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The premium spirits you’ll want from BC Liquor Stores in 2019

Adele Shaw has worked with local spirit companies and suppliers as well as travelling to key whisky countries to source the best selection of exceptional spirits to offer customers for this year’s annual Premium Spirit Release. For Shaw, Nov.

Adele Shaw has worked with local spirit companies and suppliers as well as travelling to key whisky countries to source the best selection of exceptional spirits to offer customers for this year’s annual Premium Spirit Release. 

For Shaw, Nov. 2, 2019, is the day she gets to raise a glass to customers when BC Liquor Stores unveils its popular annual Premium Spirit Release.

Along with a global selection of whiskies Shaw has helped to discover, there are other premium spirits, including rums, gins, tequilas and liqueurs available during the event.

“It’s really popular with our customers. Every year it gets bigger,” she says.

That’s because the release is an opportunity to get your hands on rare whiskies and spirits.

This year’s “Rarities” – which are only available for purchase by registering your name for an in-store draw – include Bowmore 50-year-old 1965 ($45,000), which will be drawn at the Park Royal Signature BC Liquor Store on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at 8 p.m.

There is also an in-store draw for the chance to purchase The Macallan Genesis 72-year-old ($78,000), The Macallan Exceptional Single Cask 9064 ($600), and The Macallan 30-year-old ($4,350) will be held at the 39th and Cambie Signature BC Liquor Store on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, at 8 p.m.

Tickets are handed out at 5 p.m. on the day of the draw and customers must be present at the time to win the opportunity to purchase the Rarities. 

Of course, it’s the more modestly priced – but equally coveted – bottles that draw the most attention during the Premium Spirit Release. 

“For people who are lining up, the Macallan 25-year-old usually sells out; the Glen Grant 18-year-old historically sells out too,” says Shaw. “The new Ardbeg 19-year-old is one of the oldest Ardbegs we’ve had in a long time, and I think those will go very quickly too.”

The Premium Spirit Release also allows Shaw to share some of their newer finds from around the world. “We want to offer customers something new they haven’t tried before.”

This year's event also includes whisky offerings from England, France, India and Japan.

“Japanese whisky is a hot trend right now,” she says.

Prefer bourbon? Taste some of the limited-edition bourbons. Shaw says single cask bourbon also usually sells out quickly, “because people realize what a unique opportunity it is to get these whiskies and that they will never be seen again.” Shaw also sourced and personally selected some single cask scotches as well a single cask Patron tequila.

This year’s Premium Spirit Release also includes tasting events at several liquor stores.

“We have brand ambassadors and master distillers. We have master blender Don Liverpool coming from J.P. Wiser, and he’s going to talk about Canadian whisky,” she says.

Shaw recently worked with Dr. Don Liverpool to help create J.P. Wiser’s Rare Cask Series Seven Rebels, which costs $69.99 and was created exclusively for BC Liquor Stores. “I can’t tell you how many whisky variations we went through to come up with this whisky. Usually, whiskies are sweet and easy drinking – we wanted this one to be more complex and layered with flavours. I highly recommend it.”

Want to try something different this holiday season? Shaw recommends Gran Patron Smoky ($269.99). “First of all, I love tequila, and this is almost like a version of mezcal because of the smokiness, so it’s unique for Patron.”

Along with stocking up your own cellar, the Premium Spirit Release is also an excellent opportunity to discover the perfect gift for scotch or spirits lovers and the 108-page brochure, available at, is an excellent guide to find something unique for every taste on your list.

If you’re new to scotch, Shaw recommends starting with the Glenmorangie Allta ($154.99). “Glenmorangie single malts are always one of my favourites. They are very approachable with lots of honey and citrus flavours and is not peated. The Allta is true to the Glenmorangie style.“

For more information about BC Liquor Stores Premium Spirit Release, visit

Participating Vancouver Island Locations:

87-1644 Hillside Ave

600-2945 Jacklin Rd.

Broadmead Village
370-777 Royal Oak Dr.

Fort Street
1960 Foul Bay Rd.

1-180 Central Rd.

Nanaimo Terminal
1533 Estevan Rd.

Parksville North
810 West Island Hwy

2335 Beacon Ave.