Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery handcrafted its award-winning spirits – including its 100 per cent Single Malt Whisky – from their farm just south of Campbell River.

Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery handcrafted its award-winning spirits – including its 100 per cent Single Malt Whisky – from their farm just south of Campbell River.

Handcrafted, artisanal whisky: Truly West Coast

Shelter Point Distillery earns two gold medals at the 2019 World Whisky Masters

When it comes to artisanal whisky, every element matters.

It’s a truth embraced by Vancouver Island’s Shelter Point Distillery, handcrafting unique spirits from their farm just south of Campbell River.

It’s here that Shelter Points craft its 100 per cent Single Malt Whisky. Distilled batch-by-batch in traditional copper pot stills from two-row barley, the whiskey is aged in American oak barrels in their oceanfront warehouse a few hundred yards from the ocean, which imparts a wonderfully unique flavour.

With an enticing nose of vanilla, coconut, caramel and tropical fruits, the palate provides a delectable melody of juicy fruits and candied sweets, leading to a tantalising finish of spice, malt chocolate and a hint of salt.

Boasting a presentation befitting the craftsmanship of whisky within, the classic Tennessee-style bottle features Vinolok glass closure and original engraving of Shelter Point Farm created by renowned illustrator Steve Noble.

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, and the accolades are rolling in with two gold medal wins recently announced at the 2019 World Whisky Masters.

While Shelter Point Distillery has grown to become one of Canada’s largest producers of single malt whisky in its eight years, there’s much more brewing at this Vancouver Island distillery.

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.”

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, at several thousand dollars each, plus taxes and bottling costs, 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

 

What gives whisky its unique flavour? The soil, and the variety and quality of the grain, but also factors like the distilling process, the type of barrel used, and even the water. At Shelter Point, water bubbles up from a mountain-fed aquifer, for a pure-tasting addition.

What gives whisky its unique flavour? The soil, and the variety and quality of the grain, but also factors like the distilling process, the type of barrel used, and even the water. At Shelter Point, water bubbles up from a mountain-fed aquifer, for a pure-tasting addition.

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!

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!

Handcrafted, artisanal whisky: Truly West Coast

Comments are closed

Just Posted

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Birtch Parlee is one of approximately 132,000 transgender people living across the nation, according to Statistics Canada. Photo submitted
Transgender in a small town – Princeton B.C.

“I buried it. I pushed it down. I lived a lie.”

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Dan Albas
COLUMN: Reopening the international border

Governments in Canada and the United States are working towards reopening plans for the border

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

A boat sharing service is extending to Summerland. The company, Penticton Boat Club and Rentals, is also taking over the boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort. (Photo by Chris Stenberg)
Boat sharing service extended from Penticton to Summerland

Company will also operate boat rentals at Summerland Waterfront Resort

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Most Read