Wiser’s De Luxe
Review: Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky 85.5/100
a review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf) posted May 14, 2010
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 4 years and perhaps as old as 8.
In the Bottle: 4/5
Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky arrives in the tall rectangular bottle pictured to the right. My only niggle with the presentation is the use of the pale gold lettering on the front of the beige label. Other than the name Wiser’s De Luxe , and the year 1857, the rest of the label front is hard to read, (I suspect this was the intent to showcase the whisky’s name and heritage.). I see a plastic screw cap instead of a pressed on metal cap, which pleases me as the plastic caps are far better at preventing evaporation of the spirit from the bottle on my shelf after it has been opened.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The whisky is a slightly mild copper colour with a hint of deeper orange flashes. A nice moderately thick sheen of oil appears on the side of the glass when it is swirled. Legs drop in long slender rivulets which trail at an easy pace back down into the whisky.
While I was checking the colour and the legs, my nostrils were greeted with a spicy sweet toffee. The nose is quite firm and assertive with a strong oak aroma followed by a gentle sweep of vanilla. Lighter corn and rye notes waft into the air as well giving the whisky a nice rich ‘Canadian’ nose.
In the Mouth 51/60
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.
There is a light oil in the whisky which gives the Wiser’s De Luxe a soft feeling on the tongue and a light sensation of luxury. Overall I taste a nice balance of flavour, with oak taking the lead and the other flavours acting to round out the flavour profile without diminishing it. I can sip this neat quite easily, but I prefer it with an ice cube, which seems to bring the oak spices and the underlying honey sweetness together.
In the Throat 13/15
The whisky is very smooth and clean with only a light burn. The resulting finish is moderately dry,but with a hint of sweetness. This dryness is crisp in the throat, and the oak spices provide a lasting impression at the back of the palate.
The Afterburn 9/10
Wiser’s De Luxe is a solid Canadian Whisky. It has a full flavour that may easily be enjoyed neat. On the rocks, it is even better, as the spiciness and sweetness melt together upon the addition of a few ice cubes. The slightly dry finish allows for so many options when making a cocktail that you really cannot go wrong. As a mixer the whisky is superb.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
I decided to mix the Wiser’s De Luxe with soda, and I found that a dash of ginger ale in the glass brought forward tremendous rye and corn notes, while a dash of cola in the glass brought forward a smooth creamy caramel. The traditional Canadian bar drinks of Rye and Ginger and Rye and Coke both work very well.
However, I though you might like something more original, so I dug into my cocktail books for something a little unique. One recipe I stumbled upon was a cocktail drink called the OK Corral. This is a little known bar drink I found in my handy dandy Cocktail Book, 1001 Cocktails: 1001 Recipes for the Perfect Drink (Hardcover) ~ Alex Barker (Compiler). (The recipe is on page 200.)
2 ounces whiskey
1 ounce Grapefruit juice
1 tsp Orgeat
Shake over ice and strain into a small glass
If you so desire, you may garnish the cocktail with a slice of lime or a quarter slice of grapefruit..
The OK Corral is a nice cocktail. However I like to tweak recipes to make them more suitable for my northern palate. Using Wiser’s Deluxe Whisky as the base for the recipe, I substituted Amaretto in place of Orgeat. Then, like a good Canadian, I left the ice in the glass.
I call this new recipe, The Prescott. (Prescott Ontario was the original home of the Wiser’s distillery in 1857.)
2 ounces Wiser’s De Luxe Whisky
1 ounce Grapefruit juice
1 tsp Amaretto
Build on ice in a small rocks glass
(Optional) garnish with a wedge of lime or a quarter slice of grapefruit.
Please Remember…The aim is not to drink more, it is to drink better!
As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)