Compass Distillers is located in a curiously charming little building in the North End of Halifax. There, they both distill a nice variety of spirits and mix them up for tastings. But the most exciting part of Compass Distillers is their partnership with Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. It is there that they barrel age a Noon Gun Gin.
The Halifax Citadel dates back to 1749 when the hilltop was selected as the site for a fort to defend Halifax harbor. Today, the Canadian historic site is one of the most visited attractions in Nova Scotia. The highlight of any visit is the firing of the noon gun, a 12-pound cannon, which has been done by soldiers in period uniforms daily since 1857. I guess though in 1857 the uniforms would not have been considered “period”.
I visited the Citadel on August 4, 2019, enjoying the noon firing and touring the historic fort. When I stopped at the gift shop I spotted two bottles aged on site, Noon Gun Gin and Daily Ration Rum. I bought the gin and promptly took and placed it on the recently fired cannon. That evening, I stopped by the distillery where I first tried Noon Gun Gin, along with their signature Gin, Gin Wild, Summer GiNS, and Gin Royal. I ended up purchasing two more bottles, Summer GiNS and Spiced Rhums.
The bottle of Noon Gun Gin in the collection remains unopened. When we do open it and sample it again, I will update this post with more detailed tasting notes. For now it’s good to know that in addition to being aged in a two-and-half century old building, it is made with Nova Scotia wheat. It drinks smooth, like most aged, low proof gin. I haven’t mixed it with tonic yet, but remember finding it very pleasant to drink neat. In the end, it is the story and the history that makes this gin so interesting and such a prized part of the collection. And that’s why I still haven’t opened it.