If you don’t start with the best ingredients, you’re almost certain never to make the best product. For wineries that means grapes; for spirits such as vodka, rye or gin that means water and grains.
So it’s not surprising that a distillery set up near Banff’s Rocky Mountains would thrive, creating an impressive range of small-batch vodka, gin and rye in a variety of styles. Park Distillery makes their spirits from glacier water sourced in Banff National Park, organic grain grown at high altitudes by family-run farms and carefully sourced materials for flavouring — mostly local and organic as well.
Whether you’re looking for pure, classic flavour from your vodka or are keen on trying one of Park’s infused vodkas, now’s the time to do it — this week you can get free shipping when you order $120 or more of their product here at My Wine Canada.
And how do they taste? Glad you asked, let's check out the Tasting Pack:
Park’s Classic Vodka is clean and fresh aromatically — just what you want in a vodka — and brings a hint of grain sweetness as well as a modestly creamy texture on the palate (relatively speaking — we’re not talking California Chardonnay creamy here). It’s remarkably smooth and versatile, and drinks well chilled on its own or in a classic martini.
Made with organic grain and infused with organic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean (a three-week infusion with one-half bean per bottle), the aromatics here are rich and expressive, with fresh vanilla notes showing beautifully front and centre. It’s ridiculously smooth and drinks well on its own, but would be perfect in a sweeter cocktail as well.
Double distilled and steeped with organic espresso beans from the Banff Roasting Company, this cola-brown vodka brings big cold-brew coffee notes on the nose. There’s very little sweetness here, and the espresso notes are big and bright. Drink on its own on the rocks or try it in a white Russian (while watching The Big Lebowski, of course).
Local, organic grains and glacier-fresh water meets Bird’s Eye chilis in this intense flavoured vodka. And while the chili notes are fairly modest aromatically, you definitely feel lots of lingering heat on the palate. This is practically begging to be used in a spicy Caesar.
The beauty of the botanicals comes through big time in this Alberta gin, with hand-picked Canadian spruce tips leading the charge aromatically, followed by anise, pine and juniper notes. On the palate those spruce, juniper and herbal/spice flavours drink marvelously; pair it with a premium tonic or some dry vermouth with an olive.
This is no Scotch-style whisky — rather, Park’s Rye spirit is un-aged, and sees no time in barrel. That, however, doesn’t mean it’s boring. There are loads of spice and subtle earthy aromas from the organic Alberta rye grain that shines through. On the palate, meanwhile, herbal and spice notes show remarkably well; try in an Old Fashioned or sip on the rocks.
Remember: All this week, spend $120 on Park Distillery’s killer vodkas, gin or rye and get free shipping —mix and match to your heart’s content or get the 6-Bottle Tasting Pack to sample each spirit! Free shipping will be automatically applied at checkout.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.