Peter von Hahn

Peter von Hahn

Vernon distillery earns top international recognition

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has won distillery of the year and spirit of the year in Denmark.

Vernon’s Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has won distillery of the year and spirit of the year, while  retaining its world class distillery designation at the 2015 World Spirits Awards in Denmark.

This is the second time in a row Okanagan Spirits has entered the international competition and been awarded its highest honour, distillery of the year, beating out distilleries from Europe, Australia and the U.S.

A double gold distinction was awarded not once but three times to senior distiller Peter von Hahn who represented the craft distillery in Koje, Denmark, with eight spirits this year, all of which received medals.

Blackcurrant liqueur achieved spirit of the year with 96 points and a double gold medal (Okanagan Spirits blackcurrant also won this designation in 2013). Also to achieve double gold were first-time entrant Haskap liqueur and Danish-style Aquavitus.

“Double gold status for Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery’s Aquavit, being awarded here in Scandinavia — the birth place of aquavit — was very exciting.  Imagine, a small Canadian distillery in B.C. producing some of the best aquavit in the world,” said von Hahn.

Gold medals were also awarded to the raspberry liqueur, Genuine Taboo Absinthe and  the lottery-only Laird of Fintry Whisky (2014).

“We had high hopes for our Laird of Fintry single malt whisky, the exceptional quality of the whisky, hinted at by long waiting lists and a lottery draw, has now been further validated by the award of a gold medal,” said von Hahn.

The Laird is Canada’s first craft single-malt whisky to win gold at the World Spirits Awards.

Also in the whisky category a limited edition Final Proof Master Distiller Series: Peppered Pete (yet to be released) won silver and the Gina bronze.

“My thanks are not just to the hard-working team at Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery but also the enthusiastic supplying of high quality B.C. grown grains, fruit and berries by many growers, orchardists and fruit packing plants,” said von Hahn.

This year sees the distillery open the doors to a new $3 million venture — a 16,000-square-foot distillery in Vernon. The grand opening is set for April 24.