Wiser's

Review: JP Wiser's Triple Barrel Canadian Whisky (USA) by Jason Hambrey

ABV
45%
Aging
Virgin American Oak, Ex-Bourbon Casks & Canadian Rye Whisky Casks
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This is the USA’s bottling of Triple Barrel - a bit of an amped up version of the Canadain Triple Barrel which is bottled at 43.4%. The whisky contains mostly rye with a bit of corn whisky, with the various casks being used to try to balance out the spicy rye characteristic. It is designed for the slightly bolder USA profile, with an eye towards rye cocktails.


Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Light fruit, and something nicely spicy about this – light lemon and cumin – and nice bourbon nuances and rich rye. Wintergreen, too! Some really nice floral and spicy rye notes, dried fruit, and rich grainy notes. It’s spicy – as rich as Wiser’s Triple Barrel – but it has a lightness and elegance to it, to the extent you might mistake this for a rich or rye-heavy Crown Royal (as I did when I tasted this blind). Very much, it feels like a bigger, older sibling of the Canadian Triple Barrel. It is very nice.

Highly Recommended (49% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Very high. This stuff is incredible for $25 CAD.


Review: JP Wiser's 10 Year Old Triple Barrel Canadian Whisky (European Union) by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
10 Yrs; American Oak; Canadian Rye whisky barrels; first-fill bourbon barrels
Recipe
Double Distilled Corn Whisky and Column Distilled Rye
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This whisky, one of master distiler Don Livermore’s favourites is a blend of three barrel types - reused American oak, ex-Canadian rye barrels, and first-fill bourbon barrels. The result is a whisky which is versatile as a sipper or in cocktails - but it is an EU exclusive.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Rich, spicy, and fruity on the nose with some maple and dried fruit. Light orange, vanilla, prunes, and some herbal spice notes - celery and dill seed! The palate has some nice brown sugar and slight bitterness, which gives good grip. Deeper and rounder than Wiser’s Deluxe. The finish has some dried citrus, dried fruit, and gooseberries. A bit drying, too – which I quite like.

Decent, straightforward, with a little bit of spice in the background. I like the heavier, spicier or older wiser’s products, but this isn’t bad nor particularly special. There is a light thread of rye in here, but it isn’t huge…

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). I think it’s worth a try if you aren’t exposed to Canadian whisky. It is a bit of a representation of a mid-level Canadian whisky if you live in an area where not much is available. If you have access to other Canadian whisky, I’d suggest that there are much better options. It does give an introduction to a bit of decent Canadian whisky and the terrific Wiser’s brand – while acknowledging that this is still at the bottom of Canadian whiskies I’d recommend.

Value: High. At these prices, it’s a good whisky at near bottom-shelf prices.


J.P. Wiser's Alumni Series by Jason Hambrey

Alumni Series.jpg

It is remarkable to my mind (and delightful to my heart): the number of special releases that J.P. Wiser’s is releasing. They are all fantastic, and have perhaps done the best of any brand showcasing the diversity of flavour which comes from Canadian whisky production with the diverse mix of grains, stills, and aging techniques. Most big Canadian distilleries make a number of very different whiskies, from different grains and distilled and aged differently to create vastly different flavour profiles. But, we rarely get to see them. J.P. Wiser’s, however, has opened the floodgates! The brand has been very busy:

  • 2016: Lots of releases: J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels; J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye; Pike Creek Rum Finish released to replace the Port Finish (a good move).

  • 2017: Even more releases: J.P. Wiser’s 15 YO; J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation; J.P. Wiser’s Union 52; J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels; J.P. Wiser’s Canada 150; J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye re-branded as Triple Barrel; (sadly, we also lost J.P. Wiser’s Small Batch and the amazing Wiser’s Legacy…); Gooderham & Worts Little Trinity 17 YO; Pike Creek 21 YO Speyside finish; Lot no. 40 Cask Strength 12 YO; and J.P. Wiser’s 35 YO. (That’s a busy year!!)

