It’s High Time to Get Yourself a Signature Drink

Forget ads, forget celebrity endorsements. Head to BC Distilled this weekend to sip whisky, gin and absinthe until one of our local spirits picks you.

April 6, 2017

By Neal McLennan

One of the most important things I’ve learned in writing about spirits is that the unless you’re one of the very rare “super tasters” (and trust me, you’re not), the only way to really get a handle on what flavour profiles you like in your spirits is to try them side-by-side. That’s why BC Distilled is a bit of a godsend—it gathers essentially all of our local distilleries in one place and lets you at ’em.

Obviously the whiskies vary wildly (but amongst many, seek out Central City‘s new Lohin McKinnon single malt with a nose that has one of the great blasts of baked apples in recent memory), but it’s the clear spirits that really benefit from side-to-side tasting. Legend Distilling‘s aggressive Black Moon gin (made with charred rosemary and wild Naramata sage) tastes nothing like the Hendrick’s-inspired cucumber gin by Long Table, though they are both broadly in the same category. And the vodkas vary wildly, too: are you a fan of the bold, heavy taste of Pemberton’s potato-based Schramm Organic, or do you like the wheat-based Sheringham from Shirley, B.C.? The fact is you don’t have a clue—line a few up and knock ’em down (although maybe consider spitting on the front end during the choosing-a-fave stage).

And I haven’t even started on the amazing oddballs—absinthe from Arbutus DistilleriesDragon Mist Baiju, or Odd Society‘s brand new amaro.

The ticket’s are $70, which isn’t cheap, but the harsh reality is that our distilling industry is still mostly in the handmade phase and that makes them very expensive so there’ll be no shortage of $40-plus bottles for you to try.

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