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Spirits and liquors distilled in Victoria and on Vancouver Island


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#1 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:19 AM

Our newfound civic spirit gets some love from the Globe and Mail today:

Hail Victoria, queen of Canadian gins


Notable excerpts:

[Victoria Gin]'s first "blind tasting" review from experts came about a month ago at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where it took one of several silver medals. It tied with Hendricks, the trendy superpremium $42 Scottish brand that is prominently and idiosyncratically flavoured with cucumber and rose petals.

.... If vodka is a barman's idea of water, gin could be considered tea - a flavourless clear spirit embellished with "botanical" infusions. In addition to juniper, which by definition is the primary ingredient, it typically includes coriander, angelica, anise, cardamom and orange. But anything goes.

And any location goes. Though gin has long been associated with the British Empire and Holland, legally, unlike Scotch whisky, it can be made wherever. Including Canada.

Victoria Gin is far from the first made in this country. Another small producer, Island Spirits Distillery on Hornby Island, B.C., makes one. And big brands such as Gilbey's have been around for decades. But Victoria Spirits may be the first small-batch specialty gin maker in the land.

Anyone tried it? I plan to, but first I have to work through the litre of duty-free Tanqueray that's sitting in my liquor cabinet.

#2 gumgum

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:22 AM

I tried it, but I don't have a very refined palette for gin.
It tasted like gin to me.

#3 Savannah

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 01:30 PM

I've purchased it twice--once at the distillery while on a wine tour, then in the liquor store. At $49, it's a luxury, but it's very nice. Lovely bottle, too!

Drink locally, eh? Support local agricul... well, local stuff.

#4 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:07 PM

^ I got a free sample taste of it recently in a BC liquor store, and while I'm no gin connoisseur, I have to say it tasted out-of-this-world-good. Hard to explain, but it had flavor, depth, aroma... But yes, at $49 per bottle, I shied away from actually buying it. Maybe once the Gordon's or whatever it is that sits in the freezer is gone, I'll splurge, keeping in mind that this gin can easily be drunk neat, no mixer. You could use this like a Calvados or any other digestif (after dinner) type beverage.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#5 hotdoglegz

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:34 PM

I love it. When I first tried it, I had it straight up and I found it to be too floral/perfumy for my tastes. I later tasted it with tonic and thought it was brilliant. I'm by no means a gin expert but I am big fan and I think Vic Gin deserves to placed next to other premium gins like Hendricks or Magellan

#6 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

OK, great, I'm looking forward to it. Might've tried it sooner, if the name didn't remind me of the drink in George Orwell's 1984:

He took down from the shelf a bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell, as of Chinese rice-spirit. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, nerved himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine.

Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful.



#7 mat

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:26 PM

OK, great, I'm looking forward to it. Might've tried it sooner, if the name didn't remind me of the drink in George Orwell's 1984:

He took down from the shelf a bottle of colourless liquid with a plain white label marked VICTORY GIN. It gave off a sickly, oily smell, as of Chinese rice-spirit. Winston poured out nearly a teacupful, nerved himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine.

Instantly his face turned scarlet and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful.


Only you Jaques could find a positive reference for Victoria Gin in 1984 - Salut! ;)

If you need assistance with the Tanqueray give me a call! :D

#8 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:00 PM

f you need assistance with the Tanqueray give me a call! :D


Methinks a VV party with Victoria Gin and local microbrews is just what the summer requires ....

#9 mat

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:32 PM

Methinks a VV party with Victoria Gin and local microbrews is just what the summer requires ....


Now that sounds like a great idea!

#10 slprzada

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:20 PM

Hmmm sounds interesting, I'm personally not a gin fan (it reminds me of a cleaner of some sort) but I may have to give this a try!

#11 CharlieFoxtrot

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:47 AM

You guys should add this to the menu:

Boudier Saffron Gin.

You can get it at the liquor store - have it on the rocks with a squeeze of lime, maybe a bit of tonic/soda for bubbles.....

Awesome.

#12 Holden West

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:42 PM

We went on a bit of a Saanich winery tour this afternoon and found ourselves at the Victoria gin distillery. You get a little tour of the brass and steel contraption it's distilled in and later you get a tasting of the gin as well as the port-style distilled wine they sell. Apparently they could also make whiskey using this still so that might be a future product. They should call it John A. McDonald whiskey and I get a percentage for coming up with the name.

Nice low-key little operation they have out there.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#13 LJ

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:57 PM

There is now a semi-local Vodka called Schramms.

Made in Pemberton. Supposedly quite good according to the news report, easily beating all the European brands.
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#14 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:02 PM

There is now a semi-local Vodka called Schramms.

Made in Pemberton. Supposedly quite good according to the news report, easily beating all the European brands.


http://www.piquenews...ramm vodka 1633

#15 martini

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 08:58 PM

^ I got a free sample taste of it recently in a BC liquor store, and while I'm no gin connoisseur, I have to say it tasted out-of-this-world-good. Hard to explain, but it had flavor, depth, aroma... But yes, at $49 per bottle, I shied away from actually buying it. Maybe once the Gordon's or whatever it is that sits in the freezer is gone, I'll splurge, keeping in mind that this gin can easily be drunk neat, no mixer. You could use this like a Calvados or any other digestif (after dinner) type beverage.


Oh my. This does sound good.

#16 julienne

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 04:36 PM

In time for the holiday season, Victoria Gin will be releasing a 375 ml. bottle of their botanically-infused elixir.

#17 Holden West

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 07:41 PM

^Yeah, I think it was $30 for the smaller bottle of gin IIRC. Not as good a bargain as the big bottle but easier on the wallet. If you're out on Old West Saanich road this distillery and the other wineries are worth the drive. It would make a great bike tour too.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#18 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:25 AM

Victoria Spirits, the makers of Victoria Gin, are working on an all-Island whisky, tentatively called Craigdarroch. News story here.

It won't be in stores until 2013 -- legally, the drink has to age for at least three years to be called "whisky" -- but they're offering tasters at their distillery on Old West Saanich Road.

BTW, I was recently given a bottle of Victoria Gin. It's excellent in a G&T.

#19 amor de cosmos

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 10:57 AM

what's a g&t?

#20 Bingo

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 12:19 PM

what's a g&t?


It's a gst, with the s removed.

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