Private-cask whisky sales are a “futures” investment in B.C.’s small-batch distillers. Here’s how and why they do it.
They’re lined up like Papa, Mama and Baby Rye: 20-, 10- and five-litre mini-barrels, their ends embossed with the names of proud owners who, in eight weeks or so, get a crash course in craft spirits aging—and their own one-of-a-kind bottles of Custom Rye.
“We were kind of inspired by beer growlers,” says Brian Grant. He and Resurrection Spirits partner David Wolowidnyk charge customers once for the barrel ($150 to $350 depending on size), which they can pay the distillery to fill with white rye (or even gin) multiple times, at the bargain price of $37.50 a bottle. Vancouver’s Homer Street Grill and Unwind are among bar clients already serving their own private batches.
They came, they sipped, they chose their favourites, ranging from a delicately herbal absinthe to a boldly spiced rye whisky.
Some 600 people descended on the Croatian Cultural Centre on April 6 for the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, highlighting the best of the province’s artisan spirits. Some 180 spirits from 39 distilleries were poured over two tastings, and at the end of it all, the audience voted for their favourites in 13 categories.
The wood wowed them. It seems the judges at the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards were impressed by what a little extra barrel-aging can accomplish, naming Bearface Triple Oak Best New Whisky, and awarding it a gold medal for excellence as well.
Whisky & Words takes place this Friday, March 8 on International Women’s Day, and the event will feature some of the finest spirits from across the globe.
The Vancouver Writers Fest hosts the annual whisky tasting event, previously called A Dram Come True, in order to raise funds for youth education programming. Guests enjoy unlimited drams of whisky from distilleries around the world, as well as local craft spirits and beer. They also get to eat delicious food, enjoy live music, and partake in a silent auction that features rare and unique whiskies as well as experiences.
While not everyone digs AM drinks, a Caesar or a Mimosa does spark joy for many Vancouver brunch-goers
Sometimes, what separates brunch from breakfast is the addition of some adult beverages. While not everyone digs AM drinks, a Caesar or a Mimosa does spark joy for many Vancouver brunch-goers.
Happy hour, on the other hand, is a construct in its infancy in B.C., where the practice of offering and promoting discounted drinks during off-peak hours has only been allowed by the powers that be since mid-2014. Restaurants have largely embraced the trend, using it as a way to add on service hours ahead of dinner, or bridge the gap to offset lulls.
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.
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.