Merridale Craft Distillery

This Vancouver Island cider business applied their traditional fruit focus to distilling, creating a range that includes gin, fruit brandies, a rested whiskey and even a carbonated vodka.

PO Box 358, 1230 Merridale Rd., Cobble Hill

Read more about Merridale Craft Spirits:

A shift out of neutral: The Alchemist’s tasting panel samples B.C. vodkas for a taste of the province’s most crowd-pleasing spirit

Recipe: Tell Me What You Will


• Cowichan Gin
• Cowichan Copper Gin
• Cowichan Vodka
• Cowichan XXO Brandy
• Cowichan Rhumb
• Cowichan Spiced Rhumb
• Whisky Jack’s
• Cowichan Pear Brandy
• Cowichan Cider Brandy
• Oaked Harvest Fortified Cider
• Apple Dessert Fortified Cider


Cowichan Copper Gin

FRAGRANCE: Little hot, pear and apple on the nose.
FLAVOUR: Honeyed licorice, orchard fruit, slight caramel.
FEEL: Silky mouthfeel.
FINISH: Coriander and peppered bitter finish.
BEST ENJOYED: In a Martinez.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Very unique product, mix in stirred drinks. —Shaun Layton, April 2016

Cowichan Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Green apple and citrus, hints of floral notes.
FLAVOUR: Fresh attack, light and bright eau de vie.
FEEL: Cool clean apple.
FINISH: Coriander and peppered bitter finish.
BEST ENJOYED: Great over ice, or chilled neat. A great light choice for cocktails.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A delicious eau de vie, not necessarily for the hard line vodka drinker. Think outside the box and you will not be let down. —Wendy McGuinness, July 2016

Cowichan Cognac Style Brandy

FRAGRANCE: Cooked fruit and baking spice.
FLAVOUR: Warm mulled wine. Playful spices throughout.
FEEL: A lot of alcohol warmth.
FINISH: Finishes with some spiced brandy notes. Warmth carries through due to 47 per cent ABV.
BEST ENJOYED: After dinner or with chocolate.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Decent take on the iconic spirit. —Trevor Kallies, October 2016

Stair’s Pear Brandy

FRAGRANCE: Brilliant fresh pear nose.
FLAVOUR: Pear skin, almond and vanilla.
FEEL: Rich and deep.
FINISH: Long lasting fresh pear.
BEST ENJOYED: Neat at room temp.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A fine brandy with excellent fresh pear aroma and flavor. A great digestif. Aged six years. —Robyn Gray, February 2017

Cowichan Gin

FRAGRANCE: Mild apple and citrus aroma.
FLAVOUR: Slightly sweet with a botanical background. Definitely do not notice the 47 per cent ABV. 
FEEL: Almost viscous. Very pleasant. 
FINISH: Long and enjoyable. Orchard fruit shines through.
BEST ENJOYED: Long with soda or very cold over ice. Could be interesting as a sour. 
THE BOTTOM LINE: Fun gin showcasing the prowess and opportunity of foraged ingredients. —Trevor Kallies, July 2017


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