Ken Winchester, a recently retired master distiller, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Whiskey Awards last month. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Ken Winchester, a recently retired master distiller, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Whiskey Awards last month. (Black Press Media File Photo)

Canadian Whiskey Awards raise a glass to Saanich Peninsula’s Devine Distillery

The distillery will have to slide the bottles over and make some trophy space on the top shelf

A Saanich Peninsula distillery will have to slide the bottles over and make some trophy space on the top shelf.

Devine Distillery and Winery has once again been given a reason to raise a glass after receiving several accolades in its best showing ever at the 2021 Canadian Whiskey Awards, including Artisan Distillery of the Year.

The small-batch whiskey distillery had one spirit with an intoxicating presence at the awards. Devine’s Ancient Grains young whiskey — made from a B.C.-grown blend of barley, spelt, emmer, khorosan and einkorn — won Best Mixed Hash Whiskey, received a gold medal and kept its winning streak alive by taking home the Best Whiskey Spirit award for the third year in a row.

READ: That’s the spirit!

It wasn’t just the company’s product that was being honoured, but it’s people as well.

Ken Winchester, a recently retired Devine master distiller, received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the online event. A press release said Winchester was “deeply honoured” by the recognition. The Whiskey Awards said the distiller’s contributions to the craft spanned North America.

“I’ve always believed that Canadians are capable of making whiskies that rank among the best in the world,” said Winchester. “I’m glad that people feel I’ve contributed to the development of our industry. There are so many talented people, and such great opportunities, in this country. I look forward to tasting what comes next.”

Devine says the majority of products that go into its spirits are sourced from local farms, so you can taste the Peninsula in every sip.

The Canada Whiskey Awards are usually held during the Victoria Whiskey Festival, but the celebration was broadcast online this year due to the pandemic. All the whiskies are blind tasted by a panel of independent experts.


 

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