Today we introduce you to the Distillerie de Montréal.
We went to the distillery, located in the heart of Montreal, and met its co-founder and master-distiller, Lilian Wolfelsberger.
The first thing that surprised us when we walked inside its walls was the huge alembic charentais, the typical still that is used in Champagne to make Cognac. It is the only distillery in Quebec that has such a still. However, we couldn’t help but notice a small still next to it, that seemed like it had distilled more than a lifetime. Lilian introduced us to Georges, the still that was used by his grand-father back in France when Lilian was just learning the art of distillation. No matter how seemingly old and small Georges may look, the master-distiller still uses it to distil some of the spirits that are produced at the distillery.
It is then that Lilian explained us that distilling has been part of his family traditions for now 5 generations, back in the French region of Franche-Comté. This is where he learned to distil fruits and flowers such as prunes, apples, pears, currants, black currants, sea-buckthornes, elder flowers, and more. When Lilian moved to Quebec in the early 90’s, he came with all this knowledge and much curiosity about how to use the Quebec terroir. He was one of the first to get a micro-distillery license for his first distillery in the Easter Township in 2000.
Today, the Distillerie de Montreal produces spirits with the philosophy of making craft spirits with natural ingredients. As we walked through the distillery, we saw tanks full of rhubarb, baskets of spices about to go into the spiced rum, what resembled a lewis bags full of juniper berries about to be hand crushed with a baseball bat, and so on.
After a very full and satisfying tasting, we left the distillery with the feeling of having encountered some truly quality products made with passion and love for the art of distillation.