Monashee Ethos Gin for the Win

Triticale could be the craft-spirit buzzword of 2019, thanks to the B.C. winner that tops the 2019 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition, with six other B.C. distilleries winning best-in-class honours.

Revelstoke’s Monashee Spirits won the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year award for their Ethos Gin. Marissa Tiel/Revelstoke Review photo

For the second year in a row, a B.C. small-batch spirit is the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin from Revelstoke was not only the best-in-class Canadian gin, but scored highest of any entry in the entire competition. (Last year, Sheringham Distillery’s Akvavit from Vancouver Island claimed that honour.) And B.C. distilleries swept bragging rights in the whisky categories, showing promising maturity in our young industry.

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Canada’s best artisan spirits announced

Sheringham Akvavit named Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year

B.C., which is home to almost 45 per cent of Canada’s artisan distilleries, took home the greatest number of awards, including the Artisan Spirit of the Year: Sheringham Distillery Akvavit. Lucy-Kate Armstrong photo

One hundred and seventy-five. That’s a lot of spirits to taste, especially when they range from akvavit to amaro to apple brandy.

But throughout December 2017, that just what I and seven other spirits experts from coast to coast did, sniffing, swirling, sipping and occasionally spitting, as we judged the inaugural Canadian Artisan Spirits Awards.

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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