KINSIP IS THE NEW WAVE FOR SPIRITS
Prince Edward County is a place, we can safely say, nurtures new Venture Capitalists. We have often seen it in the county with wine, restaurants, beer and hospitality, but what we haven’t seen it with is spirits.
Cocktail culture is no longer a trend, but a staple to the F&B industry; and to make them, you need freaking good product. So, when we had heard about Kinsip House of Fine Spirits, we knew we had to check them out.
We sat down with one of the four owners of Kinsip, Jeremiah Soucie. We wanted to know more about them and their new product line being launched in what has become a huge competitive market. We also wanted to know what doing business in the BOQ is like for them.
Do you find there are any disadvantages to having a company in this area, more specifically, Prince Edward County?
“Are you kidding me,” he laughed, “it’s been nothing but supportive and overall great!”.
The area is synonymous with all things well done and with passion. So, when the opportunity came to take the dive into this business, they were happy it was in PEC.
So, what products do you guys produce?
“Well we have our spirits, of course, and our line of hand-crafted bitters.”
Which product do you feel is the flagship to the brand? “I would have to say our Gin line and also our Maple whiskey.”
He went on to say that launching a Maple whiskey, among the long line of other huge companies in Canada that produce flavoured whiskey, was kind of a risk. That was because it’s seen as a gimmick of sorts where by these large companies use artificial flavour to add to a product that is, well, sometimes seen as less then palatable.
Kinsip sees it differently, “Maple is something we already find in the tasting notes in a lot of whiskey. The two working together add to the already big flavour profile. That would be from the wood barrel and the sugars found in the grains we use.” That profile you can find in a lot of whiskeys, so this makes total sense to the amateur whisky drinker writing this piece.
“Also, the maple needed to be second to the spirit. Not the other way around.”
And what kind of syrup is used? You’d be pleased to know that Kinsip uses local maple syrup, but not just any syrup.
”We buy dark maple syrup, not light,” he says. Dark syrup tends to have more flavor.
“We then add it to our barrels for six months prior to adding our batch. The wood absorbs the maple into it. Then they age it with the spirits. What you end up with is a naturally enhanced product that comes out in the finish while drinking. Not an overwhelming sweet, processed taste.”
So let’s talk grains.
Kinsip gets their grains from around the Bay of Quinte area. Jeremiah tells us that they are picky about the grains they use to produce the spirit because, like everything they do, they want to deliver a quality product.
Also, he went on to say that the wine industry in the area has been a big influence on the product. He says, “the ‘terroir’ concept very much applies to spirits and there is no doubt that grains from one regional part of the country taste and smell different than grains from British Columbia, or Saskatchewan or Alberta.
He says, “every harvest we use will be reflective to the profile that is bottled”. For instance, wine producers are at the mercy of climate and weather. That idea also applies to spirits. When farmers have weather that effects the growth and yield of a product, that too is found in the type of product that is produced.
What’s next for Kinsip? The other bigger side to this vertically integrated company is that they have plans to start growing their own grains, not only for economic reasons, but to give themselves the ability to dial in on some heirloom varieties that large commercial companies would never dare consider. “It opens the door to endless possibilities for us and gives us an advantage to give the consumer something really special”.
What sets Kinsip apart from the other producers?
Well, one thing is that they don’t just put it into the hands of a Master Distiller, rather the R&D side is a collective democratic process. Soucie explains, “We have four members of our team, myself included, that all get together to work and brainstorm and fine tune it to where we all agree we have a product that we feel should go to market.” He also went on to say, “we like educating our client base and teaching them new concepts as well as the staples to distilling and aging spirits”.
Our time with the very busy and methodological Jeremiah was very eye-opening. We thought we knew all there was all to know, but we were definitely wrong. It appears, with all things crafted with passion and education, this company is running its own race. Sure, they are by far one of the best companies we have spoken to in-terms of watching very closely what its client base is looking for, but they are also not afraid of trying to take traditional methodology to bigger and greater heights with innovative, yet, very practical practices. They are most certainly the stewards of spirits in the BOQ and PEC who are changing the landscape. They want to be excellent, not just great and not for the accolades, but so they know at the end of the day they are not only running a successful business, they are creating a product/brand that is perfectly balanced by being respectful of traditional processes and bring that conceptional focus to you, the consumer.
We will be back soon to see what’s up this spring and what they will launching in 2019. That all said, we are grateful for the chat and glad to be educated on an industry we thought we knew.
Visit Kinsip's website here for more details.