If you've been to ANBL recently you may have noticed a new section at the front of most stores featuring a wide range selection of New Brunswick products. There are quite a few distilleries popping up around NB these days, so I wanted to fill you in on three to keep watching. You're probably familiar with Snowfox and Blue Roof vodkas, but there are more craft distillers on the scene! I've been lucky enough to visit a few of these distilleries over the past year or so, including Winegarden Estate, Sussex Distillers, Moonshine Creek, Fils du Roy, Devil's Keep, and Gagetown Distillery.
Sussex Distillers opened in December 2017. Their main products are an un-aged rum made using Crosby's molasses and Northern Comfort, a maple shine. Both are best served as cocktails and the Ward's Creek packs a punch! They've also released a line of flavoured liqueurs including an electric blue, Blue Raspberry (I see an updated Purple Haze in my near future).
Moonshine Creek opened in August 2018, producing grain-based, un-aged "whiskies". They made waves this winter by partnering with Ganong Bros. and creating a Chicken Bones liqueur that had New Brunswickers lining up outside liquor stores trying to buy a bottle. Moonshine Creek experiments with all kinds of flavoured products and their mason jar packaging just screams rural NB. These spirits are perfect for experimenting with cocktails.
Distillerie Fils Du Roy
Fils Du Roy, located in Northern New Brunswick, has garnered an international reputation for their spirits, in particular their Gin Thuya, which breaks the rules for gin by replacing the juniper berries with indigenous botanicals. They recently released NB's first whisky and are currently constructing NB's first malting house. There are so many cool products available, most only for sale at the distillery. Their tour and tasting are complimentary, and bilingual guides are available.
What is moonshine? (shine, hooch, unaged-...)
Shine is a word that is used to describe any spirit that has been run to a high alcohol proof and does not meet ageing or filtering requirements. Sugar, grain and corn mashes are all very commonly used to distill alcohol. Canadian Whisky must be made of grain and aged a minimum of 3 years in order to have the name whisky applied. In Canada, rum has to be barreled for a minimum of 1 year and be made out of sugar. Vodkas and gins also have their own naming rules.
Why are spirits aged in barrels?
Barreling serves two purposes: it mellows out the flavour as the alcohol extracts lactones from the wood in the barrel, and it also colours the spirit due to the lactones and the charring of the interior of the barrel. Barrels used to make spirits are regularly repurposed for beer casks, other spirits and fortified wines. Barrels are almost always made out of oak, and wood from different regions will impart different flavour profiles.
You can learn more about NB's distilleries by hosting a "Mix-It-Up" in-home Uncorked Tasting. We'll bring everything to you!
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is our pleasure to share some of the awesome experiences you can have while living or visiting the province.