Highwood Distillers

  • Canada
  • “All-Corn Whisky of the Year” at the 2023 Canadian Whisky Awards., Sweet Sippin’ Maple Whisky: Secured a Gold Award at the 2023 Canadian Whisky Awards., Ninety 20-Year-Old Whisky: Doubled down on success with a Gold Award at the 2023 Canadian Whisky Awards.
  • https://highwood-distillers.com/
Phone Number
  • +14032162440
  • 114 10 Ave SE, High River, AB T1V 1E7, Canada

Exterior of Highwood Distillers building on rainy day.

About Highwood Distillers

Embracing the Canadian Essence

Highwood Distillers, deeply rooted in the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, has been upholding the tradition of craft distilling for nearly half a century.

Each bottle they produce is a tribute to Canada’s pristine landscapes and vibrant culture, embodying the essence of the nation in every pour.

Sustainability and Craftsmanship

The distillery is committed to sustainability, ensuring a harmonious relationship between their craft and the environment.

This commitment is reflected in their unique distillation process, which sets them apart as true artisans in the field.

Unique Distillation Process

Highwood Distillers stands out for its hands-on, small-batch distillation approach. Uniquely, they do not mill their grain before distillation.

Instead, they use specialized equipment to process the grain in its unmilled state, a method perfected over 50 years. This approach allows for the extraction of the purest essence from each grain.

Every step, from fermentation to the use of column and pot stills, is meticulously monitored by touch, feel, and taste, rather than relying on computerized systems.

A Legacy of Dedication

Highwood Distillers’ nearly 50 years of dedication is evident in every bottle. Their spirits are inspired by the Canadian landscapes, blending tradition with innovation to create unforgettable moments with every sip.

Production at Highwood Distillers

Highwood Distillers, originally known as ‘Sunnyvale’ and now part of the Caldera family, was established in 1974 in High River.

The distillery marries tradition with innovation, crafting spirits that embody the finest flavors through a meticulous distillation process.

Quality and Sourcing

Highwood Distillers begins its process with exceptional grains sourced from Twin Valley Farms, a partnership lasting over 15 years.

Utilizing natural aquifer water and un-milled grains, the distillery ensures each spirit reflects the essence of the Canadian landscape and their commitment to family-to-family connections.

The Art of Fermentation

The journey from grains to exceptional spirits at Highwood centers on the art of fermentation.

This 90-hour process involves releasing starch from the grains, introducing enzymes and yeast, and allowing a natural transformation into alcohol. This delicate balance is guided more by nature than strict scientific formulas.

Crafting Spirits with Artistry

Since 1974, Highwood Distillers has honed its craft, focusing on small details for a significant impact.

The distillation process, combining tradition with innovation, is overseen with a hands-on approach, relying on sensory experiences rather than computer-driven models.

Maturation and Flavor Development

The spirits are transferred to oak casks for a minimum of three years for maturation.

The choice of casks and duration of storage is crucial, as it enriches the flavors, with the climate-controlled environment enhancing the aging process.

Creating the Perfect Blend

Highwood Distillers pays meticulous attention to blending and finishing. Each wheat variety is distilled and stored separately, then combined to create desired flavor profiles.

From Still to Bottle

The bottling line marks the end of the spirits’ journey, with the products being prepared for global distribution.

The journey continues in the warehouse, where aging barrels are stored, showcasing the commitment to quality at every stage.

Awards Won by Highwood Distillers

  • 2023 Alberta Beverage Awards:
    • Ninety 20-year-old Whisky: Awarded as ‘Judges Selection’ winner.
    • Foothills Gluten-Free Vodka: Also a ‘Judges Selection’ winner.
  • 2023 Canadian Whisky Awards:
    • Ninety 20-Year-Old Whisky: Honored as the ‘All-Corn Whisky of the Year.’
    • Sweet Sippin’ Maple Whisky: Received a Gold Award.
    • Ninety 20-Year-Old Whisky: Another Gold Award recipient.
    • Centennial 10-Year-Old Canadian Rye: Brought home a Bronze Award.
    • Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky: Also earned a Bronze Award.
  • Prestige Line Accolades:
    • 20 and 21-year-old releases: Recognized as multi-medal winners and named best Whisky in Canada at various spirits competitions and tastings.
  • Canadian Whisky Award of Excellence – Innovation of the Year:
    • White Owl Whisky: This innovative product is the first ever fully oak-matured white whisky, setting a new standard in the industry and receiving the Innovation of the Year award.

