Victoria Distillers Tour Tasting

Victoria Distillers Tour Tasting

Victoria Distillers opened in a new revamped location with new partners just two weeks ago in the stunning waterfront of Sidney, BC. They are one of Canada’s oldest small batch distillers and a true success story.

I remember touring and tasting at the original location on West Saanich Rd and being so impressed by what they had initially accomplished. Anyone who knows Canada and BC knows how difficult it is to be a pioneer when dealing with the antiquated BC liquor laws, they paved the way for many to follow and are a genuine success story.

The new facility will allow them to produce more varied spirits and bitters than they previously had the capacity for and I love that they kept and incorporated the original still into the new location. What was once fired by coals is now converted to be fired by a natural gas boiler system increasing it’s efficiency and temperature regulation. The new still specifically produced and designed for them is a work of art, it has been designed with a built in crane meaning they can change components readily and easily giving them the ability to produce many varied spirits. I look forward to the brandy now aging in casks and cannot wait to see what they do in the way of a rye whisky in the bourbon style.



David Clark one of the distillers toured us through the distillery and did an amazing job explaining the stills and the different components required to produce larger batches and varied spirits. At their previous location they were producing the spirits with well spring water, now in the heart of Sidney, they are using city water that gets filtered twice before going through reverse osmosis to ensure that it is clean and pure.

Our final part was to taste at the gorgeous new tasting bar.



We began with Left Coast Hemp Vodka served neat to fully allow us to experience all aspects of the spirit, it is crisp, clean and smooth with just a slight nutty taste. Any quality spirit can be served neat when is it properly balanced and this one definitely fits the bill.

Next was the Eau De vie Pinot Noir, a style that originated with peasants who could not afford fine wines, Victoria Distillers version was a pleasant surprise with hints of vanilla and faint strawberry notes leading to a smooth finish.

The Victoria Gin their flagship spirit is now produced with a different water source and has developed into an even cleaner gin that has lovely juniper notes that do not overpower but add appeal and interest with a light citrus finish. This one of course followed us home for lovely gin & tonics.

I truly enjoyed the Oaken Gin which is the result of aging Victoria gin in oak until it is amber in colour and smooth in the mouth. More like a fine whiskey than a gin it is rich, with vanilla and caramel flavours and just a tiny hint of the oak. This one is a great Winter by the fire sipping gin and I look forward to using it in an old fashioned cocktail.

Not to be forgotten are the now five bitters Victoria Distillers produce.

I began with the Twisted & Bitter Shizandra that was served with Fentimans tonic water. It was refreshing and as someone who studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and knows the merits of this fruit it may just become my daily tonic choice for energy and longevity. it is slightly herbal with a hint of floral and tang of citrus.

The Twisted & Bitter Rosemary Grapefruit is fresh with soft notes of rosemary and just a hint of grapefruit another one that can be added to both foods and cocktails.

As a true lover of ginger I was pleased to discover Twisted & Bitter Ginger, this one followed us home as has the strong ginger flavour without the bite leading to so many ways to use it.

We did not sample the Twisted & Bitter Orange simply as we already have this in our liquor cabinet and it has been our go to orange bitters since they started producing it.

Our final sampling was the Twisted & Bitter Black Pepper which suprised and delighted me, it is spicy and tickled the back of my nose it would give an extra zing to any caesar. I would love to try this with swordfish.

For more ideas or recipes here is the link: