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Friday, December 20th, 2013

Media Mentions

Odd Society Media Mentions

We have been fortunate enough to have been profiled by several media outlets since our launch. Below are a few select stories that we thought you might be interested in.

Globe and Mail10 tempting treats for the foodie in your life, December 10, 2013

We were featured in local journalist, Alexandra Gill’s holiday gift guide for foodies where she called us the “first provincially designated craft distillery using local ingredients exclusively.” She also said that East Van Vodka is “exceptionally smooth and smells like violets.”

BeatrouteOdd Society, December 9, 2013
Sarah Bauer begins her review of Odd Society with this beautiful sentence:

“A flower blooms in the mouth.”

She goes on to say “as I swallow, the crisp liquid darts brightly down my throat. Hot damn. Like its namesake neighborhood, East Van Vodka leaves a guileless impression.”

Well said.

Globe and MailVideo – On the job with spirits maker, November 20, 2013
Josh and Gordon showed Josh Keller, a videopgrapher from the Globe and Mail around our distillery and tasting lounge and shared a little bit about our process.

Vancouver Sun – Odd Society’s first product is a natural grain ‘sipping vodka’, November 12, 2013

Randy Shore wrote that “some vodkas are no more than neutral spirits, essentially flavourless and odourless, but East Van pushes the conventional definition of vodka from its grain selection to filtration technique.”

Vancouver CourierVodka and cassis on tap at new distillery, November 1

Cheryl Rossi quoted Joshua Beach, Odd Society’s production manager and distiller saying “bartenders are normally so bored by vodka in cocktails and they find having a vodka with a little bit of character really a refreshing treat,” in reference to East Van Vodka.

Scout Magazine

Scout Magazine has been kind enough to feature us several times, including in their awesome thing we drank column and their diner column where they share news of upcoming restaurants, bars and – in our case – distilleries. They recently shared our video done by Odette Visual too.

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Casks

Single Malt Cask Offer

Making whisky is a big reason why I (Gordon) got my MSc in distillation from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and started my own distillery in Vancouver. The problem is, whisky can’t become whisky by Canadian law until it’s aged for at least three years in a barrel.

We’ve already started the aging process for the first batch, but we all have to be patient, which isn’t easy.

In the meantime though, we are proud to offer you the opportunity to own your very own private 30 litre cask of Canadian Single Malt made from 100% BC malted barley.

Your Single Malt will age at the Odd Society Distillery for three years at least and then will be bottled for your enjoyment. During this time, you can follow the aging process with periodic tasting events.

This is a limited time offer. We are taking orders in December and January only, as cask filling begins February 2014.

This offer includes:

• 30 liters of Odd Society Single Malt barrelled at 62.5%
• Storage for three years in American Oak Bourbon casks at the Odd Society Distillery
• Bonding and insurance for three years
• Visitation and tasting events at the Odd Society once a year

$1350 plus bottling fees

This is a substantial discount on the retail selling price per bottle, making it an excellent investment for any team, club, family, or any kind of organization or individual who loves Single Malt. You can even purchase the empty cask for $125 if you want a trophy.

Download this PDF for more details or contact us if you have any questions.

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Creme de Cassis

Creme de Cassis Small Batch

We have partnered with our dear friend, Master Chef Hervé Martin, once the personal chef to the Late King Leopold III of Belgium and now the executive chef of the French Table to create a limited run of Creme de Cassis.

This blackcurrant liqueur is a French classic and often served as a digestif or in cocktails. Try a splash of it in white wine or champagne, or even on top of ice cream.

Read more about our Creme de Cassis on our spirits page.

This is a limited edition run. Get it while supplies last from select retailers or from our tasting lounge. Our Creme de Cassis is just the first of many signature one-offs we plan to do.

Friday, October 11th, 2013

East Van Vodka

eastvan vodka first batch

Batch No.1 of our debut spirit, East Van Vodka is now in stores!

See our retailers page to find out where you can pick up a bottle or come visit our tasting lounge for sampling, purchasing and tours.

East Van Vodka is made in tribute to the creative, hardworking community we call home.

For the makers and doers, the dreamers and inventors. For the artists and artisans, the hardworking and the inspired. This spirit is for the odd ones. It’s for the proud and the quirky, the charming and misunderstood.

Made from 100% malted barley grown in Prince George and malted in Armstrong, East Van Vodka is twice distilled in our small batch, European-made, copper pot still before it’s lightly filtered and proudly blended with purified Vancouver tap water.

Unlike most vodkas, East Van Vodka is not a completely neutral spirit. It is lightly fragrant, sweet smelling and incredibly smooth. Sip it straight if you want. We like to think of it as single malt vodka.

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Mashing & Wort from a Neighborhood Brewery

Distilling has its own language and “mashing” is a good term to know.

