J.P. Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Rye Whisky
Review: J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky (84/100)
Review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted May 14, 2010 (Revised and re-scored September 26, 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.
Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky has undergone a bit of a face-lift recently as a new bottle and label have been rolled out. In fact the entire Wiser’s family of whiskies has undergone a bit of a re-branding as the company now refers to itself as J.P. Wiser’s rather than simply Wiser’s. This ties the whisky more directly to the founder, J.P. Wiser and perhaps signals that the whisky company is beginning to see the ties to its historical past as something to be embraced rather than ignored.
Additionally the whisky now carries the name ‘Rye’ upon the label. Thus we now refer to this particular brand as J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky. This could signal a stronger rye presence in the whisky, or just be an acknowledgement that all Canadian Whiskies which carry a rye forward flavour profile may be labeled as ‘Rye”.
J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky is the flagship of the J.P. Wiser’s Brand. The whisky carries no age statement and is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
Wiser’s De Luxe Canadian Whisky arrives in the tall rectangular bottle pictured to the left. This is the standard bottle for the J.P. Wiser’s lineup used for all of their economy and mid tier bottlings. These bottles serve their function well, as they are easy to grab off the shelf, easy to open and easy to pour which serves to make them favourites of bartenders world-wide.
The label is quite nice with fonts and a colour scheme which work well together. My only niggle with the presentation is the pressed on metallic screw cap which has replaced the plastic cap the brand used a few years ago.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When I poured the whisky into my glencairn I saw that it has a nice amber colour and almost immediately I can sense strong rye and wood spice rising into the breezes above the glass. I gave the glass a quick tilt and a twirl and saw the whisky imparted a light sheen upon the inside of the glass, the crest of which gave up long slender legs very quickly.
The breezes above the glass now are tainted with maple and butterscotch scents however the dry wood and rye spices continue to pour out. There is a bit of orange peel mixed into that spiciness as well as impressions of fresh grain and light impressions of baking spice (mostly speckles of vanilla and cinnamon). As one who loves Canadian Whisky, I am pleased by the aroma although I must be fair and note that a light touch of astringency accompanies the rye and wood spice.
In the Mouth 50.5/60
My initial impression when I take the first sip is that the whisky is very rye-forward with accents of lightly sweet butterscotch and fine wood spices. There is an appealing dry rye-like bitterness which presents itself alongside flavours of wood sap, almond and tobacco. Dry fruit, orange peel, bits of vanilla and hints of cinnamon round out the flavour profile. Despite the apparent youth of the whisky (I would guess 3 to five years), I find the spirit moderately complex and quite enjoyable to sip over ice.
Because of its rye-forward nature, the J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe is a natural to mix with a splash of ginger ale (see recipe below). I believe the whisky is also suitable for Whiskey Sours, Manhattans, and if you enjoy long drinks, nice refreshing Whisky Fizzes.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The exit is peppery with ebbing wood spice and maple flavours teasing the palate afterwards. The resulting finish is moderately dry; although there is enough sweetness to carry the spice. Sipped neat, I notice a touch of astringency and a very light alcohol burn; sipped over ice the whisky is smooth with added flavours of milk chocolate and fruit pith.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky remains a solid Canadian Whisky despite the name change. It has a full complex flavour that may easily be enjoyed over ice or with a splash of ginger-ale. The dry finish allows for so many options when making a cocktail that you really cannot go wrong with any classic whisky cocktail.
You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
Canadian Rye Whisky Splash
2 oz J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Rye Whisky
3 or 4 Ice-cubes
Splash of Ginger-ale
Slice of Lime
Add the Ice-cubes to a rocks glass
Pour the J.P. Wiser’s Whisky over the ice
Add a splash of Ginger Ale
Garnish with a lime slice
If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of 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)