Hansen Distillery to release first made-in-Edmonton whisky

An Edmonton distillery will make history next week when it begins to sell its three-year-old whisky.

Hansen Distillery opened its doors in west Edmonton in December 2016 and barreled its whisky in January. Whisky has to be in a barrel for at least three years before it can be bottled. 

“We’re super excited,” said Shayna Hansen, who owns the distillery with her husband, Kris Sustrik. “It’s been a whole three years waiting.”

Hansen and Sustrik have been making gin, vodka and other spirits while their whiskeys aged.

“We definitely wouldn’t have released at three years if the product wasn’t good, if we felt it needed to stay in longer,” Hansen told CTV News Edmonton. “But tasting it and knowing we were happy and confident with the product that we had after the three years was a really good feeling.”

Hansen Distillery’s Northern Eyes Whisky is set to be the first-ever made in Edmonton to be bottled and sold.

Northern Eyes Whisky

(Hansen Distillery)

Strathcona Spirits Distillery opened its doors right around the same time as Hansen Distillery, but did not barrel their whisky until a few months after, Hansen said.

“We got it in right away … it was just a priority for us to do,” Hansen said. “We had really no idea that we were going to be the first.”

Northern Eyes won’t be the distillery’s only whiskey: they have five-year, seven-year and 10-year barrels on the way.

Hansen Distillery says the whisky, made with Alberta products, is savoury and spicy with notes of dark caramel, mild vanilla, black pepper and caramelized banana.

Approximately 500 bottles of Northern Eyes Whisky will be available at Hansen Distillery on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Hansen Distillery is located at 17412 111 Ave. NW.

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