Review: Wiser's Deluxe Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Wiser's Deluxe.jpg
~8-10 Years; First Fill bourbon barrels and refill casks
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

Deluxe, I suppose, is a common descriptor of the cheaper lines of Canadian whiskies, with both Crown Royal and Wiser’s offering some of their cheapest range under a “Deluxe” label. This whisky focuses on vanilla, with lots of bourbon notes - in terms of casking and character. It's the flagship Wiser's...

Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2015

Oaky and bitter, with some orange peel, spice, brown sugar, maple cookies, and burnt biscuits. Time opens up a light fatty grain in the background, with light nuttiness and rye spice adding in intrigue. It follows the nose on the palate, with some bitterness - and there's a bit of a sweet oaky middle and finish with some vanilla, strawberries, and cranberries coming through on the lightly creamy finish.

Score: 68/100

Value: 70/100 (based on $28)

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code:  L17195DW14:36
  • Bottling Date: 2017


The previous review was some time ago, and, I keep hearing about this – so time for another go.

The nose has pine, burnt toast, vanilla, orange, light nutiness, butter, and orange peel. The palate is about the same – medium creaminess, and slightly bitter, with light caramel notes coming in mid-palate. Some white raisins, too. The finish has light evergreen wood (pine, cedar), with some clove and some very light dried apricot.

It’s still not my favorite – oddly, I think the added bourbon to this (from the cask or otherwise) is what is responsible for the worst parts of it, namely the slightly bitter finish („smooth” as they call it...). Much better than I remember. I don’t grade enough whiskies in this range to know if my tastes have changed (my early review was towards the beginning of my formal reviewing), or if it is batch dependent. I have heard that it is ...but I’d still much rather pay a bit more and get a better lower end Canadian like Northern Harvest or Copper Pot.

But, what shall we say – it’s more made for mixing. Makes some great lemonade, that’s for sure! 45 ml lemon juice, 50 ml deluxe, 50 ml vanilla simple syrup, and 5 ml homemade bitters (or 4-5 dashes Angostura/other purchased bitters). Shake and dump over ice in a glass; rim with black pepper if you feel adventurous. Bottles don’t last that long if you are drinking it this way in the summer...

Score: 79/100

Value: 72/100 (based on $28)