Vancouver, BC – Artisan Distillers Canada (ADC) proudly announces the results of the annual Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition (CASC). CASC is Canada’s only national spirit competition reserved exclusively for artisan distilleries.
The 2021 edition of CASC includes an expanded set of categories, reflecting the growing size and diversity of spirits produced by artisan distillers across the country. Best in Class, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in 19 spirit categories. The competition also includes Terroir honours, recognizing distilleries whose use of local ingredients is reflected in the character of their spirits.
“This year I am pleased to see spirits from across the country represented in our Best in Class awards, with distilleries in Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia all taking Best in Class prizes,” says Alex Hamer, ADC’s founder. “It’s also great to see that even in the face of considerable pandemic-related business interruptions, our distillers continue to produce high quality spirits of every kind.”
Canadian Artisan Spirit Of The Year
Each year, CASC awards the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year medal to the overall top-scoring overall spirit out of all categories. This year we are very pleased to announce that Ampersand Distilling Company, in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island has taken top honors for its Nocino!, an Italian-style green walnut liqueur made with walnuts handpicked in the Cowichan Valley and sweetened with local honey.
Judges clearly loved this spirit, noting “pronounced aromas of walnut, and medium notes of orange peel, nutmeg, coffee, and burnt sugar … very complex and exceptionally balanced … with a deeply roasted flavor and a pleasing note of bitterness … [a] carefully crafted liqueur.”
Best In Class – Spirits
The following spirits earned the top scores in their respective categories:
Absinthe: Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Courailleuse
Akvavit: Confluence Distilling (AB) – Vinland Aquavit (Best in Class, 2020)
Amaro or Vermouth: The Woods Spirit Co (BC) – Pacific North-West Amaro
Brandy or Eau de Vie: Wynndel Craft Distilleries (BC) – Apple Brandy
Flavoured or Infused Vodka: Arbutus Distillery (BC) – Espresso Vodka
Aged Gin: The Liberty Distillery (BC) – Endeavour Old Tom Gin
Classic Gin: Patent 5 Distillery (MB) – Navy Strength Gin
Contemporary Gin: (tie) Compass Distillers (NS) – Gin Royal; The Dubh Glas Distillery (BC) – Noteworthy Gin – Navy Strength
Flavoured Gin: Raging Crow Distillery (NS) – Spruce Tip Gin
Liqueur: Ampersand Distilling Company (BC) – Nocino!
Fruit Liqueur: La Vallée Bleue (QC) – Cassimix
Alternative Rum: Merridale Cidery & Distillery (BC) – Cowichan Spiced Rhumb
Traditional Rum: Last Straw Distillery (ON) – Blackstrap Rum – Double Barrelled
Classic Vodka: Bandits Distilling Inc. (SK) – Northern Lights Vodka
Contemporary Vodka: Ironworks Distillery (NS) – Ironworks Vodka
Single Grain Whisky: Shelter Point Distillery (BC) – Double Barrel Batch 5
Single Malt Whisky: Odd Society Spirits (BC) – Commodore Single Malt Whisky
Young Whisky: DEVINE Distillery (BC) – Ancient Grains (Best in Class, 2019, 2020)
White Spirit: Silver Fox Distillery (ON) – 4 Peppercorns
Best In Class – Bitters
Distillerie Fils du Roy (QC) – Fils du Roy Bitter
Medals were awarded to distillers and bitters-makers from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
About The Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition and Artisan Distillers Canada
Artisan Distillers Canada is a national organization focused on celebrating and highlighting artisan distilleries and spirits across Canada. The annual Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition was founded in 2017 to recognize the best of Canadian artisan distilling. Distilleries must meet our qualifications (https://artisandistillers.ca/artisan-distillery) to participate in the competition.
The first annual Artisan Distillers Canada Conference & Trade Show will be held October 19 – 20, 2021, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
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