The long weekend is just about here, so what better way to celebrate than by sipping on an interesting gin? The Canadian micro-distillery scene has been gaining substantial momentum over the past year, so much momentum, in fact, that it can be hard to keep up with what’s new and top notch.
I reached out to liquor expert, Jesse Willis, owner of Vine Arts and Proof to share some of boutique gins from coast-to-coast that you can currently find on the market here in Alberta. Here are his seven picks.
Phillips Fermentorium Stump Gin – Victoria, BC
Stump Gin is brought to you by the people behind Phillips Brewery, and is intended to capture the essence of Vancouver Island’s rugged coastline and forests. Stump Gin is made using hand foraged herbs and botanicals from British Columbia including cascade hops, bay laurel and grand fir. This really is like a walk in the woods, showing flavours of pine, fresh earth, citrus and juniper.
Noteworthy Gin is produced at the Dubh Glas distillery in Oliver, BC. Duh Glas (pronounced dugh-luhs) in Gaelic means “from the dark water” which revers to their water source which is fed through an underground aquifer. The Noteworthy Gin is made from a base of BC-grown barley and is a new world-style with a rich texture, lush sweetness and notes of strawberry, lemon zest and spring flowers
Park Distillery Barrel Aged Gin – Banff, Alberta
While the concept of a brew pub is common, the concept of being able to watch distillation in action while seated in a restaurant drinking a vodka soda or gin & tonic is far less common. Park just released their first barrel-aged gin, which spent 6 months in a used Jack Daniels barrel before bottling. It has an amber colour and displays toasty notes including vanilla, cedar, baked apple and toasted grains. I find some barrel-aged gins overbearing, but this iteration retains its vibrancy and freshness.
This is a very limited release only available direct from the distillery or from Vine Arts while supplies last.
Strathcona Spirits Badland Seaberry Gin – Edmonton, AB