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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On the Town: BC Distilled

With 34 distilleries under one roof, the fourth annual BC Distilled festival offered a bounty of booze.

Odd Society distiller Gordon Glanz brought along his daughter Mia Glanz to the fest. Jeff Grayston photo.
Bohemian Spirits owners Wade Jarvis and Ervyn Turcon made the trek from Kimberley to East Van. Jeff Grayston photo.
Ampersand’s Jeremy Schacht and Jessica McLeod were all smiles after the distillery’s gin and vodka were named audience favourites for the second year running. Jeff Grayston photo.
B.C. distilling pioneers Jorg and Anette Engel poured samples of their Maple Leaf Spirits. Jeff Grayston photo.
Adding a pop of colour to the proceedings were Dubh Glas distiller Grant Stevely and Jovia Barnett. Jeff Grayston photo.
Nothing sneaky about it; Stealth Distilleries Co. president John Pocekovic (left) and master distiller Randy Poulin were proud to show off their super-clean vodka. Jeff Grayston photo.

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


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