Handcrafted in small batch copper-pot stills, Empress 1908 Gin is a collaboration between Victoria Distillers and the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. On top of traditional botanicals, we add a signature blend of black tea served at the Empress Hotel and butterfly pea blossom, an exotic herb that balances the traditional citrus notes of gin with a warm herbal earthiness, and gives the gin its natural indigo colour. Empress 1908’s combination of exquisite taste, delicate aroma, soft texture, and remarkable presentation provide the perfect base for a new aesthetic of cocktail creation and enjoyment.
Since 1908, travellers from around the world have fallen in love with the Fairmont Empress Hotel for its majestic grandeur, picturesque vistas, and incomparable afternoon tea service. Overlooking the Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia, this iconic destination has hosted royalty, dignitaries, and discerning explorers for over a century. Today, as the Empress moves into a new era, it exemplifies a perfect blend of traditional elegance and modern sophistication.
Eight Natural Botanicals
Empress 1908’s distinct flavour profile is a result of a fine balance of the 8 natural botanicals that go into its distillation.
Butterfly Pea Blossom
We chose this flower for its warm, herbal earthiness, and the softness it contributes to the texture. It plays a flavour role similar to that of angelica in other gins. This botanical is also responsible for the gin’s unique colour.
Fairmont Empress Tea
The signature tea at the Empress Hotel, this blend is a selection of seasonal, quality teas from Assam, Kenya, South India, Ceylon, and China, created exclusively by the Metropolitan Tea Company. At once floral, fruity and oaky, it is one of the finest blends in the world.
The classic taste found in most gins, it provides a complex flavour with notes of pine and citrus. And while London Dry Gins like a big juniper burst, our Pacific Northwest style gin uses a subtle varietal that isn’t too pushy, and balances nicely with the other less traditional botanicals.
While lemon and orange are fairly traditional gin botanicals, we prefer grapefruit for its unique citrus flavour that’s both slightly bitter and suggestively sweet. It provides an aromatic, lively bright note that pairs very well with tonic.
A traditional gin botanical, coriander has hints of nut and spice that brings some warmth to the palette. Ours is sourced from India and is a bit more citrusy than what is typically used in gin, and plays off other citrus elements to round out the flavour.
A more contemporary element, the essential oil from cinnamon bark provides a warm, spicy note that serves as a complement to the citrus and floral elements, and works with the ginger to provide a full spice element.
A traditional element, the sweet flavour of rose contributes to the softness and warmth of our gin, providing a nuance that balances out the spices with an elegant floral note. We use whole rosebud from India.
Ginger is incredibly aromatic, with a peppery, slightly lemony flavour. Fragrant and spicy, ginger is another component in the balancing act of botanicals that gives Empress its unique profile.
Raise Your Glass
Most Memorable Awards
Empress 1908 has made a big splash in the world of spirits. Our award-winning gin has received praise on the local, national, and international stage, including but not limited to: