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J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye

Review: J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye   (83/100)
Review by Chip Dykstra
Published June 3, 2022

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 Triple Barrel Rye was recently across Canada in 2016, and has become a mainstay of the J.P. Wiser’s line-up. In Canada the Whisky is bottled at 43.4 % alcohol by volume.

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

Our Triple Barrel Rye whisky is a unique blend of toasted grains, oak, and rich toffee, with a finish that’s silky smooth and long lasting. This full-flavoured whisky offers a rich aroma with a body that is complex and well balanced. It combines distillates from used whisky, first-fill bourbon, and virgin oak casks.

It is interesting that the J.P. Wiser’s information makes no claim regarding the proportion of rye grain in the mashbill. From the product label it is clear that this is meant to be a rye forward whisky; but it is clear that a blend of grains is used rather than just rye.

In the Bottle: 4/5

Pictured to the left is a bottle shot of J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye. The whisky is housed in a medium tall rectangular bottle with a square base. I like these rectangular bottles as they are easy to store on my whisky shelf. Better yet, they are also easy to grab and easy to pour when I want to mix a drink. The white and green label is eye-catching and easy to read.

I do have a bit of a quibble with the flimsy metallic cap which seals the bottle. Metallic screw caps cheapen the look of the whisky, and scream at me that this is a bottom shelf economy brand.

In The Glass 8.5/10

Colour:  Lightly tarnished penny.

Legs: Fat droplets which turn into thickened legs

Nose: Backbone of oak with maple and vanilla providing support. Lots of rye and leather. Raisins, dark chocolate and baking spice (allspice and cinnamon). Tobacco and toasted walnuts come though as does a bourbon-like impression of fresh oak planks dripping with sap, glue and resin.

I like the nose however, it is also true that I find things just a little out of balance. I seem to want more sweetness in the air to counterbalance what I perceive to be bitterness or perhaps an overt pungency withing the dram.

In the Mouth 50/60

Here are my tasting notes as I wrote them down while sipping.

Flavour: Bushels of rye and oak sap and spice accented with maple and vanilla.Toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, and baking spice then more more rye, cedar and wood spice. Toasted pecans and bits of chocolate. Scattered bits of oolong tea. Bits of glue and resin in the background provide a distraction from the rich rye flavour.   Pity!

I can almost get myself to fall in love with the flavours I am tasting. They are firm and robust! However, as noted in my tasting notes, something is amiss. Although, the whisky has rough flavours of cedar combined with a firm rye-grain bitterness running through out, there are also distracting flavours of glue and resin in the background. What is missing is enough caramel sweetness to bridge the gap and bring about balance.

In the Throat 12/15

There is more than just a touch of bitterness in an exit filled with pungent baking spices, burly rye and oak spice. The finish is long and woody, more bitter than sweet.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye seems a little out of balance. Firm robust flavours of grain and wood should be accompanied by a nice ribbon of sweetness to compliment the experience. On the positive side, those robust flavours taste great when mixed in an Old Fashioned Cocktail as in that format I can introduce the light sweetness the dram desires. This means that even though I would not be sipping this dram neat or over ice, I can do much more than a simple rye and ginger.

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


Serving Recommendation:

The Old Fashioned Cocktail

1 1/2 oz J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye
1 Tsp Simple Syrup
1 dash Fees Old Fashioned Bitters
2 large Ice Cubes
1 twist of Orange Peel

Add the first three ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more 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)


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