Masks are strongly recommended in all indoor spaces. More information.

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!

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.
Public tours and tastings

March 11, 25 at 7 pm

April 8, 22, 29 at 7 pm

May 6, 13, 20, 27 at 7 pm

The program lasts 75 minutes.


Price: $60 + HST

Participants must be 19 years of age or older.

Maximum: 10 to 15 participants

Purchase tickets:

Purchase tickets through the Eventbrite website.

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, if we have not met our minimum number of participants (4) to run the tour, or unforeseen circumstances.

For more information, call 902-426-1990, visit website, or email

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.

Private group tours and tastings


Tours available year-round except a few special-event days.

Booking Information:

For more information or to book a private tour, call 902-426-1990 or email

The Halifax Citadel Orderly Room is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

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.


Available year-round except a few special-event days. Contact us for details (see "Reserve' tab).

Duration: 3 hours


Adults (aged 19 or more)

$350 per person plus tax


By email:

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.
  • 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

Toast and 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.