Review: J.P. Wiser’s Alumni Series Mark Messier Canadian Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Mark Messier 2.jpg
11 Years; Ex-Bourbon and Ex-Speyside Scotch Casks
Blend of Corn, rye, and malt whiskies
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

Here we have yet another in Wiser’s Alumni series - this time it is a blend of single column distilled rye and malt with double distilled corn. It’s aged 11 years in honour of Messier’s number 11 jersey and bottled at 94 proof, in honour of Messier winning the cup in ‘94. This is now the third release of three of the alumni series.

This is launching in Ontario sometime this winter, as early as December. As with all alumni series whiskies, 50% of the profits are going towards hockey initiatives and the support of retired players.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: 2019-2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The whisky has a nice nose – indeed, malt notes come through at the edges! Quite pleasant. But, beyond that – a nice corn core with floral rye notes playing into the nose nicely. There are nice bourbon notes, green grape, baking spices, new charred oak, and dried corn. It really opens up with added water. The palate brings in some more charred oak flavours, alongside a light and floral fruitiness (green grape, elderflower), orange peel, and some nice spicy, fruity rye. It has just a touch of bitterness and tannin which adds some nice structure to the whisky. The finish has some bean sprouts, baking spices, molasses, and clove.

Stylistically, it is very much a Wiser’s whisky. I actually like this one with a drop or two of water – it opens up the Speyside notes on the nose and tames the palate a bit.

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

Value: High. Good stuff for $45.