These gift ideas will warm the hearts and glasses of every cocktail lover on your list
Brewer-distillers have unique advantages over their still-only colleagues
Early visitors to Yaletown Distillery on Vancouver’s Hamilton Street may have tripped to—or rather, over—its connection to Yaletown Brewing, a block away. Originally, the fermented base for the spirits came through a hose in the sidewalk. “The wash comes through this pipe now,” says brewer-distiller Tariq Khan, pointing toward the ceiling.
That supply chain of fermented-grain wash is a key advantage of local businesses that make both beer and spirits, including relative newbies The 101 Brewhouse + Distillery in Gibsons and Moon Under Water in Victoria, as well as veterans like Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers in North Vancouver. Brewing on site guarantees a pipeline to so-called distiller’s beer, the essential raw material for making spirits.
This North Shore distillery augments its rosemary and olive-infused gin and award-winning vodka with a variety of small-batch seasonal releases.
2270 Dollarton Hwy., North Vancouver,
• Rosemary and Olive Gin
• Deep Cove Vodka
• Canadian Rye Whisky
Rosemary & Olive Gin
FRAGRANCE: Funky tropical fruit, salty.
FLAVOUR: Pine, hot, aggressive on the palate.
FEEL: Thin, spicy, hot.
FINISH: Powerful finish.
BEST ENJOYED: Dirty Martini.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Doesn’t stand up to its Spanish or B.C. counterparts. Lots going on, and very hot. —Shaun Layton, July 2016
Barrel Aged Akvavit (Sold Out)
FRAGRANCE: Herbs and spices, background of liquorice.
FLAVOUR: Full. Fennel and caraway shine, softened by some
FEEL: Thin on the mouth, warming.
FINISH: Spices resonate throughout.
BEST ENJOYED: Warm, after coming in from the cold.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Spices are all there. Well balanced. A good sipper for winter. —Trevor Kallies, October 2016
Deep Cove Vodka
FRAGRANCE: Light, not too boozy.
FLAVOUR: Sweet, white pepper.
FEEL: Even, balanced, medium body.
FINISH: Clean, silky and long.
BEST ENJOYED: With less, rather than more. Keep it booze forward.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A well made spirit, better than the big-name brands you get with bottle service in the club. —Josh Pape, July 2017
Barrel Aged Mediterranean Gin
FRAGRANCE: Big, herbaceous rosemary.
FLAVOUR: Sweet and herbaceous.
FEEL: Soft and round.
FINISH: Pepper spice, light citrus.
BEST ENJOYED: In a Martini.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Stirred down cold, this gin’s unique character is best enjoyed when its spirit can shine through. —Robyn Gray, October 2017