Crow’s Nest Distillery

Rekindling the tradition of his Italian ancestors, Daniel Paolone, along with friend Ian Jarvis, are distilling spirits with local ingredients, starting with vodka and rum.

117-667 Sumas Way, Abbotsford
778-251-6002
CrowsNestDistillery.com


PRODUCTS:

• Crow’s Nest Vodka
• Crow’s Nest White Rum
• Crow’s Nest Spiced Rum


TASTING NOTES:


Crow’s Nest Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Faint vanilla.
FLAVOUR: Cinnamon spice.
FEEL: Clean and crisp.
FINISH: Short and pleasant, light vanilla.
BEST ENJOYED: Vodka soda.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Extraordinarily clean and crisp, true to the essence of vodka as a neutral grain spirit. —Robyn Gray, October 2017


 

North West Distilling Co.

Using winter wheat, Maple Ridge-based NorthWest creates its signature vodka by distilling it 10 times and cold-filtering eight times through charcoal.

104-20120 Stewart Cres., Maple Ridge
604-818-6972
NorthWestDistillingCo.ca


PRODUCTS:

• North West Vodka


TASTING NOTES:


North West Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Just alcohol.
FLAVOUR: Sweet. White pepper.
FEEL: Silky and balanced.
FINISH: Short but pleasant.
BEST ENJOYED: Chilled. Minimal dilution. Makes a good Martini. 
THE BOTTOM LINE: Very easy-drinking vodka. —Josh Pape, October 2017


 

After Dark Distillery

Dean and Louise Perry moved from Alberta to the Shuswap to begin their distilling adventure. They focus on flavoured moonshine, vodkas and whisky, but gin is also in the works.

1201 Shuswap Ave., Sicamous
250-836-5187
AfterDarkDistillery.com


PRODUCTS:

• Monashee Mountain Mango Peach Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Maple Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Peach Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Mountain Dew Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Ginger & Honey Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Lemonade Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Iced Tea Moonshine
• Monashee Mountain Apple Pie Moonshine
• After Dark Burner Vodka
• Monashee Mountain Vodka
• Monashee Mountain Whiskey


TASTING NOTES:


Monashee Mountain Apple Pie Moonshine

FRAGRANCE: Amazing nose of fresh baked cinnamon buns, quince tarte tatin and cream cheese.
FLAVOUR: Apple candy sweetness dominates.
FEEL: Very light viscosity.
FINISH: Sweet finish with hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Astringent, bitter notes.
BEST ENJOYED: In hot apple cider on a fall day.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Could use more viscosity and natural apple flavour. —Shaun Layton, October 2017


Roots and Wings Distillery

Rebekah Crowley and Rob Rindt built a distillery and tasting room on their Fraser Valley farm where they crop 30 acres of potatoes and corn.

7897 240th St., Langley
778-246-5247
RootsAndWingsDistillery.ca

Read more about Roots & Wings Distillery.

PRODUCTS:

• Vital Vodka
• Double Vice Coffee Infused Vodka
• Rebel
• Jackknife Gin


TASTING NOTES:


Vital Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Vanilla, cream corn, créme brulée.
FLAVOUR: Custard, funky earth notes, white pepper, this IS a potato and corn vodka.
FEEL: Slightly viscous, but buttery in a very good way.
FINISH: A load of spice stays around for a minute.
BEST ENJOYED: Will make a buttery Martini that packs a spicy finish, or a Moscow Mule.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Surprisingly ballsy finish after a sweet nose, cool product. —Shaun Layton, February 2017


Hops and Honey Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Malty, resiny, touch of buttery corn.
FLAVOUR: Faint coriander spice, danky, dry pepper, honeysuckle.
FEEL: Creamy on the palate.
FINISH: Nice subtle black pepper, piney, slightly bitter.
BEST ENJOYED: Would make a great collins style drink, looking forward to this in a Michelada or a Caesar.
THE BOTTOM LINE: I wouldn’t put it in the vodka category, theres a lot going on. A very intriguing spirit. —Shaun Layton, July 2017


Rebel

FRAGRANCE: Cooked corn and orange.
FLAVOUR: Corn comes through with playful citrus notes and a touch of smoke.
FEEL: Mild creaminess.
FINISH: A little baking spice on the front, a touch of smoke on the back. 
BEST ENJOYED: Could sub into a sour or Old Fashioned with some ease.
THE BOTTOM LINE: An interesting take on a young (soon-to-be) corn whisky. —Trevor Kallies, October 2017


Stealth Distilleries Corporation

Master distiller Randy Poulin and Stealth president John Pocekovic specialize in vodka made from field-dried Okanagan corn.

#3-20 Orwell St. North Vancouver
604-916-4103
StealthVodka.com


PRODUCTS:

• Stealth Vodka
• Stealth Vodka No. 9


TASTING NOTES:


Stealth Vodka No. 9

FRAGRANCE: A hint of alcohol on the nose with a small touch of cream.
FLAVOUR: Slight bit of grain with white pepper.
FEEL: The palate is smooth with a tiny element of alcohol warmth.
FINISH: Fairly abrupt.
BEST ENJOYED: In your favorite mixed vodka drink.
THE BOTTOM LINE: As craft vodkas go it is right up there. Packaging is bartender friendly, with a decent neck to grab onto. —Trevor Kallies, February 2017


Stealth Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Caramel, butterscotch even.
FLAVOUR: Toffee, candy corn.
FEEL: Light.
FINISH: Dryer than the nose suggests.
BEST ENJOYED: In a shaken cocktail with fruit or citrus.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A New World-style vodka for those who like sweeter drinks. —Josh Pape, October 2017


Mad Laboratory Distilling

Truly handmade using a small homebrew mill and a pump, Mad Laboratory’s vodka is triple distilled and carbon filtered from Armstrong barley and Champagne yeast.

119-618 East Kent Ave., Vancouver


PRODUCTS:

• Mad Lab Vodka
• Mad Lab Gin
• Mad Dog Single Malt White Spirit


TASTING NOTES:


Mad Lab Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Clean, light fragrance of sweet wheat, vanilla, and hints of doughy bread.
FLAVOUR: Very smooth, lightly sweet with notes of black pepper, hint of vanilla.
FEEL: Silky and dry.
FINISH: Super clean, lightly creamy.
BEST ENJOYED: Stirred, straight up with a twist.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Brand new distillery, only the 4th batch made; Mad Lab nailed it. —Wendy McGuinness, July 2016


Mad Lab Gin

FRAGRANCE: Sweet and fruity.
FLAVOUR: Clean and citrusy.
FEEL: Tickling mouth-feel.
FINISH: Spicy, biting.
BEST ENJOYED: In a White Lady (gin, Cointreau, lemon).
THE BOTTOM LINE: A six-botanical cucumber gin that is delicate and nuanced. Very clean tasting. —Robyn Gray, February 2017


Mad Dog Single Malt White Spirit

FRAGRANCE: A brewery in the morning. Lovely. 
FLAVOUR: Toasted pumpernickel bread. 
FEEL: Punchy, then round. 
FINISH: Honey. Long and sweet.
BEST ENJOYED: As a sour. Heavy on the angostura, or even with 10 ml of amaro. 
THE BOTTOM LINE: Not sure about the white whisky trend, but this is a good indicator of the aged spirit Mad Dog will produce. —Josh Pape, October 2017


The Woods Spirit Co.

Friends Joel Myers and Fabio Martini’s West Coast version of Amaro uses traditional botanicals such as rhubarb and bitter orange, as well as the more unconventional grand fir.

1450 Rupert Street, North Vancouver (opening soon)
778-996-7637
TheWoodsSpiritCo.com


PRODUCTS:

• Pacific Northwest Amaro


TASTING NOTES:


Pacific Northwest Amaro

FRAGRANCE: Bright, fresh rhubarb, bitter orange peel dominate. Quince and nutmeg, too.
FLAVOUR: Bright, bitter citrus, herbs and unripe strawberry.
FEEL: A little thin.
FINISH: Quite bitter with clove, allspice and quinine.
BEST ENJOYED: After dinner. Try as a replacement to the Amaro Nonino in a Paper Plane.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Quality like this usually takes decades to perfect. A must-have for local spirit enthusiasts. —Shaun Layton, October 2017


Okanagan Crush Pad

The Summerland winery makes two expressions of gin (one of them for Vij’s restaurant), and a grappa-style spirit.

16576 Fosbery Rd., Summerland
250-494-4445
okanagancrushpad.com


PRODUCTS:

• Narrative Spirit of the Vineyard
• Narrative Twelve Botanicals Gin
• Vij’s Bolly Water Gin


TASTING NOTES:


Narrative Spirit of the Vineyard

FRAGRANCE: Fresh, white petals.
FLAVOUR: Pears, Gewurtztraminer.
FEEL: Lush, creamy, round.
FINISH: Dry with long pepper.
BEST ENJOYED: Neat, or subbed in for the vodka in a Vesper.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Approachable—for a grappa. —Josh Pape, April 2016


Narrative Twelve Botanicals Gin

FRAGRANCE: Raisin and orange peel.
FLAVOUR: Citrus and floral.
FEEL: Pronounced sweetness.
FINISH: White pepper spice.
BEST ENJOYED: In a gin Martini
THE BOTTOM LINE: Grape spirit gives a fruity backbone, chamomile and lemongrass really shine through. —Robyn Gray, July 2016


Bohemian Spirits

Using botanicals foraged in the mountains around Kimberley, Bohemian produces small-batch hand-crafted vodka and gin.

