Fermentorium Distilling Co.

Fermentorium’s Stump Coastal Forest Gin is fast-becoming a signature B.C. spirit. Its collection of artisanal tonic waters elevate even the most basic of highballs.

2010 Government St., Victoria
250-380-1912
Fermentorium.ca


PRODUCTS:

• Stump Coastal Forest Gin
• Hop Drop Elixir
• Handcrafted Tonics


TASTING NOTES:


Hop Drop Elixir

FRAGRANCE: Dried hops.
FLAVOUR: Lightly bitter, like concentrated IPA.
FEEL: Very even. Starts soft and expands.
FINISH: Dry and clean.
BEST ENJOYED: Added to your favourite lager.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Really cool product. Fun to play with in beer cocktails. —Josh Pape, July 2016


Stump Coastal Forest Gin

FRAGRANCE: Where to begin? Moroccan mint tea. Pine needle or fir. Pesto.
FLAVOUR: Rosemary and stalky herbs. Lavender.
FEEL: Bold. Hot. Kinda brash.
FINISH: A bit boozier than it needs to be.
BEST ENJOYED: As a seasonal Gin & Tonic or a French 75 over the holidays. With a sprig of thyme?
THE BOTTOM LINE: Sub in for your favourite gin classics that are easy on the citrus. —Josh Pape, October 2017


Dubh Glas Distillery

Though whisky is owner Grant Stevely’s true passion, the first signature release from this Oliver-based operation was the small batch Noteworthy Gin, distilled from B.C. barley.

8486 Gallagher Lake Frontage Rd., Oliver
778-439-3580
TheDubhGlasDistillery.com


PRODUCTS:

• Noteworthy Gin
• Virgin Spirits Barley
• Age-Your-Own Spirits Kits


TASTING NOTES:


Virgin Spirits Barley

FRAGRANCE: Aromatic nose of vanilla, butterscotch and caramel.
FLAVOUR: Light flavors of ripe bananas, honey dew and vanilla.
FEEL: Full and lingers on the tongue.
FINISH: Long, with a bit of heat from the 50 per cent ABV.
BEST ENJOYED: Replace aged whisky to lighten up your favourite classics, or neat.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A true expression of un-aged malted barley whiskey. —Wendy McGuinness, July 2016


Noteworthy Gin

FRAGRANCE: Intense rosemary.
FLAVOUR: Pleasant sweetness with light florality.
FEEL: Clean and light.
FINISH: Medium vanilla finish.
BEST ENJOYED: Gin Martini with a lemon twist.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Lovely gin with an amazing balance. Sweet and herbaceous. —Robyn Gray, October 2017


Dragon Mist Distillery

Using wheat from Dawson Creek, Surrey-based Sherry Jiang is producing Canada’s only expressions of traditional Chinese spirit, baijiu.

213-19138 26th Ave., Surrey
604-803-2226
DragonMistDistillery.com

Read more about Dragon Mist Distillery:
Enter the dragon: Is baijiu the new tequila?


PRODUCTS:

• Dragon Mist Vodka
• Dragon Mist Baijiu Gold
• Dragon Mist Baijiu Silver
• Dragon Mist Gin
• Cranberry Liqueur
• Coffee Liqueur
• Blueberry Liqueur


TASTING NOTES:


Baijiu Gold

FRAGRANCE: Sweet wheat, bread.
FLAVOUR: Intense with heat, anise, lingering sweetness.
FEEL: Light on the palate, extremely vibrant on the tip of the tongue, dissipates quickly.
FINISH: Very long finish of sweet wheat.
BEST ENJOYED: An intense high-proof spirit. Think a Chinese version of the ever-popular White Dog.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Packs a punch for those looking for a neutral spirit with some balls. —Wendy McGuinness, April 2016


Coffee Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Steeped medium roast.
FLAVOUR: Tempered coffee, touch of anise.
FEEL: Soft, unassuming.
FINISH: Sweet, too short.
BEST ENJOYED: Maybe on the rocks.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Too unassuming to make an impact. —Josh Pape, July 2016


Cranberry Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Stewed dark fruit.
FLAVOUR: Tart cranberry snap.
FEEL: Oily, good staying power. 
FINISH: Lasting.
BEST ENJOYED: In a punch or simple mixer with soda.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A great festive holiday mixer. —Robyn Gray, October 2016


Blueberry Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Berrylicious.
FLAVOUR: Not overly sweet at all. Very enjoyable.
FEEL: Light. Doesn’t have that thick sugar feel, which is nice.
FINISH: Short, clean.
BEST ENJOYED: Neat, as an after-dinner sipper. Would be great in a spritz.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Get a bottle if you’re looking for a natural-tasting liqueur. —Scott Barber, July 2017


 

Yaletown Distilling Company

A successful brewery in the heart of the city, Yaletown moved into spirits in 2013, distilling gin and vodka from B.C. barley. Tours and tastings are available onsite.