Highwood Distillers Tour Information and Experience

  • Tour Types: Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour or contact the distillery to arrange a guided tour and tasting. The guided tours and tastings need to be booked approximately two weeks in advance.
  • Access to Tours: It’s important to note that on-site visits are by invitation only. For commercial inquiries or to arrange a visit, you’re encouraged to reach out to Highwood Distillers via their email address.
  • Location: Caldera Distilling Inc. 114-10th Avenue S.E., High River, Alberta, Canada T1V 1E7
  • Contact Information
    • Phone: 403 652 3202
    • Fax: 403 652-4227
    • Email: info@caldera.ca

Flask & Barrel Review of Highwood Distillers

Right off the bat, the vibe at Highwood is welcoming. The self-guided tour let me explore at my own pace, which I really appreciated.

But the real deal was the guided tour and tasting – definitely worth booking in advance. The staff knew their stuff and were super friendly, making the whole experience feel personal and informative.

The Ninety 20-Year-Old Whisky was a standout for me. Its rich flavor profile is something any whisky aficionado would appreciate. And the Foothills Gluten-Free Vodka? A pleasant surprise, smooth and perfect for mixing.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say I wanted a bit more in-depth info on their distilling process. But overall, Highwood Distillers is a must-visit for anyone into whisky. Their attention to quality and detail is evident in every sip. Cheers to a great distillery experience!

What To Do Nearby Highwood Distillers

  • Heartland Tour: High River is known as the home of the CBC TV series “Heartland.” While there’s no official tour, a self-guided exploration starting from the Museum of the Highwood, which houses the Visitor Information Centre, is recommended. Many filming locations are nearby​​.
  • Pixie Hollow, High River: A delightful shop filled with unique decorations, toys, puzzles, women’s clothing, and books. They also offer barista drinks and baked treats, making it a perfect spot for a relaxed shopping experience​​.
  • High River Art Scene: Every Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., the Art and Soul Gallery hosts a community social with live music, pie, and art viewing. Nearby, Peculiar, Leather and Jewelry Art Works offers a chance to see artisanal jewelry and leatherwork being made​​.
  • High River Restaurants: The town boasts several unique dining options. Favorites include Golden National for Chinese cuisine, the Hitchin’ Post for burgers, and Evelyn’s Memory Lane, a retro diner known for homemade dishes and creative ice cream flavors​​.
  • Highwood River: This scenic river flows through downtown High River, offering recreational activities like fishing, canoeing, and kayaking, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts​​.
  • Highwood Golf & Country Club: An 18-hole championship golf course surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, ideal for a day of golfing with various amenities​​.
  • High River Farmers Market: Open every Saturday from May to October, it’s a great place to find fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handmade crafts​​.
  • Shopping in Downtown High River: The area is filled with unique shops, boutiques, and restaurants, along with activities for kids like the High River Skate Park and the High River Aquatic Centre​​.
  • Highwood Centennial Park: Offers sports fields, playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas, making it a great family-friendly outdoor destination​​.
  • Nightlife in High River: The town has a variety of pubs, bars, and restaurants, along with live music venues, movie theatres, and bowling alleys for evening entertainment​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Highwood Distillers?

  • MR MIKES SteakhouseCasual: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1225 1 St SE B, High River, AB T1V 0G8, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15875286453. 
  • Buster’s Pizza & Donair: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1225 1 St SE D, High River, AB T1V 0J5, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +18252120411. 
  • P & H Family Restaurants: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 327 Macleod Trail SW, High River, AB T1V 1B5, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +14036013802.

What hotels are near Highwood Distillers?

  • Ramada by Wyndham High River: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1512 13 Ave SE, High River, AB T1V 2B1, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +14036033183. 
  • Super 8 by Wyndham High River AB: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1601 13 Ave SE, High River, AB T1V 2B1, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +14036524448. 
  • Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 1104 11 Ave SE, High River, AB T1V 1P2, Canada.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +14036523834.