Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition sees British Columbia’s distilleries hit gold in multiple categories

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      British Columbia’s distilleries scored wins in numerous categories at this year’s edition of the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition.

      Fourteen judges from across the country weighed in on almost 300 entries from small-scale producers from around Canada. BC’s artisanal distilleries were recognized for their best in show offerings in gin, whisky, vodka, liqueur, and brandy categories.

      Duncan’s Stillhead Distillery took top honours in Aged Gin for its limited-release Islay Cask Gin—Navy Strength, which was aged in bourbon barrels for two years, and peat-heavy ex-Islay Scotch barrels for another two months, the final product clocking in at a bracing 57 per cent ABV. 

      Ampersand Distilling Company, also in Duncan, was recognized as best Contemporary Gin for its Ampersand Gin. And Fernie Distillers got the top Classic Gin nod for its Forager Spruce Tip Gin, made with spruce tips hand-picked from the region’s Coal Creek area.

      Penticton’s Maple Leaf Spirits won in two categories, with Lady of the Cask named Brandy of the year, and Cherry Liqueur winning in the Fruit Liqueur category.

      Perfect for those with a thing for coffee, coffee martinis, or a guaranteed pick me up on the rocks, the espresso- and cocoa-bean infused Depth Charge from Wayward Distillery in Courtenay took home the Infused or Flavoured Vodka award, and Silver Devil Spirits won Classic Vodka for its Silver Devil Vodka. 

      Finally, Saanich’s DEVINE Distillery was recognized in best Young Whisky for its Ancient Grains, and Sons of Vancouver added another trophy to its already impressive awards cabinet when Summer Road Trip Across the Midwest was named best Rye Whisky. 

      Word to the wise: act fast if you’re looking to score a bottle from any of the winners.