My job sometimes takes me to places, and when it does, I could be treated to some pretty cool experiences that I otherwise may not plan for myself. Last month I went to Campbell River for a conference, and we were taken to visit a local distillery.
The Shelter Point Distillery is BC’s only pot distilled single malt whisky distillery and the second one in Canada. Single malt whisky, as suggested by the name, means the whisky is only distilled at a single location and not blended with whisky from any other distillery. The whisky is produced from 100% malted barley.
The pot stills at Shelter Point are hand made and shipped from Northern Scotland. They are are 18ft tall, 1/4 inch thick, and according to the staff, the use of copper (vs. stainless steel, aluminum, brass or other material) helps pull the sulfur from the product, which may otherwise taste bitter and not be as smooth.
While the whisky is being aged in the American oak bourbon barrels, Shelter Point is also producing some single malt, triple distilled vodka. The whisky needs to rest for a minimum of 3 years. The longer in the barrel, the smoother the mouthfeel and the darker the colour it will have. On the other hand, vodka only takes 3-5 weeks to distill; therefore Shelter Point can offer its original and flavour infused vodka while waiting for the whisky to be ready for market. The Still Master Vodka is made from 100% BC grain — grown, fermented, and distilled at the distillery using crops from the fields adjacent to the distillery. What also sets them apart is the use of naturally filtered aquifer spring water located directly beneath the farm soil.
We got to sample the Still Master Vodka. It comes in original (unflavoured) and 9 other infused flavours. The vodka was clean and smooth, and the flavours were prominent. In addition to enjoying the Original, unflavoured vodka, which would be great for mixing, my favourite flavoured vodka were Chocolate (apparently it’s even better if you also mix in the Orange flavoured vodka) and Lemon & Lime.
If the vodka is any indication of the quality of the whisky, I’m looking forward to tasting the whisky when it’s ready. If you are interested in buying the Still Master Vodka, click here. The vodka is quite reasonably priced and would make a great “support local” gift idea!
Shelter Point Distillery
4650 Regent Road, Campbell River