  • 2018: More special releases: the Alumni series (3 whiskies); J.P. Wiser’s 2018 Commemorative Bottling; Wiser’s Seasoned Oak (awesome); Pike Creek 21 YO Three Oak; Gooderham & Worts Eleven Souls; Lot no. 40 Cask Strength 11 YO; and J.P. Wiser’s 35 YO again. They also released J.P. Wiser’s old fashioned, which is an easy route to a decent old fashioned.

That’s a busy few years - what other major whisky brand is doing anything like it?! Unquestionably, J.P. Wiser’s has jumped to the forefront of the connoisseur market for Canadian whisky. While other major brands are releasing 1-2 special bottlings a year, Wiser’s is flooding the market with multiple special releases, and - what is more - they are all selling out.

Now to the alumni series. This is something different for them: it is a partnership with the NHL almumni association (NHLAA) with some of the profits directed towards the NHLAA. All the whiskies have been selected to reflect a certain player style - J.P. Wiser’s has chosen to tell a story with a unique take on their whiskies, rather than just recycle their current brands. The first set of releases - bottles honouring Wendel Clark, Guy Lafleur, and Lanny McDonald - were based on the playing styles of each player. Wendel Clark’s whisky was chosen to be a big, 100% rye whisky to reflect the intensity of Clark’s playing style. Lafleur’s whisky is an easy corn whisky, finished in three casks, to reflect his smooth style. And Lanny McDonald’s whisky is centred around wheat whisky, reminiscent of the grain-growing-prairies where McDonald grew up.

On another note, whisky brands partnering with other companies or charities hoping to do good is worth championing. We’ve seen it before with Parker’s Heritage collection and even the Town Collection from Collingwood last year. It’s great to see J.P. Wiser’s doing the same.

I love the diversity Canadian whisky brings, and from a personal perspective, I’ll buy as many Wiser special releases as we get. Again, to my palate’s delight, the alumni series isn’t over - with more Wiser’s special releases coming in 2019.

Reviews are coming, of the first wave, in the upcoming days.

Review: J.P. Wiser's 35 Year Old Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Wiser's 35.jpg
ABV
50%
Aging
35 Years; Refill and Virgin Oak Casks
Recipe
Double Distilled Corn and Rye Whiskies
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

The oldest release of Wiser's ever - in fact lots of old Canadian whisky is now coming on the market, quite affordably. This is largely double distilled corn whisky - distilled to a high abv, with a relatively light flavor - which would be an example of a "base" whisky used for blending - except that this is aged for a long time in a reused cask. At the distillery, it is very impressive - mature whisky is sucked right out of the casks from the top of the barrel after which point the barrels move about a metre and are filled with new whiskies, sitting empty for a matter of seconds. But, this light corn whisky picks up flavor as it ages years upon years in the cask, and becomes something rich and delicious. If you've had Wiser's 18, it has many of those characteristics, except - it is much older, richer, and contains about 10% column and pot distilled rye (matured in virgin oak casks) to give it incredible character.

This is part of the 2017 Northern Border Collection, originally released at the Victoria Whisky Festival. It is an annual release, and they have some great plans for next year.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose here is glorious – light oak, old rye, black tea, raosted root tea, arugula, blueberry, rich old corn whisky, slate, tobacco, molasses, tofee, burning oak, boiled tomato, amber beer, and even complex underlying vegetal notes reminding me of roasting agave. One of the best noses I have had the pleasure of enjoying – marvelously complex, balanced, and interesting. The palate is full of flavor, starting with old, brilliant corn whisky before the rye in all its brilliance creeps in – floral, with lilacs, aged tea notes, and spices – clove, cinnamon, fiery arugula, and also oak bringing with it light tannins and smoky notes. The finish is full, rich, and encompassing – with luxurious blueberry, green apple, tea, roasted fennel seed, and clove. Ever so lightly, and pleasantly bitter.

