Review: Wiser's Small Batch Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Double Barreled; Virgin Oak Finish
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

I suppose it could have been "started" in virgin oak rather than "finished", but this is not how these processes usually go. As for the other barrel, I don't know what it is - likely refill casks but they could be bourbon casks I suppose.

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: Lots of maple and vanilla, along with some spicy rye and baking bread – perhaps not wheat but malt loaf. The maple syrup leaps from the glass, and it is of the heavier sort which has slightly more burnt and caramel flavours. There’s also oak, and the whole whisky smells a bit green – like green wood rather than dried wood. There are little tiny bits of soft vanilla and dried fruits reminiscent of bourbon. However, there’s a part of the nose I don’t like that is almost starchy, and brings to mind bean sprouts. It’s odd, and detracts from the nose significantly for me.

Taste: Brown sugar, with some reasonable sweetness, maple, caramel, and vanilla. Spicy rye and some brilliant oak provides the backdrop and this is a weighty, spicy whisky – I love the delivery. I still find a fair bit of that starchiness – those bean sprouts – but it is much more amenable to my palate than my nose. It comes together very nicely and is much more balanced than the nose. There’s also a nice soft bourbon-like kick on the end which is quite nice.

Finish: It’s warm, with some spicy rye grain, dark rye bread, and oak – both green wood and dried, older wood, and a touch more of those bean sprouts and some vanilla. The bean sprouts I don’t love here either, but it’s It also has some good length and a nice amount of sweetness – not too sweet but not lacking in sweetness either.

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

Value: Average. Nearly high.