The ABC's of WLD - Amaro, Botanical Gin, and CBC.
With September 2019 winding down, FALL is officially here!
The shift in season creates time for reflection on the summer passed; events come and gone; products launched; and stories written. Buckle up for your news update on all things WLD!
With so many sounds contributing to the WLD orchestra, below we break it down by monthly highlights to point out the key notes from the summer 2019 ensemble.
MAY. As we revved into summer production, the month of May included a nice, long RYE WHISKY cycle! Up until then we had laid mostly Single Malt and Wheat Whisky; however by the end of May we had managed to put down a solid amount of delicious 100% Albertan Rye. As with all whiskies, we will have to wait patiently for this liquid gold to mature, however the aromas and flavours of the new make rye spirit made our hearts sing. So tasty!
JUNE rolled around and we partnered with The Grizzly Paw Brewery and Tank 310 to host our first ever Canmore Cocktail Competition! Cocktail bartenders/mixologists from around Canmore + Kananaskis assembled with over 100 guests in the dining room up at Tank 310 to throw down their best cocktail creation using our Barrel-aged Gin! The judging panel included Eric Huston from the Cellar Door, Oona Davis from Where The Buffalo Roam, and @wldmatt representing the distillery. When the dust settled we were stoked to announce that our very own @cheryl6656w (lead mixologist @WLDspirits) took the cake with her clarified milk punch! Not sure what that is? Check it out here. Basically a delicious, smooth cocktail that will blow your mind… Come down to the tasting room to sip on one! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ1ffluktqM
JULY is arguably the busiest month around the distillery. The daily tours are packed, the cocktail bar is buzzing, and people are just generally into the swing of summer (AKA drinking). It’s a great time to be in Canmore (along with the other 11 months of the year ;) ). This year, amongst the summer busy-ness, we were honoured to produce an exciting new product for the Chateau Lake Louise. Fairview Gin is the first proprietary gin distilled for this iconic Fairmont property. To help celebrate the launch of their beautiful new Fairview Bar (check it out next time you are up at the lake!), they partnered with us to produce a unique gin recipe for their bartenders and guests to enjoy. The resulting spirit is a fantastic, clean gin which uses regional yarrow leaf in the botanical recipe. Q: When you dream up a little distillery business plan, where do you want to have your products enjoyed? A: Looking out at the magnificent Lake Louise + Victoria Glacier from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. That’s where.. Stoked!
AUGUST was a little bitter this year. But in all of the best ways! WLD had been working on our Wildcat Amaro since the fall of 2018, and we put the finishing touches on it in August for release into the wild!
Amaro? What’s that you ask? Italian for ‘bitter’, this spirit is a bitter liqueur which has been infused with a variety of botanicals, herbs and spices. Great over ice, or to add sweetness+bitterness to your favourite cocktail recipe. Check out the products page on our website (scroll to the bottom) for more information and ingredients -https://www.wildlifedistillery.ca/products
SEPTEMBER only means one thing around the distillery: Alberta Botanical Gin! We field questions all summer long about ‘when the AB Gin will be ready?’ – and the answer is always September! This year we had an amazing turn out from the Nature Conservancy of Canada for our day of foraging down in the Crowsnest Pass. We went out with a group of 10 to harvest the juniper berries distilled in the gin. @wldkeith went out with another group closer to Turner Valley to harvest some of the other key botanicals we use in the gin. The CBC Calgary tagged along with their group and did a story about the gin! There is an article written here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wild-life-distillery-canmore-local-botanicals-1.5265324
And also if you want to watch the video, click here and go to the 9:00 minute mark in the video to watch our claim to fame! (you’ll have to bear a couple of commercials to watch it but it’s worth the wait :) )
With that, the gin was distilled in the days following the foraging, and the release party happened at the distillery last weekend!
If anyone happens to be down in the Crowsnest area this coming weekend, there will be an NCC launch event on Friday evening, the 27th, celebrating the AB Gin! Facebook event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/615225452218306/
Well that’ll do it for the top stories of Summer ‘19. As the larch needles change from green to yellow in the Bow Valley, the spirits we are producing also turn from clear to gold. Canadian Single Malt Whisky is flowing off the still this week and if anyone is in the neighbourhood, please stop in and say hello.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this and for following our crazy little dream called WLD! We look forward to catching up with all of you at some point this fall around Canmore.
- The WLD Boys