Corby’s and Canadian Club have a bit of a bitter history over who got the distillery, and, likewise, two of the best Canadian whiskies ever released – Wiser’s 35 and Canadian Club 40, overshadowing the Wiser’s in age, have been released – and they are both of them marvelous whiskies. Wow. I do love the rye in here, and I find it more interesting – but perhaps less luscious than the equally terrific Canadian Club 40.

Exceptional (3% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date receive this, my highest recommendation). One of the best whiskies I’ve ever tasted, probably in my top 3.

Value: Very High. For such a good whisky to be in the realm of $165 CAD means it’s a great buy, but at the price, the quality needs to remain top-notch.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: 2018

  • Bottling Code: 54SL24 L18205 EW12:47

  • Bottling Date: 2018

The nose has lots of stone fruit – peaches, apricot, flavorful plums – but also green apple. There is a brilliant thread of spice in the background – star anise, clove, and freshly cracked black pepper (with all the cedary implications). It’s quite creamy, too! And, interesting – it has a nice, subtle grassiness to it – like a freshly cut lawn, in the spring, when it’s wet – not dry like in the fall. Lest we not forget grain, there’s also lots of notes of high-quality multigrain cheese crackers. The stone fruit is really well done here – it is less “quirky” than last year and fits more into the generic style of a top-of-the-line whisky (no slight against last year’s fantastic release). Great nose.

The palate carries through with all of the expected fruit, but leading in a bit with that earthy, funky rye which adds a terrific layer of complexity. There’s almost a smokiness to it – it is immensely complex. The fruit is great – it’s a rich, intense, dried fruit characteristic – most like dried peaches. Oolong tea, too.

The finish is fruity (dried peaches), lightly oaky, and carries a terrific thread of earthiness and intense floral characteristic. The rye has a great vegetal characteristic – spinach, kale, and arugula…nice.

Doesn’t have the rye-forward complexity of the previous years release, which had lots of earthiness – I found it quite fascinating. This is more on the fruit, and it’s a little more typical in profile. While I find it a bit less intriguing, it is easier to drink, and I keep reaching for another – moreso than last year’s release.

Another stunning whisky.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I review to date get this recommendation or higher). This is still a fantastic release - absolutely stunning.

Value: Average. The whisky is stunning, but the price jumped up to $200 and we’re getting into a dangerous zone value-wise. However, for a great whisky that’s 35 years old, there is still some value here.


Review: Wiser's 18 Year Old Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
18 Years in refill casks (that have been used at least three times)
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

Canadian whisky is often made with a base whisky - usually a softer whisky to give body, typically made from corn - and flavouring whisky - spicy, flavourful, whisky which is often rye-heavy. This whisky, 18 years old, is made entirely of base whisky which is often thought of as bland - though you can see, here, that it is far from that. There can be a good bit of batch variation, as you will see below. But - this is quite the whisky. Much of the flavor comes from the wood - it is distilled to 188 proof (94%), and only aged in refill casks. Pretty phenomenal.


Review (2012)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2012

Nose: Fruity, woody rye comes in sharply at first. Plum, lots of vanilla, apricot, brown sugar, toffee, some maple syrup, along with other wood – cedar and pine. I think of brown sugar bubbling with cinnamon, and butter on sticky cinnamon rolls as I smell….It’s a touch creamy, and a touch bitter. Dark rye bread also comes off on the nose. There’s a fair bit going on. I do like the woodiness of the nose.

Taste: Full bodied, thick and smooth as a nice coating of oaky vanilla along with spice come onto the tongue. The rye comes on quite heavily too as the oak picks up and eventually wins the battle with a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel is excellent. There are spices at the end alongside the oak that keep the tongue engaged. The interesting thing about the touch of bitterness is that it seems constructed. In other words, it plays its part in the taste but doesn’t stick around and linger and ruin anything. It is there, but is limited and doesn’t dominate. In that way, I enjoy it. Thick and woody, and not overly bitter for the amount of wood that is present. The spices! I love them. They change up a bit, and softly prickle the tongue delightfully. The spices alone have put this score up a percent or two….

Finish: A fairly clean finish with some depth to it. Vanilla, freshly baked light rye bread, brown sugar, slight citrus, and, of course, oak. As I drink more, I see more of the spices come through – cloves, pepper and some nutmeg. Even a bit of pear! Not sweet, soft pear – but when it’s hard and a few days from being ripe and sweet. It’s also fairly dry – I always like those finishes. It lingers, and despite the touch of bitterness on the palate the finish is without it (which is great). There’s a bit of what I might describe as starchiness which reminds me of the finish on Wiser’s small batch. As with the entire drink, oak reigns supreme.

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

Value: Average, for $70.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L140062204B

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Mighty in oak, fruit, and grain. Molasses is present, with the typical rum notes I find in the Wiser's products. Maple, caramel, orange peel, and light musty sesame seed like notes. Depth is certainly there, and it is pleasing. Spices, too, are present. Classic Wiser's.

Taste: It has a nice feel - candied orange peel and a large maple kick before developing spices carry the weight of the whisky into a lightly dry finish. That description perhaps gives it much more of a candied feel than it should convey - it is grain, spice, and wood heavy, overall, still holding on to those molasses notes. The smoke from the barrel char comes through nicely too. Very nice delivery.

Finish: An oaky, spice-laden finish with wheat-like grainy notes and some almonds and maple. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, star anise - all there. A bit of light bitterness unfortunately comes through. The elements, other than the bitterness, is quite nice - a plethora of spices which match well with the dry woodiness and light fruity suggestions. But the bitterness detracts quite a bit from this experience for me - it really doesn't help and drops this score a good bit.

Score: 85/100

Value: 65/100 (based on $70)


Review (2015; Blind)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Led by the grain here- lightly creamy, and light in body balancing slightly oily grain (with a wheat character) with spice, vanilla-laden oak, and berries. The age, as usual, shows, with some leathery notes and distinctive dry, dusty grain - the brilliance flashed by that old whisky is my favorite part of this whisky. Very nice mouthfeel, and a good balance of grain, sweet, and tannic oak, leading into a slightly sour and spicy finish.

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

Value: Average.


Review (2016)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: 54SL24 L16287 EW16:06

  • Bottling Date: 2016

A classic, rich Wiser’s nose, full of wood and spice, with lots of maple, oak, beeswax, dried berries, leather, light molasses, and green apple peel. The nose this time is richer than I remember with the last batch. The spices are there, though they play around in the background rather than being upfront as with most Wiser’s whiskies. The palate carries on from the nose, with light fruits, lots of oak, and very light bitterness. The finish is full of rich corn, cinnamon, clove, and brilliant oak – at times maybe a bit too woody. If not for the slight bitterness, this would be a slight notch higher. Still, one of the better Wiser’s 18s I’ve had in a while (I tend to stock them to blend with) – the nose and finish are just spot on.

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

Value: Average, for $70.


Review (2017)

Batch: N/A

Bottling Code: N/A

Bottling Date: 2017

I have to keep trying these year after year…

Fall marshes, mixed baking spice, cedar, oak, coconut, beeswax, and sharp apple combine on a rich, integrated whisky which carefully walks the line between elegance and boldness. Rich – with a character that grows and grows as it sits in the glass.

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

Value: High. This one is just good enough to push it into a higher value category than previous - amazing how slight batch variations can have an impact.


