Since barrelling its first batch of whisky in 2011, Shelter Point now produces more than 125,000 litres of spirits each year, including gin, vodka and the superbly named Sunshine in a Barrel Liqueur.

Shelter Point Vodka: So good there can be only one

Vancouver Island distillery handcrafts smooth, refined flavours for your sipping enjoyment

Canada’s finest handcrafted vodka: There can be only One.

It was with that in mind that Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery created CanadaOne artisanal vodka.

Named after the distiller’s cut – the purest one per cent of a spirit that is achieved for a brief moment at the peak of distillation – this is a vodka made for sipping.

To get to that one per cent, Shelter Point uses one grain, from one farm, at one distillery. The resulting spirit is refined and smooth, distilled in a 20 plate column still for maximum purity.

With true provenance, they use barely grown right in front of the distillery, and once it’s in a glass, there’s no mistaking it. CanadaOne vodka is as pure as the barley and spring water it’s made from – an unmistakably Canadian vodka.

Light and clean with a hint of caramel, CanadaOne is neutral on the nose with a light, grain sweetness and a hint of floral aromas. The palate is round, with a clean, crisp finish. Small-batch, 3-time distilled and charcoal-filtered, CanadaOne is bottled at 40% Alc.Vol in a beautiful silkscreened and frosted bottle with custom Vinolok glass enclosure.

And sunsets and sea air? They’re the unofficial ingredients in every bottle.

The Shelter Point story

A true family business, owner Patrick Evan is joined by general manager – and son-in-law – Jacob Wiebe on the family farm, where Patrick’s father also once worked this land. Here, on 380 acres of oceanfront property criss-crossed by streams, the Oyster River and wetlands, golden fields of barley and wheat sway in the breeze.

Looking to establish a value-added agriculture, after years of dairy farming, Shelter Point Distillery has offered ample opportunity. “I am a beer drinker myself,” Patrick laughs. “I asked myself, ‘How do you value agriculture to the highest degree?’ Well, one acre of land produces 800 litres of alcohol, or 2,700 bottles of whisky.”

Since barrelling its first batch of whisky in 2011, Shelter Point now produces more than 125,000 litres of spirits each year, including gin, vodka and the superbly named Sunshine in a Barrel Liqueur.

Within the next year or two, Patrick hopes to add malting to the farm, meaning every aspect of production – from seed to spirit – will occur on this land. It will also allow them to add smoked whisky to their repertoire, incorporating true West Coast flavours like maple, driftwood or seaweed.

“When the alcohol goes into the barrels, it’s all exactly the same,” Patrick points out. “But it comes out different from each barrel. Even the wood and history of the tree used in making the barrel will affect the taste.”

Tours & tastings await

With its soaring, timber-trussed roof, gleaming, six-metre-high copper stills and futuristic-looking columns, touring the beautifully designed distillery is reward in itself, but be sure to enjoy a tasting too, a great way to discover your new favourite gin … or vodka, or whisky, or liqueur!

Shelter Point cask purchases: A reward that’s worth the wait

The price of acquiring a cask at Shelter Point may seem daunting at first – averaging about $10,000, including taxes and bottling. But the investment actually offers a variety of benefits. While the cask ages (for an additional two to three years), those who have invested in it can organize tastings of the spirit directly from their own barrel in Shelter Point’s barrel room. Customized bottling is another unique opportunity, but best of all, is the end price per bottle (minimum of 250 bottles per cask), which is significantly below retail pricing.

So like all good investments, the reward is worth the wait.

READ MORE: Raise Your Glass: Award-winning spirits, handcrafted on Vancouver Island

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Touring the beautifully designed distillery is reward in itself, but be sure to enjoy a tasting too, a great way to discover your new favourite vodka…or gin, or whisky, or liqueur!

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