Mashing is the mixing of ground malt or grain with hot water and heating the mixture to very precise temperatures. There are different ways to mash but the condensed version of what happens is that the hot water gelatinizes the starch and helps activate the enzymes that are naturally present in the malt. The enzymes break up the starch into sugar and you end up with a delicious, sweet, malty mixture called wort. Wort has the most amazing smell.

Currently, a neighborhood brewery, Storm Brewing, is doing most of our mashing for us. We pick up the wort from Storm, pump it into our fermenters, and pitch our yeast. We will eventually be doing our own mashing but for now this works well. Storm Brewing is the granddaddy of the craft movement in Vancouver and has been making amazing craft beer for almost 20 years. We’ve also been getting some wort from another great local brewery, Coal Harbour Brewing. Don’t forget to visit both of them when you’re in the neighbourhood.

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Tasting Bar Transformation

Our tasting bar is now complete! Lacquered and mirrored and decked out. This bar was built by my two brothers, Gerald and Ralph, who drove all the way from Edmonton to work on it. Lacquer isn’t used as much anymore but it has a finish that’s hard to duplicate. The beautiful artwork was done by Shwa Keirstead who lives not far from the distillery.



Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Yeast

Yeast is amazing! Its hard to imagine life without yeast and fermentation: no bread, no alcohol. Even chocolate relies on yeast for part of its process.

Long ago brewers and distillers relied on wild yeasts to ferment their products, and some Belgian brewers still do, but nowadays most distillers work with known strains for consistency and reliability. Yeast is everywhere. Rogue Brewery in Oregon even isolated a unique strain of brewer’s yeast they found growing in their brewmaster’s beard. True story! They now use this yeast to make a new brand of beer fittingly called “Beard Beer”.

beard_beer
pitching_yeast2

There are so many things to consider with yeast: How much alcohol can it tolerate before getting stressed and dying? What is the optimum fermentation temperature? What flavours and esters does it produce?

Like with everything else, we’ve begun to experiment. For now, we are splitting our mashes into different fermenters and using different yeasts in each. Since these are vodka batches, it may not matter but we will keep you posted.

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Wooden Whisky Barrels

Wood is a fascinating subject and old distillers can wax poetic when it comes to wooden barrels and aging whisky. In Scotland, if you look after a distillery’s cooperage and whisky maturation program, you can receive the distinguished title of ‘Master of Wood.’

The most commonly used wood for barrels in the world is American white oak, which imparts a range of flavors including vanilla, honey, and nuts. The second most commonly used wood is European oak which imparts a more complex set of flavors including sherry, dried fruits, and spices.

By a fluke of history, American law, which was passed to help the cooper’s union, dictates that bourbon must be aged in new American oak barrels. This means the bourbon industry is looking to sell hundreds of thousands of used wooden barrels each year. The rest of the world is more than a willing customer and everyone from rum producers in the Caribbean to Scotch producers to Canadian whisky producers buy the once-used oak barrels for their own spirits.

American bourbon producers will tell you they’ve extracted the best the wood has to offer. Scotch producers will tell you the Americans have removed many of the bitter tannins, lignins and vanillins that can overpower a spirit, and the barrels are now ideal for whisky. Regardless of your point of view, the influence of wood does lessen with each refill and eventually a barrel has nothing more to give and is discarded.

At Odd Society, we intend to do a lot of experimentation with wood. We recently purchased ten small American oak barrels that were used to age rye from a distillery in Washington. We’ll be picking them up this weekend! We will also be purchasing some brand new 200 liter American oak barrels, and hopefully some French oak barrels. The problem with French oak is that it is at least three times as expensive as American oak. This is a question of wood scarcity rather than quality, although some people prefer the taste of whisky aged in French oak.

So come visit our barrels (once we open)! The picture below was taken during my stay at Springbank Distillery in Scotland.

springbank_barrels

Friday, June 28th, 2013

The Story of the Bison Skull

One spring day my brother was out quadding with a group of friends about sixty miles east of Edmonton. The ice and snow on the ground had started to melt and there were patches of brown earth poking through here and there. The group came over a ridge and headed down along the edge of a small lake when everyone was stopped by a strange sight. Half embedded in the ice, sticking up like tombstones, were about half a dozen bison heads. The drivers got off their quads, walked around and marveled at this amazing sight… and then they drove back home to get their chainsaws and cut the skulls out of the ice. It is thought they could be as old as 300 years.

My brother decided that his bison head would be a fitting member of the Odd Society. We hope you think so too!

bison_head2

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Weighing Alcohol

How much does that drink weigh?

All the alcohol we produce is, of course, subject to federal excise tax. It might seem strange but the alcohol must be weighed as soon as it comes off the still. We have to measure the temperature, the weight, and the specific gravity of the alcohol, and use tables provided by the government to calculate the exact volume. This is our brand new, super accurate, legal-for-trade scale.

weighing_alcohol