of alcohol.

The museum has a White Castle Whisky corner for the good ol’ nostalgia. It has an interactive component, where guests can navigate through the memorable commercials and calendars featuring the iconic image of a lady in a red bikini and her white horse.

There are about 120 different bottles on display, starting with the distillery’s first-ever product, the Chinese herbal tonic Siok Hoc Tong. 

“As far as I know, the Siok Hoc Tong bottles are already replicas, but the oldest original bottle we have should be from the 1920’s” continues Aw, saying the bottle display is what he finds most unique.

Guests can sign up for a tour of the museum, and if you’re 18 and up, you can actually top-up for unlimited alcohol tasting. “This is what the bar area functions for — for the tasting. We cannot run a bar because we are situated between two schools, but we are considering opening the venue for private events and functions,” Aw says.


What will to happy hour then, GMA News Online teased Aw. "As far as I know, it's been happy hour since 1852 in this family," he goodnaturedly wrote. — LA, GMA News 

Destileria Limtuaco Museum, 482 San Juan de Letran St., Intramuros, Manila. Open Tuesdays - Sundays, 9am-6pm. P100/adult, P50/student