Established in 2011, Shelter Point Distillery is located on 380 acres in Oyster River, BC, about halfway up the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.
One of the last seaside farms on the Island, Shelter Point is blessed with a natural mosaic of streams, a salmon bearing river, wetlands, forests and fields, protected by Shelterpoint’s ‘farmpreneur’ vision (where farming can coexist with wildlife, humans, farming and commerce shared with native wildlife).
Growing over 200 acres of barley, all of which goes into their whiskies, their estate also supplies the other key ingredients of exceptional handcrafted artisanal spirits. A large underground aquifer provides naturally filtered water and crisp sea air comes compliments of the Salish Sea.
Add in skilled craftspeople, traditional Scottish distilling methods and a state-of-art facility, and the result is a world-class distillery on the West Coast of Canada.
It’s amazing all the different varieties of single malt whisky and all the varieties of flavour profiles that come from one little kernelPatrick Evans, Owner
We’ve got everything we need – the land, the grain, the water, the sun, the distillery, the manpower, the know-how…now it’s just a matter of timeJames Marinus, Distiller
Truly it will be a field to flask experienceBrian Ingle, Spirit Guide
- Shelter Point spirits are distilled in small batches on the idyllic shores of Vancouver Island
- The climate is similar to Scotland; the only slight difference being it's a little warmer in Western Canada which allows their whisky to mature a bit faster
- Patrick is a 3rd generation Dairy Farmer and a self-proclaimed "Farmpreneur"
- Shelter Point is a family operation with all four of Patrick's daughters being involved in some capacity
- James Marinus has worked for Patrick for over 30 years
- Jacob Wiebe has been with the company since 2012 where he started as a part-time carpenter
- As well as taking an artisanal approach, they count sunsets and sea air as the unofficial ingredients in every bottle
Cask World’s Highlights
Research into Canadian single malt quickly led us to this gem of a distillery nestled away on its own farm on tranquil Vancouver Island.
During initial discussions with Pat and Jacob, we were instantly struck by their passion and knowledge of their production process and final product; these guys live and breathe whisky! They are clearly immensely proud to be delivering excellent ‘entirely Vancouver Island’ single malts and since 2011 have become a shining beacon of what can be achieved within the relatively young new world whisky scene.
Pat and his dedicated team now produce a multi-award-winning range of ‘field to flask’ small batch whiskies with provenance and terroir at the fore, even down to the locally-sourced Vancouver Island peat used in their smoked expressions (a world first!). Their Montfort bottling series even gives the coordinates of the exact field on their farm in which the barley was grown and evidences how the distinct micro-regions on the farm provide different characteristics to the spirit.
Pat and the Shelter Point family also take a strongly conservationist approach to their farming practices and are aiming to become the first carbon neutral distillery in British Columbia (and one of the first on the planet!). When you throw in their lovely purpose-built facility and visitor centre and consider that they are fast becoming a tourism hub, it's easy to see why this distillery is going from strength to strength and laying the foundations for an incredible future.
Shelter Point at a glance
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
James Marinus & Leon Webb (two heads are better than one!)
Jacob Wiebe - Manager
James Marinus - Distiller
Leon Webb - Distiller
Patrick Evans - Owner
Brian Ingle - Spirit Guide
Located on a property with over 2,000m of ocean front, growing their own barley, distilling on the same site using copper pot stills sourced from Forsyths of Rothes in Scotland, and ageing within a few hundred yards of the ocean
Primary Whisky Types
Single Malt Whisky & Single Grain Whisky
American Oak ex-bourbon (hand-selected from Kentucky bourbon producers), virgin oak, French Oak (ex-wine barrels) and smoked American Oak
Casks are stored in a heated warehouse within a few hundred yards of the ocean, which imparts a wonderfully unique flavour to the whisky
Av. Length of Maturation
5 years old (average age of released whiskies)
Current Bottle Prices
CA$60-100 / 75cl
World Whisky Awards 2021 - Best Canadian Single Cask Single Malt for Single Cask Peat and Best Canadian Grain for Smoke Point Batch 2
World Whisky Awards 2020 - Best Canadian Single Cask Single Malt for Old Vines Foch Reserve, and Best Canadian Grain for Smoke Point Batch 1
World Whisky Awards 2019 - Best Canadian Grain and Category Winner for Montfort Dl 141
World Whisky Awards 2018 - Best Canadian Single Malt for Artisanal Single Malt, and Best Canadian Grain for Montfort Dl 141
Canadian Whisky Awards 2021 - Best Canadian Single Malt and Gold Medal for Shelter Point Double Barrelled Batch 5, plus 4 silver medals and 3 bronze medals
Canadian Whisky Awards 2020 - 9 Awards including Best Rye in Canada, plus 2 gold and 6 silver awards
Canadian Whisky Awards 2019 - Awards of Excellence - Innovation for Shelter Point Montfort Dl 141 plus 1 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze awards
Take a look around
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