Fall and winter feel like spirits season, and we can’t fully explain why. Maybe it’s the idea of sitting around a fire with a glass of whisky or enjoying a fine cocktail before a holiday dinner, but there’s just something about this season that makes us want to break out the good stuff.
The feeling might also have something to do with the fact that it’s when BC Liquor Stores’ annual Premium Spirit Release happens. And while this release will look a little different from years past, one thing will remain the same: access to rare and covetable spirits from around the world.
Spirit seekers should mark their calendars for November 14 for the release day, but in an effort to keep crowds at bay this year, BC Liquor Stores will be releasing some spirits for online pre-order from October 23 to 25. Whisky enthusiasts take note: during the same time frame, there will also be an online draw for the chance to purchase from 13 rare bottles, including a Macallan Genesis 72 Year Old, going for a whopping $82,500.
Even if you’re not a big spender when it comes to spirits, there will be varieties at all price points. So whether you’re looking for a rare whisky to savour or a special rum to share, the Premium Spirit Release event is worth checking out. Here’s a peek at some of the bottles you can expect to find this year, both for pre-order and available on the day of the release.
This special whisky release is a meeting of two far-away countries: Scotland and New Zealand. Aged in pinot noir casks from the latter, the whisky has definite notes of summer fruit pudding and bitter cherry, with an edge of Ardberg’s distinctive “smoke and soot.” You’ll have to wait until release day for this one, available at some locations.
You may not be able to go to Mexico right now, but you can have a little taste of it, as a treat. Made from Weber Blue Agave cultivated in Atotonilco en Alto, Mexico, this limited-edition silver tequila carries notes of caramel, lemon tea, and fruit, with a complex herbal finish. This is a tequila meant for savouring, and it will be available for pre-order.
Described as carrying fruity notes of berries, nectarine fruit leather, and peach blossom, this whisky would make a great gift — for you or for someone else. The flavour develops into hints of baking spice and toasted wood before finishing with a nutty, peachy splash. Available for pre-order from October 23 to 25.
This whisky channels the nostalgia of cake, where memories of birthday slices and pineapple upside-down cakes result in a limited-edition single malt. With a sweet and complex flavour, the whisky was finished in Hungarian Tokaji dessert wine casks, which imbued it with its notes of honey, white chocolate, and fruit — to be available on release day.
This whisky carries scents of oak, dried figs, and butterscotch. Just one sip reveals its slight sweetness, with tasting notes of tobacco and spices — a whisky for whisky lovers, available on release day at select BCL locations.
Japanese whisky has only become available internationally relatively recently, and we’re grateful for it. This Nikka whisky, named after the founder, Masataka Taketsuru, showcases the distillery’s way of blending and perfecting flavours. With a gentle taste of malt and notes of fruit, this is a great introduction to the world of Japanese whiskies — and it’s available for pre-order.
One of the best value spirits on the list is this Bayou Pink Rum, which combines the award-winning taste of Bayou White with a vibrant pink hue, thanks to mayhaw berries. The result is a layered flavour profile, where notes of berries and rose join the distinctive creaminess of Bayou, with a tart finish. Pick up a bottle on release day.
What does 1948 taste like? If this whisky from Macallan (which rings it at an incredible $82,500) is any indication, then the answer is complex. The 72 years of maturation have resulted in a balance of strong, sweet oak with a refined, peaty character. Light in colour with aromas of fruit, the whisky is delicate and as layered as Macallan’s distinguished history.
Patrons will have a chance to purchase this exceptional bottle, among others, by entering an online draw happening during the annual Premium Spirit Release between October 23 and 25.
Avoid the crowds by pre-ordering your favourites at home or entering the online draw from October 23 to 25. For the spirits available day-of, head to your nearest BC Liquor Stores location on November 14 or check out BCLiquorStores.com for more information on the release. As always, remember to please enjoy responsibly.