The second stop on our Drake Devonshire adventure was the Kinsip House of Fine Spirits. Kinsip, formerly known as 66 Gilead, is a family-run craft distillery located on a farm in the heart of Prince Edward County. The farm dates back to the 19th century when the fields were once sown for hops and barley, during a time known as the barely days of Prince Edward County. The historic Cooper-Norton house, built in 1874, is perched proudly at the entrance to the farm with its elegant moulding, ornate gable dormers, and iconic Mansard roof still remaining to this day. Now, this beautiful home operates as a tasting room and boutique shop for the distillery, as well as a community landmark to attract locals and passers-by alike.
We met Maria, an owner of Kinsip, who led us on a guided tour of the distillery. She discussed the production process of their different spirits, and walked us through a spirits tasting in the barn, where she detailed the individual flavour profiles of their unique line of products. The timber-clad tasting barn was decorated with fairy lights hanging from the rafters, antique wooden barrels, and quirky mismatched wooden chairs, all lending to the cozy vibe of the distillery. Our menu for the afternoon included Juniper's Wit Gin, Still's Whisper Vodka, Duck Island Rum, Du Bois Maple Whisky, and Whisky Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, all of which were unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before: smooth, fresh, and distinct. There is something to be said about small-batch spirits produced locally in Ontario!
We had some free time after our tasting to wander around the 80 acres of beautiful property and hang out with the farm’s resident chickens, including the dominant rooster whom I felt my own kinship with (de Haan is Dutch for rooster). Our visit to this distillery was a definite highlight of our afternoon in the County, and I highly recommend a stop at Kinsip if you find yourself thirsty in Prince Edward County.