Review: Sons of Vancouver Blue Curacao / by Jason Hambrey

Sons of Vancouver Blue Curacao 2.jpg
Wheat base and botanicals
Distiller Sons of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

Sons of Vancouver makes their blue curacao by first macerating bitter orange peel, cinnamon, and mace in a wheat spirit that it is made in house. Then, the maceration is vacuum distilled at room temperature - vacuum distillation avoids any boiling and preserves the delicate and bright flavour notes. Then, the distillate is blended with brandy, sugar orange oil, and blue colouring.

James Lester, one of the founders, describes it as the best product that they make at the distillery- quite a statement after their impressive amarettos and whiskies.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2021

  • Bottling Code: N/A

The nose, unsurprisingly is all about orange, but it’s a very bright and floral orange rather than some of the heavier or fake orange notes you often get in orange liquers. This is a completely different category than those. There is a heavy backing of spice – it reminds you of those spicy citrus teas. The mace comes out and it is brilliant. It is lightly sweet and bitter, and the spice presents a pleasant backing to the spirit.

Perhaps the best way to appreciate this spirit is by way of comparison. Compared to Cointreau – perhaps the most popular orange liquer for high-class cocktails – it’s a bit like comparing marmalade to a fresh orange. Cointreau is heavy, slightly cloying, and full of heavy orange. This is bright, floral, spicy, and slightly bitter. It has just as much orange, but has much more finesse and intrigue.

How about compared to Grand Marnier? Grand Marnier is in a bit of a different category since it has a heavy presence of aged spirit and cognac notes, but, again, it’s a much heavier and sweeter spirit. It has a very different, building finish from the cognac – but the sons of Vancouver curacao remains very bright, with a direct spicy influence and more complexity with the spices.

Excellent stuff. Mixes incredibly, too.

Highly Recommended.