1132 Hamilton St., Vancouver
604-669-2266
YTDistilling.com


PRODUCTS:

• Yaletown Small Batch Craft Vodka
• Cranberry Vodka
• Mandarin Vodka
• Tequila Barrel Aged Vodka
• Espresso Vodka
• Artisan Honey Spirit
• Yaletown Small Batch BC Gin
• Cucumber Gin
• Hopped Gin
• Tequila Barrel Aged Hopped Gin


TASTING NOTES:


Small Batch BC Gin

FRAGRANCE: Lemon and juniper.
FLAVOUR: Sweet and fruity.
FEEL: Viscous, coats the mouth.
FINISH: Lightly bitter.
BEST ENJOYED: Sweet and fruity, with a lemon backbone—a perfect match for a Corpse Reviver #2.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Produced from locally grown barley this gin has a richness and mouth feel reminiscent of a Genever-style gin. —Robyn Gray, April 2016


Mandarin Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Intense stewed mandarin.
FLAVOUR: All about the orange essence; think opening a bag of Tang.
FEEL: Light on the palate.
FINISH: Long, mandarin orange.
BEST ENJOYED: With soda. The mandarin is going to come through with anything you mix with this.
THE BOTTOM LINE: An intense flavoured vodka. Tread lightly. —Wendy McGuinness, July 2016


Small Batch Craft Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Tropical! Banana, pineapple, bubble gum, vanilla.
FLAVOUR: Savoury, slightly briny, white pepper, yeasty.
FEEL: Nice mouthfeel, slightly sweet.
FINISH: Loads of spice, white pepper, marzipan, coriander.
BEST ENJOYED: Savoury notes would make for a great Dirty Martini.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Great value local product. —Shaun Layton, October 2016


Wayward Distillation House

Harking bark to the earliest recorded alcohols, Comox-based Wayward starts all its products by first creating mead to form the base, and add a touch of sweetness on the nose.

2931 Moray Ave, Courtenay
250-871-0424
WaywardDistillationHouse.com


PRODUCTS:

• Drunken Hive Rum
• Unruly Vodka
• Unruly Gin
• Wayward Order – Depth Charge Espresso & Cacao Bean Liqueur
• Wayward Order – Krupnik
• Wayward Order – Elixir
• Wayward Order – Bourbon Barrelled Gin


TASTING NOTES:


Unruly Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Floral and earthy. Honey, new garden notes.
FLAVOUR: Sweetness from the honey with hints of vanilla.
FEEL: Full body, pleasant viscosity.
FINISH: Long, savoury.
BEST ENJOYED: Mixes well with basil, pineapple and lemon. Also fantastic neat, or on the rocks. Preferred olives for a Martini.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Unique vodka made from B.C. honey—a must try for those looking for something different. —Scott Barber, April 2016


Unruly Gin

FRAGRANCE: Juniper, and pine. Slight honey and sweet nose. 
FLAVOUR: Muted juniper, semi-sweet, white pepper on the palate.
FEEL: Thick, silky mouthfeel.
FINISH: Slightly bitter, with honeyed herbal finish.
BEST ENJOYED: Delicious in a Last Word; mix with citrus.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A sweeter, crowd-pleasing gin (not for London Dry fans). Use in cocktails. —Shaun Layton, July 2016


Depth Charge Espresso & Cacao Bean Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Sweet coffee.
FLAVOUR: Deep off-dry cacao bitterness with coffee overtones.
FEEL: Thin and dry.
FINISH: Long lasting non-offensive bitterness.
BEST ENJOYED: On the rocks.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Not a sweet liqueur. A great balance of bitter and dry. —Robyn Gray, October 2016


Krupnik Spiced Honey Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, vanilla.
FLAVOUR: A beautiful fall day in a glass.
FEEL: Thick like a liqueur. I’d definitely cut it with a base spirit such as rum or bourbon.
FINISH: Warm, sweet, spicy. Yum!
BEST ENJOYED: Chill and sip on rocks or mix in a cocktail. Whiskey Sour using bourbon, Krupnik, lemon, chai and bitters.
THE BOTTOM LINE: These guys are doing everything right. —Scott Barber, February 2017


Bourbon-Barrelled Gin

FRAGRANCE: Surprisingly intense vanilla. Yum!
FLAVOUR: Citrus, with pleasant vanilla and earthy tones.
FEEL: Light, medium body.
FINISH: Spicy.
BEST ENJOYED: Neat or on the rocks. Try it in a Martini, Negroni or Corpse Reviver #2.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you’re looking for a gin that isn’t juniper forward, this is for you. I love working with and drinking this product. —Scott Barber, July 2017


Von Albrecht & Associates

The XFour vodka range is distilled from rye and corn in Vernon; the lemonade base for their coolers is made from founder Marcus Von Albrecht’s great-grandfather’s recipe.

