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Posts Tagged ‘Wiser’s Whisky’

#16 Canadian Whisky – Wiser’s Legacy

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 10, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYWiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky (a Corby Brand) was released in early 2010 as a new entry into the fledgling “Super Premium” category of Canadian Whisky. At the time, a few other Super Premium Whiskies already existed in the market-place (Wiser’s own Red Letter, and Crown Royal’s, Cask No. 16 and Crown Royal  XR); but the category hadn’t really caught the buying public’s imagination. In fact the Super Premium category had seen more failures than successes to that point (at least as far as Canadian Whisky was concerned). However the tipping point for the category seems to have been the year 2010, and the brand which (in my opinion) which helped the most to bring about a this change was Wiser’s Legacy.

Wiser's LegacyThis whisky is produced from a rye forward mash bill (Canadian rye, rye malt and barley malt) using a slow copper pot distillation technique which was ‘fine-tuned’ to capture the very specific flavours and aromas during distillation. The new oak barrels used to age the resulting distillate were lightly toasted rather than heavily charred to help bring more of these specific flavours forward. The final results were obviously good as the Wiser’s Legacy was one of the key Whiskies which led the charge of Canadian Spirits into the Super Premium Category, and into the consciousness of collectors and connoisseurs.

You may read a recently updated review of the Number 16 Whisky in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown by clicking the following excerpt link:

#16 Canadian Whisky – Wiser’s Legacy

” … Thick oil coats the throat with an oak and spice explosion. The exit leaves the mouth puckered somewhat from the dry woodiness, and the throat is assaulted by spices which grow hotter in the throat than they were in the mouth. At the end of the finish, typical Canadian rye flavours  finally appear en masse to battle the youthful oak down the throat. The overall impression is that something awesome just might have happened in my throat, but it is hard to describe fully what it was …”

The Legacy is extremely interesting because it is such a departure from a regular Canadian whisky. There is a great deal of complexity introduced by the young oak and this is definitely a giant step towards a more defined bourbon taste profile. What is missing, is the typical smoothness that Canadian Whisky is famous for. What is extra, is a rough and ready whisky which has one of the most complex flavour profiles I have experienced in Canadian Whisky.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

#19 Canadian Whisky – Wiser’s Small Batch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on December 7, 2013

rum_howler_badge- 25WHISKYWiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky was released in the fall of 2008 replacing the Wiser’s Reserve. There were a few important differences in Wiser’s Small Batch which made it something of a market leader as far Canadian Whisky was concerned. First, because this whisky is made in small batches using traditional distilling methods, the moniker ‘Small Batch’ was attached to the name. Secondly, although this whisky does not sit in the ‘super premium’ tier, its bottling strength was increased to 43.4 % from the traditional 40 %. On both these counts the industry seems to be catching up with Wiser’s as small batch production whiskies and higher bottling strength whiskies are both becoming more and more common.

WisersSmBatch-Oct12-lgThis year a new bottle was unveiled for the Wiser’s Small Batch. Although the bottle changed, the quality inside seems to have remained intact as Wiser’s Small Batch is the Number 19 whisky in my Top 25 Canadian Whisky Countdown:

Here is a link to my recently written 2013 review:

#19 Canadian Whisky – Wiser’s Small Batch

“… Wiser’s Small Batch is soft and supple on the tongue with hot oak spices which carry a bevy of flavour along for the ride across the palate. I taste some fresh oak and cedar; some sweet caramel, butterscotch and maple; soft corn and spicy rye; some light impressions of honeycomb and tobacco, and some delicious canned fruit (marmalade, apricots and pears) …”

The Wiser’s Small Batch is a great example of how tasty our inexpensive Canadian Whisky can be. It has a wonderful richness and depth of flavour, and I like the higher bottling strength which helps to concentrate these flavours, making them more assertive. In spite of the higher alcohol percentage, the whisky is smooth like Canadian whisky should be and a real pleasure to sip.

