A purist’s dream


(To view our March/April 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers introduces liquid truth with 100 per cent pure rye grain whisky

By Joanne McDonald

It’s circa 1895 and there’s a stirring of poetic alchemy, or maybe, it’s just a trick of the eye.

Prolific writer and visionary H.G. Wells is in the building.

And he’s reading comfortably from one of his science adventure novels against the backdrop of botanicals and berries distilling in copper pot stills – machinery resembling so much works of art as the hard working purveyors of spirits that carry the label of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers.

The spirit of Wells fades back as Geoff Dillon, proprietor and distiller, reaches up to adjust a gauge on the copper columns.

A young entrepreneur with a vintage soul, he takes pride in precisely creating craft spirits from the very best ingredients, the rich bounty of local Niagara fruits and the botanicals and absinthe gardens in his own back yard – one batch at a time.

Now heading into a sixth year of production, the confluence of old school values with one-of-a-kind modern equipment and clever techniques has this small batch distillery in Beamsville carving out a big reputation on the local and international stage.

It’s been a thrill for Geoff to see his spirits on the shelf at the LCBO. “Seeing that for the first time boggles your brain a bit.”

He credits his father, Dr. Peter Dillon, a renowned scientist and retired university professor who taught biogeochemistry, as the “mad scientist” behind the wide range of unique flavours and aromatics associated with Dillon’s spirits and the distillery’s thoughtful impact on the environment. “He’s such a huge part of this, the fun part where it’s all about experimentation,” says Geoff, of his dad who grows herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables on a ten-acre hobby farm.

To read the full article, click here for the March/April 2018 ClubWest online magazine.