Tiny, family-owned and operated, organic, hand-crafted, world-class award-winning—pretty impeccable credentials for British Columbia, Canada’s Pemberton Distillery, a new artisanal outfit with uncompromising standards and a fine potato vodka. Their flagship Schramm Vodka is a sipper, Master Distiller Tyler Schramm’s proof that vodka could be “as rich and complex as a single malt scotch.” It’s made in small batches, in a hand-operated copper pot still, from locally sourced, certified organic ingredients—the potatoes are from right there, the elite-spud terroir of Pemberton Valley—without chemicals, synthetic anti-foaming agents, or additives, and it’s bottled by hand. There is a good backstory, too: Acting on an idea in 2002, to use brother Jonathan’s Pemberton potato farm for vodka, Schramm completed a Masters thesis in potato vodka distilling at prestigious Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, then came home and built the distillery by hand, with Jonathan and third sibling, Jake, in the winter of 2008. Focused! In 2010, Schramm Vodka scored 95.3/100, beating 65 distilleries from 25 countries, to win Double Gold and Spirit of the Year at the World Spirits Awards, considered the best of the best honor by industry insiders. Pemberton also produces a very limited edition gin, a pure vanilla extract, and a selection of syrups for flavoring cocktails, and a first single malt whiskey will be tasting in 2013. Schramm Vodka is available in BC and online.