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J.P. Wiser’s Guy Lafleur Alumni Whisky

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Guy Lafleur Alumni Whisky (87/100)
Review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 03, 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 was 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.

I plan to review each one; but as I have also had the opportunity to taste three of last year’s (2018 – 19 Edition) release; I have decided to begin this review series with those instead.

I shall begin with J.P. Wiser’s Guy Lafleur Alumni Whisky. (Pictured below)

This is a pretty special whisky as it is one of only a few single grain 100 % corn whiskies released by J.P. Wiser’s to date. In keeping with the chosen alumni member it is meant to represent, the spirit has been aged 10 years (Guy Lafleur wore number 10 on his jersey), and the whisky is described as ‘Naturally Smooth” which is in keeping with how Guy’s playing style was often described. Additionally, the spirit was matured in a unique manner being aged for 10 years in American Oak and then finished in Speyside, bourbon, and rum barrels.

J.P. Wiser’s Guy Lafleur Alumni Whisky was bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

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. 

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 NHLAA member it represents in a large colourful font the colour of which is made to be similar to the NHL Team colour.

The whisky is described on the bottle with information which tells us the type of grain 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 8.5/10

The whisky has an amber/copper hue in the glass and when my glencairn is tilted and twirled I see small to medium sized droplets forming which begin to fall as slender legs down to the liquid below.

The breezes bring initial impressions of oak spice and corn with light vanilla and butterscotch accents. Although this is a 100 % corn whisky there is nevertheless an impression of spicy rye grain in the air and as the glass breathes I also notice impressions of rich maple and marmalade with hints of marzipan. This is a very good beginning.

In the Mouth 52/60

The initial delivery is a touch peppery with a rush of both grain and oak spice heating the palate. There is a firm fruity quality with flavours of apricot, orange marmalade and green apples residing with the flavour stream. The addition of vanilla and almond flavours lead to impressions of marmalade and marzipan as the whisky is allowed to breathe. I added a little ice to the glass and was rewarded with additional flavours of chocolate.

In addition to being a suitable spirit for sipping, the Guy Lafleur whisky is a strong cocktail spirit ideal for Manhattans and Old Fashioned Cocktails; although I would not be adverse to adding a splash of ginger ale and ice to my dram instead.

In the Throat 13/15

The Guy Lafluer Alumni Whisky is light bodied and as such it has a short crisp finish. I taste oak spice and hints of chocolate in the finish with zesty wood and grain spice lingering afterwords.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

I have to admit that I hated Guy Lafleur, the hockey player. You see, I am a Boston Bruin fan, and Guy Lafleur seemed to take particular delight in eliminating my beloved Bruins from the playoffs when I was growing up in the late 70s. They say time heals all wounds; but there are a lot of things said that aren’t really true.

However, Guy Lafleur the whisky has been much kinder to me. I find myself recommending the spirit quite readily, and if you manage to find one of the few bottles remaining for sale in Eastern Canada my suggestion is that you grab it. At the very least it will be a wonderful gift for any Montreal Canadiens fan on your Christmas list.

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

Note: This whisky is a Canadian only release and is almost completely sold out across the country. Grab some while you still can if you are a collector.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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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