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J.P. Wiser’s Mark Messier Alumni Whisky

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Mark Messier Alumni Whisky (92/100)
Review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 26, 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.


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  9.5/10

The Mark Messier Alumni  Whisky shows us a rich bronze colour in the glass, and when that glass is tilted and given a slow twirl we can see a plethora of small droplets falling a slender legs. Maple, oak toffee, and marzipan all begin to rise into the breezes much to my delight.

As I let the glass breathe, I notice that a lovely smell of baking spices and cinnamon buns have unraveled themselves from the oak toffee. Their is also a luscious fruitiness with smells of apricot jam and marmalade making my mouth water slightly. The melded scent of oak and toffee continues to grow as does a firm impression of marzipan.

In The Mouth   54.5/60

As I take my first sip I notice the whisky is quite smooth despite the 47 % alcohol bottling strength. There is a nice spicy bite of oak spice but no lingering burn. I taste a nice combination of Oak spice and light oak sap melded with vanilla, corn and rye spice giving me an impression of a warm spicy toffee. The oak flavours of sap, wood and spice build and I notice additional flavours of maple, walnuts, baking spice (vanilla, cinnamon and clove), and espresso coffee. The whisky is very very nice!

When I add ice I notice the whisky looses some of its sweetness and now I taste more of that espresso coffee as well as impressions of cocoa.

In The Throat 14/15

The whisky is medium bodied with a smooth spicy finish. I taste a nice caramel and honeycomb sweetness as I swallow the spirit followed by lingering flavours of oaksap and spice with nutmeg and clove, light bitterness of cocoa and espresso coffee.

The Afterburn   9/10

J.P. Wiser’s Mark Messier Alumni Whisky is a great whisky. It tastes fantastic on its own with or without ice and it makes a wonderful Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail. My score has pierced that threshold of 90 points making it a spirit which scores almost as well as its namesake.

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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