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J.P. Wiser’s Dave Keon Alumni Whisky

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Dave Keon Alumni Whisky (89.5/100)
Review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 28, 2019

A couple years ago J.P. Wiser’s and the NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) got together to bring whisky fans something uniquely Canadian. One time edition Canadian whiskies which are each blended with the aim of containing characteristic links to specific NHLAA members for whom the blend is named.

I was recently sent three of the 2019 – 20 Edition Alumni Whiskies to review on my website, J.P. Wiser’s Mark Messier, Dave Keon, and Yvan Cournoyer. This is part of the new Captain’s Line featuring these historic Ice legends who each served as Captain of their respective NHL Hockey teams.

This is the review for the J. P. Wiser’s Dave Keon Alumni Whisky. According to the press information sent to me:

With a 45% ABV to celebrate the 45-points Dave scored in his 1st season, this well-balanced whisky compliments his offensive and defensive abilities on the ice. To truly pay homage to this hockey legend, this whisky is aged 14 years for Dave’s playing number and uses 4 different barrels to commemorate his 4 Cup wins.

In the Bottle 5/5

The NHLAA Alumni Whiskies are housed in the medium tall bottle shown to the left. Each Bottle is sealed with a cork closure and features the parchment style label which prominently displays the last name of NHLAA member it represents a large colourful font the colour of which is made to be similar to the NHL Team colour of the team he played for.

The whisky is described on the bottle with information which tells us the number of grains used, the number of years the spirit was aged, and the barrels used in the maturation of the spirit.

I like everything I see!

In The Glass 9/10

When I poured the whisky into my glass I saw it has a nice rich coppery hue. When I tilted my glencairn and gave it a slow twirl I noticed the crest that formed at the top of the liquid sheen only reluctantly gave up fattish droplets that fell leaving mid-sized legs.

The aroma rising from the glass is complex with scents of orange peel mingling with vanilla, oak spice, almond, and ginger. As the glass breathes I begin to notice corn syrup and oak sap mingling with the orange peel giving me an impression of marmalade and canned fruit. There is also a nice maple-like sweetness and growing impressions of damp tobacco.

In the Mouth 53.5 /60

When I take my first sip I notice a light push of 45 % abv. alcohol followed by lots of oak spices. In fact I can taste fresh oak and oak sap. I also notice honeycomb and robust flavours of fresh grain and grain spices. There is also a nice maple sweetness and a lovely vanilla apparent.

As I sip, I notice the oak sap has began to meld into the vanilla and maple bringing about impression of toffee and baking spice. I also taste marmalade and canned canned fruit, with robust grain and tobacco giving the whisky more substance.

In The Throat 13/15

J.P. Wiser’s Dave Keon NHL Alumni Whisky is medium bodied with a nice spicy finish. Some maple and vanilla flavours accompany the oak spice through the swallow and we are left with lingering baking spice (cinnamon clove and nutmeg), grain spice and wood spice all
glowing on the tongue afterwards.

The Afterburn 9/10

I have really enjoyed all of the the J.P. Wisers NHL Alumni Whiskies that I have been able to sample during the past month. Although each whisky is unique in its own way, I nevertheless found an underlying theme of quality running throughout the line-up.  The scores for all six whiskies were all bunched right around the 90 point mark. The Dave Keon Whisky is no different with a score of 89.5/100.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.

Note: As part of the partnership with the NHL Alumni, a potion of the sales are be donated to NHLAA to support their philanthropic causes. This whisky was exclusive to Canada and marketed primarily in Quebec and Ontario. 


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)

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