417A 304 St., Kimberley
BohemianSprits.com


PRODUCTS:

• Vagabond Vodka
• Limited Gin
• Colossal Gin
• Eclipse Coffee Liqueur
• Forester Single Malt Oak Aged Gin


TASTING NOTES:


Limited Gin

FRAGRANCE: Pine, woodsy, pepper.
FLAVOUR: Sweet and herbaceous.
FEEL: Creamy, balanced.
FINISH: A touch hot, dry.
BEST ENJOYED: Martini on the rocks.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A bold and full flavored gin. —Josh Pape, April 2016


Vagabond Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Subtle spice.
FLAVOUR: Sweet and spicy.
FEEL: Lightly tickling.
FINISH: White peppercorn.
BEST ENJOYED: In a Caesar.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Spicy vodka perfect for a Bloody Mary or a Caesar. —Robyn Gray, July 2016


Forester Single Malt Oak Aged Gin

FRAGRANCE: Wood on the nose.  
FLAVOUR: Caramel and light vanilla, botanicals slightly hidden.
FEEL: Has a slight heaviness to it, likely due to the barrel.
FINISH: Long and creamy. Definitely not a gin for traditional types.
BEST ENJOYED: Store in the freezer and serve with some lemon zest.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A fun, oak-aged gin. —Trevor Kallies, July 2017


Eclipse Coffee Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Bright coffee, cherry and bitter chocolate. 
FLAVOUR: Rounded, deep, rich, sweet coffee.
FEEL: Viscous and mouth coating.
FINISH: Lasting, balanced, bittersweet coffee.
BEST ENJOYED: Caucasian, a.k.a. White Russian.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Beautiful balance of bitter and sweet allows for a great take on your favourite coffee liqueur cocktails. —Robyn Gray, October 2017


Urban Distilleries

A trip to France and an unplanned tour of a Cognac distillery put Mike Urban on the path to making his own liquor. He now owns the largest distillery in the province.

325 Bay Ave., #6, Kelowna
778-478-0939
UrbanDistilleries.ca

Read more about Urban Distilleries:
• Urban Legend: How one Okanagan man’s hobby became a serious business


PRODUCTS:

• Paul’s Tomb Gin
• Spirit Bear Espresso Vodka
• Spirit Bear Gin
• Spirit Bear Naturally Infused Vodkas
• Spirit Bear Vodka
• Urban Single Malt Whisky
• White Bear Spirit
• Apricot Schnapps
• Blackberry Liqueur
• Blackcurrant Liqueur
• Blueberry Liqueur
• Calvados
• Cherry Liqueur
• Kirsch
• Okanagan Muscat Grappa
• Sweet Mead Honey Wine


TASTING NOTES:


Spirit Bear Gin

FRAGRANCE: Lavender.
FLAVOUR: Chamomile tea, more lavender.
FEEL: Very even; similar tone from start to finish.
FINISH: Long, really dry. Quite perfumed.
BEST ENJOYED: In an Aviation—hold the Creme de Violette.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Worth a try if you enjoy floral flavours. —Josh Pape, April 2016


Urban Single Malt Whisky

FRAGRANCE: Mild grain, sweetness with citrus and subtle grassy notes. Definitely some oak.
FLAVOUR: Vanilla, citrus and wood.
FEEL: Oily with a nice smoothness.
FINISH: Medium. The grain sticks around, the sweetness doesn’t.
BEST ENJOYED: Splash of ginger ale.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Released in 2011, decent for the first single malt style whisky produced in B.C. —Trevor Kallies, July 2016


Blackcurrant Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Grape jelly, port, sour cherry.
FLAVOUR: Welch’s Grape Fruit candy (in a good way).
FEEL: Sweet at first, with a burst of acidity.
FINISH: Tart, fruity, acidic.
BEST ENJOYED: In classic English cocktail, the Bramble.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Buy a bottle, it’ll last for a while. A little goes a long way. —Shaun Layton, October 2016


Spirit Bear Espresso Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Fresh brewed coffee.
FLAVOUR: Bitter cacao and coffee.
FEEL: Astringent and dry.
FINISH: Lasting coffee flavor.
BEST ENJOYED: As an Espresso Martini.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Locally roasted beans in Kelowna bring a dry style espresso-flavored vodka great for drinking on the rocks or in an Espresso Martini. —Robyn Gray, February 2017


Sweet Mead Honey Wine

FRAGRANCE: Honeysuckle, baked sweets.
FLAVOUR: Sweet, dry, nutty; orange blossom, orgeat, candied rose complemented by fall spice.
FEEL: Beautiful, silky sweet, yet not too syrupy. Riesling-like finesse.
FINISH: Slightly sweet, nutty, almost like an Amontillado sherry.
BEST ENJOYED: Solo in a small wine glass.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Phenomenal honey wine. Very versatile. Buy now. —Shaun Layton, October 2017