Review: J.P. Wiser's 22 Year Old Cask Strength Blend Port Cask Finish Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

JP Wisers 22 Port 2.jpg
22 Years; Port Cask Finish
Double Distilled Corn and Single Column Distilled Rye Whiskies
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This whisky is a different take on the 23 year old cask strength blend from last year, which received much acclaim. It is the same recipe, other than a year younger - but it is finished in a port “seasoned” cask. The casks were impregnated with tawny port using a proprietary process (to the barrel supplier) where the pores of the wood were opened in order to saturate the wine in the wood. In this case, the team at Hiram Walker choose French oak to be used. This is the crown jewel of Corby’s releases from 2020 (bleeding into 2021) - but there is more exciting stuff planned for later in the year.

Review (2021)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 54SL24 L202… 7:54

  • Bottling Date: 2020

Review (2021)

·         Batch: N/A

·         Bottling Code: N/A

·         Bottling Date: ~2020

The nose is rich with oak and fruit notes – fresh apricots, dried blueberries, tomato skins, white pepper, beeswax, bean sprouts, fresh oak, baking spice, cardamom, raisin, and with a slightly savoury wine characteristic. The palate is intense with dried fruit notes, clove, brown sugar, almond, and touches of rancio at the end. I notice the port character quite strongly about 2/3 of the way in. The finish has a really nice, creamy, vanilla character to it with a lot of fruity notes including red currant preserve. As you continue to drink, the port character builds until the finish becomes very similar to a ruby port. It has the old age whisky notes that you might expect, but with it a rich fruity/winey/oaky character. The savoury notes from the wine are quite interesting.

It is natural to compare this to the JP Wiser’s 23 year old from a year ago (same recipe, no port). There is  no close comparison, really – these are very different profiles. Although the components are the same – one is grain and age forward, the other is pretty focused around the port.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, at $150.