2220 Vauxhall Pl., Richmond
604-249-0003
VonAlbrecht.com


PRODUCTS:

• XFour Handcrafted Vodka
• XFour Bremner’s Blueberry Infused Vodka
• XFour Xoxolat Chocolate Martini
• Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Infused Vodka
• Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Vodka Cooler
• Percy’s Punch Vodka Cooler


TASTING NOTES:


Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Lemony citrus.
FLAVOUR: Lemon, honey and clove.
FEEL: Clean and crisp.
FINISH: Lemon tartness that dissipates quickly.
BEST ENJOYED: In a long drink, Collins-style; just add soda!
THE BOTTOM LINE: A nice flavored vodka that’s easily mixable. —Robyn Gray, April 2016


XFour Xoxolat Chocolate Martini

FRAGRANCE: Cocoa bean and dark chocolate.
FLAVOUR: A boozy version of Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
FEEL: Very thick on the palate.
FINISH: Creamy, rich.
BEST ENJOYED: Poured over ice cream.
THE BOTTOM LINE: For those who like their spirits sweet and rich. —Wendy McGuinness, July 2016


Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Vodka Cooler

FRAGRANCE: Subtle sour lemon and sour candies.
FLAVOUR: Starts quite tart, citric acid, lemonade with artificial flavours.
FEEL: Very bubbly, no vodka at all on the palate.
FINISH: Sweet, slightly cloying finish.
BEST ENJOYED: On ice on the golf course! Perhaps with a dash of Aperol.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Wouldn’t complain on a hot day at the lake. —Shaun Layton, February 2017


XFour Bremner’s Blueberry

FRAGRANCE: Stewed blueberry with light spice.
FLAVOUR: Fresh and bright blueberry.
FEEL: Clean and thin.
FINISH: Lasting blueberry sweetness.
BEST ENJOYED: On the rocks.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Liberal use of B.C. blueberries gives a wonderful fresh flavour that lasts on the palate. —Robyn Gray, October 2017


 

Victoria Distilling

Launched in 2008, Victoria Gin graces bars across the country. Their first small-batch, limited release whisky was launched in early 2015.

9891 Seaport Pl., Sidney
250-544-8217
VictoriaDistillers.com


PRODUCTS:

• Victoria Gin
• Oaken Gin
• Empress 1908 Gin
• Left Coast Hemp Vodka
• Sidney Spiced
• Chocolate Liqueur


TASTING NOTES:


Oaken Gin

FRAGRANCE: Hint of toffee and wood, background of baking spice.
FLAVOUR: Toffee, vanilla, and clove.
FEEL: Buttery, slightly viscous mouthfeel, creamy.
FINISH: Long, creamy finish with a hint of pine.
BEST ENJOYED: In a gin Old Fashioned or neat, with a big ice cube.
THE BOTTOM LINE: One of the first local gins to be aged in oak, making an elegant style of craft gin, although pricey. —Trevor Kallies, April 2016


Victoria Gin

FRAGRANCE: Anise, clove, angelica, with a slight burn.
FLAVOUR: White pepper, rose, bitter lemon.
FEEL: Creamy, quite clean.
FINISH: Slight bitterness, hint of spice.
BEST ENJOYED: Makes a great Negroni.
THE BOTTOM LINE: The new packaging is more attractive, though I miss Queen Vic on the bottle. Good gift for out-of-towners. —Shaun Layton, July 2016


Left Coast Hemp Vodka

FRAGRANCE: Earthy, toasted grains, nutty.
FLAVOUR: Buckwheat, rye spice, roasted walnuts.
FEEL: Silky, balanced, sustained.
FINISH: Pleasant, clean.
BEST ENJOYED: Chilled, neat or as a Martini with an onion.
THE BOTTOM LINE: More flavour than your average vodka, and worth a try. —Josh Pape, October 2016


Chocolate Liqueur

FRAGRANCE: Intense cocoa nib and chocolate.
FLAVOUR: Bitter, as expected. Little to no sweetness.
FEEL: Light to medium body.
FINISH: Long, bitter finish.
BEST ENJOYED: Would make a super-cool Old Fashioned or Brandy Alexander.
THE BOTTOM LINE: If you like bitter spirits or liqueurs, this is for you. —Scott Barber, July 2017


Empress 1908 Gin

FRAGRANCE: Green and vegetal up front with spice undertones.
FLAVOUR: Juniper, citrus. Lightly floral. 
FEEL: Quite a journey. Unassuming at first but then the spices take over.  
FINISH: Bitter and long. 
BEST ENJOYED: Great neat, but nobody does that. Makes an excellent Gin & Tonic with lemon.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A well made spirit worth checking out. —Josh Pape, October 2017


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