Review: Wiser's Double Still Rye Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This whisky is another move towards more rye grain in Canadian whisky, where Wiser's has decided to blend together two 100% rye whiskies together - one from a column still distilled and one from a copper pot still distilled to a higher ABV relatively. These are two of the main "flavouring" whiskies at Wiser's - the column still whisky and the copper pot whisky, which is the column still whisky redistilled in a copper pot to a higher alcohol content.  Apparently, the column whisky is heavier on the grain characteristic of the rye and the copper pot whisky is heavier on the spice characteristic of rye.

Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L15161 AW1609 54SL24

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Cinnamon, tobacco, light bitterness, some corn richness and some orange, raisins and baking spice...the dried fruit adds in some nice complexity. Apple seeds and some light musty notes have emerged with time, along with vanilla. On the palate, some hay and apples along with some saccharin notes, tanins, cinnamon, and peaches before some oak , almond, and grape on the finish.

This is quite decent, and one of the better lower priced mixers/sippers. Do I like it more than Wiser's other similarly priced product - Wiser's Small Batch (also 43.4%). Yes - at first I feared that it might be a replacement whisky but they are both very different. This is intensely floral and fruity compared to the more wood-oriented Small Batch. Both whiskies are spice-heavy, but I still think the spices are a bit more emphasized in Small Batch. This whisky continues the trend of Canadian ryes shifting into a bit more of a bigger American style with more new wood, but capturing and emphasizing the rye well. I like the move from Wiser's - it's staying true to the spicy house style but also moving in a bit of a bolder direction. For those who want a reasonably priced whisky that embraces rye well, this is a good pick - I am glad for the addition and quality of this whisky, and that other producers are doing the same (like Crown Royal).

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

Value: High. Great whisky for the price.