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

Yvan Cournoyer.jpg
12 Years; Refill, Ex-Bourbon and Virgin Oak Casks
Blend of Corn, rye, and malt whiskies
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This has two types of rye whisky in it - a single column distilled rye and a column and then pot-distilled rye whisky (i.e., Lot no. 40), alongside double distilled corn and column distilled malt. It was aged for 12 years - in honour of Cournoyer’s jersey number 12. It’s only bottled at 40% unlike many of the alumni series which come in a bit higher - but this is still a very nice whisky and, after reviewing it - probably my third favourite of the alumni releases behind Wendel Clark and Dave Keon. This is launching in Ontario and Quebec sometime this winter. As with all alumni series whiskies, 50% of the profits are going towards hockey initiatives and the support of retired players.

Interestingly, this recipe is inspired by the 1972 recipe for Carleton Tower, an old Hiram Walker blend. Why? Again, a nod back to Cournoyer - who was playing at the peak of his powers at the time for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: 2019-2020

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

The nose has a really nice mix of rich rye notes and corn notes – dried corn, prune, dried flowers, dried apricot, lilac, new oak, and pine. It develops as it sits – particularly the floral notes, with rosebushes coming through quite nicely.  The palate has sweet corn, rye notes, pine, orange, and some mixed grain porridge. It has a really nice balance of flavour – fatty corn, floral rye, dried fruit notes, and spices. It’s just very enjoyable. The finish has some baking spices, mixed citrus pith, dried fruit, lilac, and orange. Very nice – probably my third favourite of the alumni releases.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. Great stuff for $45.