On an overcast but still beautiful day in the Okanagan I had the opportunity to meet Grant Stevely, soon-to-be-master-distiller at The Dubh Glass Distillery in Oliver, BC. Located just a few minutes north of the Oliver town centre, right on Highway 97, work is just starting on their purpose-built distillery, with an expected completion date of December 2013.
Grant was a welcoming host and gave my wife and me the honour of being the first people to taste some spirits at the distillery -- we sampled some Still Waters Stalk & Barrel Single Malt from Concord, Ontario, Saskatoon's LB Distillers Gambit Gin, and some Masterson's Rye.
I was stuck by the strong vision and that Grant has for his distillery, as well as his forward thinking. While he will produce other spirits which are sure to be a treat, his focus is on creating craft single malt whisky. He is lucky to be just down the road from Canada's largest cooperage, Okanagan Barrel Works, so he will have the opportunity to explore different finishes and build a close relationship with a local barrel maker. In addition, Grant has plans to explore the opportunities that come with being surrounded by wineries in every direction looking to offload their spent barrels, which have been soaked in all sorts of interesting flavours. We're sure to see some innovative stuff come out of a it.
The Dubh Glass represents for us another example of the exciting future of BC distilleries -- passionate distillers who are helping BC to become a major source of innovative craft spirits. I can't wait to see them up and running.