sons of vancouver canadian whisky of the year

This craft distillery just won the “Canadian Whisky of the Year”

We asked a few questions to James Lester, one of the founding owners of Sons of Vancouver distillery, after winning “Canadian Whisky of the Year” with their tropical recipe.

The Sons of Vancouver distillery just won the Canadian Whisky of the Year award for ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’, a Caribbean-cask whisky aged in used bourbon barrels and finished in ex-rum barrels with tropical flavor notes like banana, pineapple, demerara sugar, and a bit of vanilla and rye spice.

One of the founding owners of SOV, James started the distillery alongside best friend Richard Klaus.

James has a vast knowledge of the whisky industry and spent time making bourbon at a distillery in Seattle, Washington.


Spirits Hunters: Can you tell us what was your inspiration when making this whisky?

James Lester: This Whisky really came together when we were pilling samples out of the barrel. We found one barrel that was VERY fruity. Think banana and pineapple.

We went through all of our inventory to hand-pick every well-aged fruity barrel that matched the profile. We took these and blended them together.

Spirits Hunters: What are the tasting notes?

James Lester: The final flavor profile was really inspired by a big tropical note. It was agreed among us that a rum barrel was the direction to go. We bought a few used Virgin Islands barrels and set about finishing our whisky in those for four months and blending it back.

Spirits Hunters: And what’s the best food pairing?

Dried Pineapple


In total, Sons of Vancouver took home six wins including “Canadian Whisky of the Year”

  • Canadian Whisky of the Year – ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’
  • Canadian Whisky of the Year, Artisan Producers – ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’
  • All-Rye Whisky of the Year – ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’
  • Barrel-Finished Whisky of the Year – ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’
  • Gold Medal – ‘Palm Trees and a Tropical Breeze’
  • Silver Medal – ‘Marshmallows over a Campfire’


About Sons of Vancouver

Sons of Vancouver is a small distillery on Vancouver’s North Shore. It was born out of a young, foolhardy desire to follow passions and contribute to a growing community of independent distillers.

Best known for the ever-popular No. 82 amaretto, the distillery is now running a growing whisky program and is very excited to bring super flavourful rye whiskies to the Canadian market.



Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.

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