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J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye

Review: J.P Wiser’s Double Still Rye 82/100
a review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published on July 11, 2016

John Philip (J.P.) Wiser, purchased a distillery in Prescott Ontario in 1857, and began to produce Wiser’s Whisky.  In fact, it may have been J.P. Wiser who first used the term “Canadian Whiskey” on a whisky label when he introduced his spirit to the World at the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. From the beginning J.P. Wiser established his brand as a quality whisky with high standards of production. As a result, the distillery grew side by side with the popularity of Wiser’s style of whisky, and 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. Today Wiser’s is distilled at the Hiram Walker Distillery in Walkerville, Ontario, and aged in their facilities at Pike Creek near Lakeshore Ontario. Through all of these changes the Wiser’s Brand has been recognized as a vital component of each company’s portfolio of brands.

J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye was recently released across Canada. The Brand appears be replacing Wiser’s Special Blend which is the economy mixer of the Wiser’s family (Wiser’s Special Blend is still available across Alberta).

According to the J.P. Wiser’s website:

The newest edition to Canada’s best-selling whisky family, J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye is a complex blend of corn and rye whiskies with a full and robust flavour profile. Perfectly aged, it creates a bold, yet smooth whisky that is perfect on its own or as part of your favourite whisky cocktail.

J.P. Wiser's Double Still Rye SAM_2618In the Bottle: 4/5

Pictured to the left is the new bottle of J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye. the whisky is housed in a tall rectangular bottle with a square base. One thing I like about these rectangular bottles is how easily they stack on my whisky shelf. The label design which features gold fonts on a black background is eye-catching. I do have a bit of a quibble with the flimsy metallic cap which seals the bottle. It cheapens the look and reminds me of lower economy brands. (This offering is priced at $29.95 at the LCBO which certainly is a bit more than those economy brands.)

In the Glass 8/10

When poured into my glencairn, the whisky shows me a coppery hue which is similar to that of a lightly tarnished penny. The shade is somewhat darker than I would expect which implies that either some newer fresh oak barrels were used in the aging regime, or perhaps there has been a liberal caramel enhancement to achieve the desired colour (probably the latter).

The scents above the glass bring me a nice menagerie of different whisky smells. Butterscotch is melded into oak spice with a light but firm impression of pot distilled rye lurking in the breezes as well. Bits of cocoa reveal themselves as do some baking spices in the form of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. There is also a light but firm astringency rising into the air warning me that the whisky may have a bit of youthful exuberance as well within its flavour profile.

In the Mouth 50/60

The flavour of the pot distilled rye leads out in front of caramel, bits of treacle and some mild oak sap. There is indeed a touch of fire in the delivery making me believe that the blend is youthful, probably a blend of whiskies predominantly in the range of 3 to 4 years old. (I could be wrong as I was given no information as to the age of the whisky, but that is certainly my impression based upon my observations.) Some baking spices work their way into the flavour profile (predominantly vanilla with perhaps a dusting of cinnamon) as well as a nice dollop of bittersweet chocolate.

I found myself sipping the whisky quite easily despite the aforementioned ‘fire’, and when I added a cube of ice to my glass I found the whisky even more enjoyable as a nice creaminess came forward as well as more pronounced chocolate flavours. Having said that, when I added a splash of ginger-ale, I found an even greater level of enjoyment. The whisky is at that threshold where on some days I would sip, but on most days I would mix.

In the Throat 12/15

The exit is relatively short featuring flavours of bittersweet chocolate and dark caramel. Sipped neat, the spirit does features a light burn in the back of the throat; however with a cube of ice that light burn pretty much disappears.

The Afterburn  8/10

Wiser’s Double Still Rye is a nice whisky. It exhibits a bit of youthful exuberance in both the delivery and the exit, yet it also has an interesting taste profile with flavourful rye complemented by caramel and bittersweet chocolate. Despite the whisky’s youthful exuberance I was able to enjoy the spirit as a sipper; however, I do feel that its true destiny will be as an interesting mixer for cocktails and tall deck drinks.

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


Suggested Recipe

This recipe is based upon the bar drink put together by Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin ( In the Land of Cocktails) with the assistance of Ted Haigh (Dr. Cocktail). Their libation (Whoa Nellie) mixes Jamaican rum and American rye whisky with lemon and grapefruit juice with bitters added for extra depth. In this recipe I have swapped out the Jamaican rum and added in more Double Still Rye. In keeping with the playful equestrian theme in the name of the original cocktail, I have chosen to call this version the Barrel Racer.

Barrel Rider SAM_2620Barrel Rider

2 oz Rye Whiskey (J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye)
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur (Bols Triple Sec)
1/3 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/3 oz Lemon Juice
2 dashes of Bitters (Fees Cocktail Bitters)
1/6 oz Sugar Syrup
orange Peel Twist

Add the ingredients into a metal shaker with plenty of ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

And if  you are interested in more recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for my mixed drink recipes!


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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