Bottles of Central City’s new single-malt whisky hit liquor stores in B.C., Ontario

Surrey brewer and distiller pours Lohin McKinnon at launch event Tuesday

Bottle and glass of Lohin McKinnon single-malt whisky made at Central City Brewers + Distillers in Surrey.

Bottle and glass of Lohin McKinnon single-malt whisky made at Central City Brewers + Distillers in Surrey.

SURREY — Liquor stores in B.C. and Ontario are now carrying a single-malt whisky made by Central City Brewers + Distillers.

A launch event for the new Lohin McKinnon was held at the company’s Bridgeview-area plant on Tuesday evening (Jan. 24).

Guests at the dinner and whisky tasting included Surrey-Centre MP Randeep Sarai, Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston, Central City president Darryl Frost, brewmaster Gary Lohin, head distiller Stuart McKinnon, and Canadian whisky experts Mike Nicholson and Davin de Kergommeaux.

The beverage is one of only a handful of single-malt whiskies released in B.C., and builds on Central City’s beer- and spirits-making tradition.

Nicolson, a master distiller who lives on Vancouver Island, raved about Lohin McKinnon.

“(It) has excellent aroma with rich, darker fruity notes, subtle vanilla and is pleasantly wood,” he said. “The liquid is great, with a touch of green apple skins, buttery notes, woody and softly textured mouth feel.”

(Story continues below)

Stuart McKinnon (left) and Gary Lohin with a bottle of the new Lohin McKinnon whisky made at Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey. (Now file photo: Tom Zillich)

The whisky is aged at Central City’s 68,000-square-foot facility on Bridgeview Drive, Surrey.

“Brewing and distilling really isn’t that far apart so it’s a natural progression for us to start distilling,” says McKinnon.

“The distilling process begins with the same barley mash that you would with beer, just without the hops. We distill our whisky using traditional copper artisan stills from Germany, and age them in bourbon oak barrels.”

On the distilling side of business, Central City also makes Seraph vodka and gin, along with the award-winning Queensborough gin.

Lohin McKinnon whisky (43% alc./vol) is sold in 750-ml bottles.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com