The GOODS from Odd Society Spirits
Vancouver, BC | 2020—Odd Society Spirits collaborates with four neighbouring breweries to create a series of distinct whiskies that express the individual craft of each partnering brewery. The idea had been percolating for some time but it was set into motion more than three years ago, when Legacy Liquor approached the distillery about creating two celebratory collaboration whiskies in honour of the store’s 10-year anniversary.
“I was a brewer before I started distilling and had been spending a lot of my time with other brewers,” explains Joel McNichol, distiller at Odd Society Spirits. “My friends and I intended to create something rare and cool together that honours our crafts and our community.”
The first stages of developing whisky are essentially the same as beer: mashing and fermenting grains. Most of these limited release whiskies were mashed at the brewery and then fermented, distilled and aged at Odd Society. Changing the types of grains in each recipe and the method for aging resulted in four uniquely expressive whiskies.
The partnering breweries in this series are Doan’s Craft Brewing Co., Parallel 49 Brewing, Powell Brewery and Storm Brewing. Odd Society Spirits will release three of the four collaboration whiskies at the distillery on Thursday, Nov. 26, followed by Powell’s in January, 2021.
Doan’s Rye Stout Whisky: Doan’s is known for its use of rye in most of its beers and fans of its Rye Stout will appreciate this whisky. The stout recipe calls for chocolate malt—unable to source this particular roast level in B.C., cold-brew coffee from Agro Rosters was used in its place along with as much rye as possible in the mash. This whisky has a heavy roasted nose, dark fruit and chocolate notes with a distinctive stout finish.
P49 Old Boy Single Malt Whisky: Based on the recipe of the Parallel 49 beer of choice of many brewers—Old Boy Classic Brown Ale—this whisky is a more of a traditional single malt with a distinct Old Boy taste of toffee and chocolate.
Storm Black Plague Stout Rye Whisky: Unlike the other two, this whisky was mashed at Odd Society using 100% rye grain. It is a bit of a full-circle release as when the distillery first opened and didn’t yet have mashing equipment, Storm provided its mash. The spirit was aged in an ex-Storm Brewing Black Plague Stout barrel, which was originally a first fill bourbon barrel that Odd Society used to age vodka in. The barrel is back at Storm aging its next Black Plague Stout. Odd Society blended the stout barrel-aged whisky with a bit of single malt and the result is a true-to-form dram with a spicy rye nose and anise finish. Not as wild as one might expect from Storm but noteworthy none-the-less.
Powell Street Bourbon Style Corn Whisky: Still aging and not available until January 2021, this whisky was inspired by Powell’s experimental corn California common and is the distillery’s first bourbon style corn whisky. Sourcing the correct corn in B.C. proved difficult but the fine folks at Okanagan Spirits connected Odd Society with an Okanagan grown grain corn, which was mashed with B.C. malt and then soured overnight at Powell Street Brewery. The resulting corn mash whisky is still aging in brand new American White Oak barrels at the distillery but taste tests confirm a rich, bourbon-style sweetness.
The first three Odd Society Spirits brewery collaboration whiskies—Doan’s, Parallel 49 and Storm—are priced at $39 (tax included) for a 375 mL bottle and will be available at Odd Society’s distillery (1725 Powell St.) starting Thursday, Nov. 26, and online at shop.oddsocietyspirits.com as of Monday, Nov. 30. The Doan’s and Parallel 49 whiskies will also be available at Legacy Liquor Store.
About Odd Society Spirits | Odd Society Spirits is a small-batch B.C. craft-certified distillery located in the heart of East Vancouver. Dedicated to combining old-world distilling traditions with new-world ingredients and ingenuity, Odd Society Spirits has created a family of spirits that entice and intrigue. Open Thursday through Sunday, Odd Society Spirits distillery and cocktail lounge is located at 1725 Powell St., Vancouver, B.C.