Explore the past, taste the present

The everyday life of a nineteenth-century soldier included alcohol, from persuading the enlistment of new recruits, to fortifying one’s bravery in the field, alcohol is a part of the Halifax Citadel’s story. In 1869, a daily alcohol ration was the high-point for many soldiers and the stories associated with this reality are abound.

The Halifax Citadel Society has partnered with Compass Distillers to create three unique spirits, all of which are aged in oak barrels and stored on-site at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site. Whether you're interested in the quick tasting experience or ready to embark on the grand tour with tasting tutorials from a professional distiller from Compass Distillers, there’s an experience for you!


Raise your spirits (tour and tasting)!

Enjoy a special tour and tasting with a kilted 78th Highlander as your guide. Go behind-the-scenes at the historic Halifax Citadel and discover the history of alcohol in the British Military. Finally, savour three Halifax Citadel-aged spirits crafted by award-winning Compass Distillers paired with delicious artisanal cheeses.

Experience Highlights:

  • Exclusive access to Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, a restored 19th-century British fortification with stunning views of Halifax and the Halifax Waterfront.
  • Be guided by a kilted 78th Highlander to hear how alcohol was used in the British military. Both a blessing and a curse – depending on who you ask!
  • Go inside Compass Distillers’ barrelling room where spirits are stored and aged in wooden barrels inside the fortification – a truly sensory experience!
  • Guided tasting of three unique spirits made exclusively for the Halifax Citadel Society by award-winning Compass Distillers. Enjoy Noon Gun Gin, Fort George Genever, and Daily Ration Rum with artisanal cheese and crackers.
  • Get the scoop on Compass Distillers’ locally sourced ‘grain to bottle’ distilling approach.

Private group tours and tastings

Details

Dates:

Friday, July 9, 2021 to Saturday, October 30, 2021

Booking Information:

For more information or to book a private tour, call 902-426-1990 or email bookings@halifaxcitadel.ca.

Public tours and tastings

Dates
  • Friday, July 9, 2021 to Saturday, October 30, 2021
  • Friday and Saturday nights
  • 7 pm (The program lasts 75 minutes)
Price
  • Price: $75 + HST
  • Participants must be 19 years of age or older.
Purchase tickets
  • Purchase tickets through the Eventbrite website.
  • Tickets go on sale every Sunday for the week. You must purchase your ticket the same week as the date you plan to attend.
  • Online tickets for Friday and Saturday programs close on Thursday at 5 pm.

Maximum of 8 participants per session.

Cancellation policy
  • Cancellations are accepted up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled day of the tour.
  • Participants will be notified 48-hours in advance if the tour is cancelled due to inclement weather forecast or unforeseen circumstances.
  • For more information, call 902-426-1990 or email bookings@halifaxcitadel.ca
Good to know
  • Warm clothes and comfortable shoes are encouraged for the exterior tour.
  • Meet at the front kiosk of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site at the designated program time. If arriving on foot, you can reach the front kiosk via the sidewalk from Sackville Street or the pathway from Brunswick Street, beside the Old Town Clock.
  • Parking is permitted in the pull-offs located around the Perimeter Road.
  • Participants must wear a non-medical mask in all indoor spaces with the exception of when seated.

Toast & tasting

This experience is currently unavailable.

There are three exclusive spirits offered by Compass Distillers. Sample all three spirits, aged exclusively at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and made from scratch with Nova Scotian ingredients:

  • Noon Gun Gin
  • Fort George Genever
  • Daily Ration Rum

As part of the spirit tasting experience, you’ll receive a perfectly paired light snack and a souvenir placemat that includes an explanation of each spirit and its tasting notes.

Adults (aged 19 and more)

$15 per person plus tax

Served in the Soldier’s Library on the ground level of the Cavalier Building.

Orders placed at the Coffee Bar.


Raise your spirits – private bookings

Join the Halifax Citadel’s 78th Highlanders on an exclusive private tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site and learn about how alcohol played various roles in British military history.

After the private tour, sample all three spirits, aged exclusively at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site (Noon Gun Gin, Fort George Genever, and Daily Ration Rum) and paired with a delicious assortment of artisanal cheeses and crackers.

The experience concludes with a 78th Highlanders-branded Glencairn glass as a souvenir of your experience.

This exclusive tour and tasting will engage all of your senses!

Dates

Every day from May to October*
*except a few special-event days - contact us for details (see "Reserve" tab)

Duration:  1 hour 

Price

Adults (aged 19 or more)
$75 per person plus tax

Reserve

By email: bookings@halifaxcitadel.ca

By telephone: The Halifax Citadel Orderly Room at 902-426-1990 

Special Notes:

  • A minimum of 48 hours advanced notice is required for registration.
  • The Halifax Citadel Orderly Room is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Maximum of 10 participants per session.
Travel trade
  • Available in English and French
  • Suitable for small groups
  • Suitable for FIT (Fully Independent Travelers)
  • Reservation required
  • Motorcoach parking available
  • On site café/restaurant
  • Washrooms on site
  • Gift shop

The proof is in the barrel

A truly Nova Scotian experience in a unique historic setting!

Start your experience with an exclusive and spirited private tour of the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site with a uniformed 78th Highlander guide. Learn more about the history of alcohol in the British military and watch a firing demonstration of an authentic 19th-century Snider-Enfield rifle.

From there you’ll march over to the barrel room where you'll meet a professional distiller from Compass Distillers who will explain the story of how each of the exclusive Halifax Citadel-aged spirits were created. Continuing the hands-on experience, you'll take samples from the barrels and help the distiller with a process called ‘proof them down’, which reduces the alcohol content.

Finally, gather in the North Magazine’s Garrison Room for a delicious culinary experience featuring local charcuterie, all chosen with care to pair perfectly with each spirit. In this private space, you'll learn how to properly taste each spirit and have the opportunity to ask questions of the distiller.

But the fun doesn’t stop here! All participants receive a gift box set of 78th Highlanders-branded Glencairn glasses and two bottles of Halifax Citadel-aged spirits of your choice to continue your tasting experience at home.

Dates

Every day from May to October*
*except a few special-event days - contact us for details (see "Reserve' tab)

Duration: 3 hours

Price

Adults (aged 19 or more)
$350 per person plus tax

Reserve

By email: bookings@halifaxcitadel.ca

By telephone: The Halifax Citadel Orderly Room at 902-426-1990

Special Notes:

  • A minimum of 48 hours advanced notice is required for registration.
  • The Halifax Citadel Orderly Room is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Maximum of six participants per session.
Details
  • Private tour of the Halifax Citadel
  • Rifle firing demonstration
  • Learn about spirit making from a professional distiller
  • Enjoy sampling straight from the barrels
  • Culinary experience with local charcuterie
  • Take home your very own Glencairn glasses and two bottles of Halifax Citadel-aged spirits of your choice
Travel trade
  • Available in English and French
  • Suitable for small groups
  • Suitable for FIT (Fully Independent Travelers)
  • Reservation required
  • Motorcoach parking available
  • On site café/restaurant
  • Washrooms on site
  • Gift shop