Review: JP Wiser's Triple Barrel Canadian Whisky (Canada) by Jason Hambrey

Wiser's Triple Barrel 2.jpg
ABV
43.4%
Aging
Virgin Oak (char #2), First fill Ex-Bourbon, & Refill Casks
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

This whisky is different from the triple barrel released a few years ago in Australia, sharing only the characteristic of using three types of barrels in the blend. This whisky is based on a blend of whiskies from new charred virgin oak (char number 2), refill casks, and first fill bourbon casks - and has the characteristics of marvelous column distilled rye. It is apparently the same recipe as Double Still Rye, just rebranded based on customer input - the mid level wiser's brand which can never quite make up its mind as to what it is - in a few years it has evolved from Wiser's Small Batch to Double Still to now Triple Barrel.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L17206 AW 8:39

  • Bottling Date: 2017

The nose has some rich, broad, grainy rye – a gorgeous combination of grain, spice, dried rose, and dried fruit. Prunes, sour dried cherries, lilacs, toasting bread, old fermenting dough, dried apricot, and oak. Complex, and very integrated. The palte - lots of lilac – wow! Rich, toasted grain notes, mixed dried flowers, sharp rye, fresh oak, fresh strawberry, and black tea. The finish has tea, mixed dried fruit, clove, cinnamon, oak, and baking bread. Rising spice on the end. Gorgeous rye.

This may be the same recipe as Double Still Rye, but this is better than any double still I’ve tasted (which is three different bottles!).

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

Value: Very high. One of the best, or perhaps the best, budget Canadian whisky.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Light fruit and spice – almost bubble gum like with the candied fruit notes. Despite all the fruit, it’s still a bit dusty and spicy – with rye porridge, crackling, and a touch of 5-spice. The palate continues on with fruity and rich spice, with a drying, slightly vegetal finish carrying loads of white grape, white pepper, and nutmeg. This is such a terrific whisky for the price!

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

Value: Very high. One of the best, or perhaps the best, budget Canadian whisky.


Review: J.P. Wiser's Deluxe Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

Wiser's Deluxe.jpg
ABV
40%
Aging
~8-10 Years; First Fill bourbon barrels and refill casks
Recipe
N/A
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.

Value: Average. Cheap, not spectacular, but not necessarily a bad buy - though there are better ones in that price range. It’s very much worthwhile to spend an extra dollar or two to get Wiser’s Triple Barreled.


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...

Value: Average. Cheap, not spectacular, but not necessarily a bad buy - though there are better ones in that price range. It’s very much worthwhile to spend an extra dollar or two to get Wiser’s Triple Barreled.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Old baking spices, old oak, orange peel, clove, coconut, beeswax, and a light oily character. The palate is easy and smooth, yet with a slightly spicy and drying character. There is a thread of complex spices under the whole whisky which is terrific. Lots of creamy notes, and some light candy characteristics too (like vanilla frosting).       

Value: Average. Cheap, not spectacular, but not necessarily a bad buy - though there are better ones in that price range. It’s very much worthwhile to spend an extra dollar or two to get Wiser’s Triple Barreled.


Review: Wiser's Special Blend Canadian Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
N/A
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

The bottom of the line for Wiser's in Canada - in price and in quality. The first time I tried this, I bought it on accident meaning to pick up a bottle of Wiser's Small Batch - a definite mistake.


Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Nose: fresh wood, hints of vanilla, and a slightly sour, meaty aroma arising due to the corn with a bit of rye spice. Unbalanced and not great.

Taste: Light to medium bodied with some rye spice, vanilla, and sour corn. There’s a bit of a burn as it goes down…it’s simple, with corn providing the background flavours and rye the forefront flavours. There’s a bit of fruit as well – plums or cherries, perhaps, carried by the sweetness. It dies down with some spice with a bit of bitter rye. Some of the sweetness coming off the nose is a bit rum-like.

Finish: The taste kind of collapses in mouth and then carries on into a not altogether pleasant aftertaste – a bit of bitterness and some woody notes which remind me of casks which have gone past their usable life. Seems to sort of tease you into hoping an aftertaste might come which never does. A bit of a short finish, with a bit of fruity sweetness to it as well.

Wiser’s describes it as an “approachable” Canadian, but I would disagree in that the strong rye is a bit too harsh, I would think, for a beginner.

Value: Low, but I can’t recommend it even at the low price. Get something else or spend an extra dollar or two and move up the Wiser’s brand line.


Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2017

Grain and spice, at the centre here: Light, earthy, dry, and spicy – baking spices, almond, and soft grain, too. The palate is sweet, citrusy, and spice - but lightly bitter providing an edge to an easy whisky. The finish is light with slight dried fruits and spices.

Value: Low, but I can’t recommend it even at the low price. Get something else or spend an extra dollar or two and move up the Wiser’s brand line.


Review: J.P. Wiser's Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail by Jason Hambrey

J.P. Wiser's Old Fashioned (2).jpg
ABV
35%
Aging
N/A
Recipe
Canadian Whisky, Water, Sugar, Orange Essence, and Natural Flavours
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

Old Fashioned are perhaps the simplest well known whisky cocktail - a blend of whisky, sugar, bitters, and typically garnished with citrus peel - often made with bourbon or rye as the base. Following BarChef and Still Waters brilliant bottled old fashioned in Ontario, J.P. Wiser's stepped up to the game by blending whisky with orange essence and natural flavor (which includes spices/bitters, based on the taste). It is simple - just pour over ice, perhaps with a citrus peel garnish. It needs some ice, warm and undiluted it isn't balanced and is too sweet - but hits the spot with a nice chunk of ice.


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A
  • Bottling Code: L18150 - AW2016 54SL24
  • Bottling Date: 2018

Spicy, citrusy, and lightly sweet - full of orange and spices - clove and a big kick of cinnamon. Light oak, vanilla, and light Canadian whisky spices hold the whisky together between the vibrant orange and the tingling spices. The finish is a battle between cinnamon and orange. Really nice on a hot day (of which we are having many in Ottawa these days!). This fits really well alongside in your beer cooler during a BBQ. Also, this goes quite nicely alongside a hefeweizen....

I can't help but compare. The BarChef project produced a cocktail which you could serve in a high end cocktail bar, but this is more your standard bar old fashioned (and it's better than many I've had in bars!). But, to that effect, it comes in at a nifty $30, 60% of the price of the BarChef project.


Review: J.P. Wiser's Seasoned Oak Canadian Whisky (Rare Cask Series) by Jason Hambrey

JP Wiser's Seasoned Oak 2.jpg
ABV
48%
Aging
19 Years
Recipe
Corn and Rye Whiskies
Distiller Hiram Walker (Windsor, Ontario)

A blend of 19 year old double distilled corn whisky which matured in casks which were seasoned (air dried before being made into casks – „seasoned”) for 48 months and some column still rye. This is another "rare cask series” joining Dissertation and Union 52, both outstanding whiskies in their own right.

Also, except for a few whisky styles, 48% ABV is my sweet spot...


Review (2018)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L18114EW0801

  • Bottling Date: 2018

Complex nose. Dried currant, raisin, prune, and fresh red currants. Oak...and it’s spicy and sweet. Custard, caramel, charcoal, rich rye, cherry, blueberry, wintergreen, dried corn husks, creme brulee, cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lilac, clove studded orange – the spices are gorgeous. This is a huge nose with the complexity to keep changing for more than 20 minutes.

The palate is silky and rich, with oak and slight corn at the centre. There is a terrific light sweetness that builds mid palate before the oaky and spicy finish command the finish. Citrus is still central, but everything plays second fiddle to the oak. However, it’s so different than a big oaky bourbon – it doesn’t have the sweet fatness of the corn in a bourbon to combat massive, sweet, earthy and dessert-like wood – instead, it has a fruity, dense spirit which combats a dry, spicy oak. The finish is a nice mix of spice, citrus, candy, and spicy tannin. The finish is complex and interesting, but could be a bit bigger and more enduring.

We’re getting it in the summer, but, as the Canada 2018 commemorative is more of a summer whisky, this is more of a fall one. I really like the 48% - it definitely suits the whisky.

A favourite this year, already. I’m glad Wiser’s has started unleashing the floodgates and releasing impressive blends which showcase the diversity and quality of their product.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). I also found I liked this more and more as I consumed more of it.

Value: Average. Nice whisky, but $100 pits against a lot of terrific whiskies from a value perspective.