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Note: You may follow my Countdown list of the 25 Best Canadian Whiskies here:   The Rum Howler 2013 – Top 25 Canadian Whiskies

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Wiser’s Small Batch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on March 4, 2013

Wiser's Small BatchFounder, John Philip (J.P.) Wiser, purchased a distillery in Prescott, Ontario in 1857, and began to produce Wiser’s Whisky. In fact the J.P. Wiser Distillery may have been the first to use the term “Canadian Whiskey’ on their labels, as this is how the whisky was proudly introduced at the 1893 Chicago’s Wold’s Fair. From the beginning, J.P. Wiser established his brand as a quality whisky with high standards of production. As a result the distillery grew, as did the popularity of his style of whisky. By the early 1900′s Wiser’s was the third largest distiller of whisky in Canada.

The company merged with the H. Corby Distillery Company sometime after the death of J.P. Wiser in 1917.  Shortly after in 1932, production of the Wiser’s brands moved to the Corby Distillery. A controlling interest in the Corby Distillery was acquired by Hiram Walker several years later, and by 1989, the Corby Distillery was closed, and all production was moved to the Hiram Walker Distillery where all Wiser’s brands are currently produced. Through all of these changes the Wiser’s Brand has been recognized as a vital component of the company’s portfolio of brands, and now, 150 years later after it all started, Wiser’s remains one of Canada’s leading whisky brands. In fact, Wiser’s is one of the top-selling brands of Canadian Whisky worldwide.

I have been on a bit of a mission these days re-sampling the spirits from older reviews, and seeing if my views have changed over the course of the last three to four years. Recently I sampled a new bottle of Wiser’s Small Batch. Although my impressions were very similar to my original review, I nevertheless revised the review slightly to account for the small changes in my perspective.

You may click on the excerpt to read my review:

Review Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky

“… Oak and brown sugar rise from the glass which has a nice rum-like accent. As the glass breathes, rye spice, caramel, oak and cedar,  corn, tobacco, marmalade and baking spices round out the nose which is remarkably deep and complex. I found nosing the glass to be thoroughly enjoyable …”

Please enjoy my recent revisit to the Wiser’s Small Batch!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky (2012 Edition)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 22, 2013

Lot No. 40Lot No. 40 (Single Copper Pot Still) Canadian Whisky was first released in the 1990′s as an upscale connoisseur’s whisky for the North American market. Alas, timing is everything, and the whisky never really caught on, as apparently the market wasn’t quite ready for such a new style of Canadian Whisky back then. However, with the new surge of interest in Canadian Whisky across North America (and in particular at the premium end of the market), Corby (the owner of the Wiser’s Brand), is optimistic that the time for this whisky has finally arrived.

Lot No. 40 is, make no mistake about it, a new style of  Canadian Whisky. It is made with locally grown rye which has been distilled upon a single 12,000-litre copper pot still. The final whisky is aged in new oak barrels to showcase the creamy caramelized flavours which new freshly charred oak barrels bring.

Dr. Livermore, the current Master Blender at the Hiram Walker Distillery, elaborated on the whisky for me:

Without getting into specific recipes, Lot 40 is comprised of 100% of our (Hiram Walker) rye whisky. This whisky was made via pot distillation and subsequently aged in new casks. There is a proprietary proportion of distillers malt(s) used in the brewing process that allows for conversion of the rye grains into fermentable sugars. The brewing process is made in small batches according to the traditional recipes dating back to the early 1900s.”

You may read my review of this new Canadian Whisky by clicking the following excerpt from the review:

Review:  Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky (2012 Edition)

“… The initial nose is filled with the scents and smells of honeycomb, freshly harvested rye, and freshly cut oak and cedar planks which are still seeping bits of sap from the wood grain. Caramel toffee and green tobacco, and even more fresh rye climbs up out of the glass into the breezes …”

Please enjoy my review of this exceptional Whisky!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 20, 2013

WisersSpicedWiser’s Canadian Whisky is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario (since 1989), and aged in their facilities at Pike Creek near Lakeshore Ontario. I have previously reviewed most of the current Wiser’s range including: Wiser’s Special Blend, Wiser’s De Luxe, Wiser’s Small Batch, Wiser’s Legacy, and the Wiser’s 18 Years Old.

Recently I was given a sample bottle of the Wiser’s Spiced. For those who do not know, Wiser’s Spiced Whisky is a new spiced (or perhaps we might say flavoured) whisky which features the classic Wiser’s Whisky taste profile accented by vanilla spice.

Here is an excerpt from the resulting review:

“… The air above the glass is mildly sweet with a honey-like caramel accompanied by a gentle sweep of vanilla. You can easily detect the underlying scent of Canadian Whisky with a bit of rye spice, and light oak accents. The whisky seems rather pleasant and laid back hinting at a more subdued spicy character … “

Of course the full review may be found by clicking this link:

Review: Wiser’s Spiced Whisky (Vanilla)

The review includes a nice high-bail cocktail based upon the Canadian Mammy.

Please enjoy the review and the recipe!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Flavoured Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off

Review: Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 30, 2011

On November 11, 2009 I published my review of Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky. I was very pleasantly surprised to receive an email the very next day from  Corbys Distillers (Canadian Office). Apparently my review had been noticed, and they were interested if I maybe would like to receive a lab sample of a new whisky,  Wiser’s Legacy.

Of course the answer was yes. This is something that every reviewer wants, a chance to test his or her palate on a new spirit with very little information in the public realm to pollute the tasting notes. No other information was sought or obtained by myself. The review was as clean as a review could get and I posted it almost two years ago as a First Impression review (I lacked any information on the bottle presentation which is included in all my full reviews).

It took nearly two years for me to receive a picture of the final bottle (J-peg) so that I could properly move the review from the First Impressions area of my website to my Canadian Whisky reviews section of the website.

Here is an excerpt from my finalized review:

“…Thick oil coats the throat with an oak and spice explosion.  The exit leaves the mouth puckered somewhat from the dry woodiness, and the throat is assaulted by spices which grow hotter in the throat than they were in the mouth. At the end of the finish, typical Canadian rye flavours  finally appear en masse  to battle the youthful oak down the throat.  The overall impression is that something awesome just might have happened in my throat, but it is hard to describe exactly what it was…”

Here is a link to my full Review:

Review: Wiser’s Legacy Canadian Whisky

Please enjoy the review!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off

Review: Hiram Walker Special Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 4, 2010

Hiram Walker Special Old Canadian Rye Whisky, is part of the stable of Canadian whiskies produced and owned by Corby Distilling Ltd. I was presented with a bottle of this whisky about eleven weeks ago by the Brand Ambassador for Corby and Wiser’s, Robert Carson.  This was part of a larger allotment of samples which was provided when they learned I planned to do a series of reviews of their whiskies on my blog. The bottle is labeled as a Canadian Rye Whisky and is bottle at 40 % alcohol by volume.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…Omigosh! The whisky fairly explodes into the mouth full of dry aggressive flavour and spice.  Rye, toffee, and citrus fruit all seem to jump onto the palate at once and battle for supremacy. A thin layer of honey underneath provides a counterbalance, and a nice wave of oak spice is inter-wound throughout the delivery….”

You may read the rest of the review here:

Review: Hiram Walker Special Old Canadian Rye Whisky

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Whisky Review: Wiser’s 18 Years Old Limited Release Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 4, 2010

I am going to admit right up front that this whisky has, for the last fifteen years or so, been one of my very favourites.  This stretches well back in time before I was even considering a hobby as a spirits writer.  My review, as a result,  may at times be a little over zealous in its praise, but I guess I feel it is more honest that way, as  I am truly passionate about the Wiser’s 18 Years Old Canadian Whisky. I have believed, ever since my first swallow fifteen years ago. that it is one of the very best whiskies that Canada has to offer.

