The market for quality spirits has grown up in Vancouver, with more people looking for quality products even if it means paying a little more.
To that effect, we’ve had a great year with craft distilleries in B.C. and a serious increase in the number of quality imports into the province. So here are some of the most exciting local, and imported spirits from the year.
A very welcome addition to Granville Island, Liberty Distillery is producing some great spirits. With the purest B.C. grain and the cleanest B.C. coastal mountain water, their vodka is supremely smooth, clean and lightly sweet – the perfect base for a classic Martini or a lively cocktail.
Previously unavailable in Vancouver, this high end vodka from Poland should be on your list. It starts out soft but has a lasting dry finish that most vodka fails to duplicate.
There are a lot of Gin offerings locally now, but one that continues to stand out from the crowd is this crisp gin from Long Table. Made with fresh cucumbers sourced from B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, the taste has a freshness to it with a soft citrus and a slight pepper finish.
This excellent gin uses eight carefully selected botanicals, including basil, lavender, kaffir lime leaf and hand-rubbed sage. There are wrapped in muslin and this ‘bouquet garni’ is left undisturbed in the triple distilled spirit for 48 hours to infuse its essential oils.
Unfortunately we don’t have much local whiskey or bourbon to call our own….yet. Several distilleries are working on aging right now with their whiskey releases expected approximately two or more years away. So Pemberton Distilling wins by default (not that it isn’t good!) by being the first out of the gate.
The Balvenie DoubleWood is a 12 year old single malt which gains its distinctive character from being matured in two wood types. It’s a great option for both those who appreciate their whiskey, and those just starting out.
For Sake, the Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island is the undisputed champion. Brewing crisp, fruity and refreshing Sake since 2007 Masa Shiroki knows exactly what he’s doing.
A mouthful to say, this Japanese Sake is worth the cost if you can find it. It pops up at Legacy Liquor Store every now and then, and gets scooped up fast.
Odd Society’s Crème de Cassis is based on the secret recipe of dear friend and Odd Society fellow, Master Chef Hervé Martin of the French Table and once the personal chef to the Late King Leopold III of Belgium.