In fact it was a bottle of the Wiser’s 18 Years Old which began my passion for collecting and writing about spirits.  About five years ago, a bottle of this whisky which had been purchased in 1980, and then saved for about 25 years was opened for me when I was visiting my Brother-in Law.  His sharing of a special whisky, led me to seek out a special whisky of my own that I could share with him.  The whisky I found during that search was Wiser’s Red Letter Whisky.  But it was during that search for a special whisky that I sampled and tasted my way into a passion for spirits that resulted in my blog.  So it is really a pleasure to finally review the current version of the whisky which started it all, Wiser’s 18 Years Old Limited Release Canadian Whisky.

Here is an Excerpt from my review:

“…A  rich mahogany and copper coloured whisky greeted my eyes when I poured a glass of Wiser’s 18 into my glass.  I tilted the glass and slowly turned it to impart a nice thick oily sheen upon the sides. Then I sat back and watched fat droopy droplets of whisky slide slowly back …”

You may read the full review here:

Review:Wiser’s 18 Years Old Limited Release Canadian Whisky

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Whisky Review: Wiser’s Special Blend Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 22, 2010

I noticed a change on the new bottles of Wiser’s Special Blend about two years ago.  The older bottles proudly proclaimed, ‘Wiser’s Special Blend Canadian Rye Whisky‘, whereas  the newer labels say ‘Wiser’s Special Blend Canadian Whisky‘.  The difference of course is the word “rye” which has been taken off the label. It is small changes like that which give me cause for apprehension.  I like rye whisky, and as the number of Canadian rye blends is diminishing, I am growing concerned that my favourite whisky will one day be only a memory.  Fortunately for me, I was recently given a bottle with the new label by the folks at Wiser’s in the hopes that I would provide an honest review of the Special Blend.  It so happens that I already owned a bottle carrying the previous label so I intend to compare the two bottles to see if the blend as well as the label has changed.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…In the glass, the Wiser’s Special Blend shows itself as a rich copper coloured whisky with lighter shades of amber.   The vapour from the glass is  mildly spicy,  and seems to be  sweetened with an aroma of  ripe fruit.   Light hints of caramel lie in the breezes as well…”

You may read the rest of the review here:

Review: Wiser’s Special Blend Canadian Whisky

Two original cocktails have been added and both are “forrest approved“.  Click on the following link to visit his great site, a drink with forrest.

Enjoy!!

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Comments Off

Whisky Review: Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky

Posted by Arctic Wolf on May 14, 2010

Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky

I am continuing my journey through the Wiser’s family of Canadian whiskies. Previously I have reviewed, the Wiser’s Small Batch Canadian Whisky, and the Wiser’s Red Letter Canadian Whisky. I am writing my reviews in no particular order, preferring to sample and taste at my leisure rather than conforming to a particular schedule.

Wiser’s De Luxe is a premium whisky from Wiser’s Canadian Distillers, (owned by H. Corby Distilling Company).  Originally founded by John Philip Wiser, the company has produced Whisky since 1957.  In fact, it may have been J.P. Wiser who first used the Term “Canadian Whiskey” on a whisky label when he introduced his brand of whisky to the World at the Chicago’s World fair in 1893.

Today Wiser’s De Luxe is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario (since 1989), and aged in their facilities at Pike Creek near Lakeshore Ontario.   There is no age statement on the Wiser’s De Luxe, but my sense from the sampling and tasting is that we have a blend of whiskies no younger than 8 years and perhaps as old as 12.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“….I took my first sip of  Wiser’s De Luxe, and I was delighted by an aggressive oak toffee which coated my tongue and provided the foundation for the whisky’s flavour profile.   The oak is deep and rich in the mouth with a hint of smoke (perhaps this is a whisper of dried fruit instead).   I also taste orange peel, vanilla, corn and rye in that order of dominance.  A wonderful mildly sweet honey and caramel lies under these flavours….”

You may read the full review here:

Review: Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky

As well as the review I have provided a new cocktail suggestion for Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky.

Please Enjoy the review.

Posted in Canadian Whisky, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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