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J.P Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye

Review: J.P Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye 84/100
a review By Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published on October 22, 2017

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 released across Canada.

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.

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. the 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

When poured into my glencairn, the whisky shows me a copper hue which is similar to that of a lightly tarnished penny. When I tilt and twirl my glass I see a thickened liquid sheen on the inside which only reluctantly releases medium to fat sized droplets which turn to plump legs which run slowly back down to the whisky at the bottom of the glass.

This was another of the small samples I examined as part of my duties as Judge of the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards, and as such I prepared brief tasting notes when I sampled it blind that I can now share.

Nose:  lightly sour milk, barley, and dry wood, burlap and lots of wood spice

The barley note may surprise you however I feel quite strongly that barley plays a role in the whisky’s make-up especially as the whisky is not labelled as a 100% rye grain whisky. There is a firm nuttiness in the aroma which is characteristic of barley.

When I sampled the whisky one last time after the judging was over and I could examine the whisky free from the nasal and palate confusion of the other whiskies I may have had in that tasting flight. In this final session I noticed strong notes of graham wafer and toasted rye grain. Some maple and cedar notes add an additional level of complexity and some nice oak vanillans have meandered into the air as well. The dram is very pleasing to nose.

In the Mouth 50.5/60

Again, my brief tasting notes from the 2017 Canadian Whisky Awards are helpful here:

Flavour: Musty burlap and leather with sharp oak and cedar flavours, unfortunately something is just off

The flavours are firm and robust; but as noted in my tasting notes something is not quite right. When I tasted the dram in isolation, I decided that the whisky just isn’t quite sweet enough to balance the rough flavours of cedar, leather and burlap with the firm rye-like bitterness which runs through the whisky. The whisky is smooth enough to sip, but may palate yearns for a touch more butterscotch to take the bitter edge down just a hair.

When I add ice, the dram becomes ‘woody’ with a taste which is sort of like chewing on chips of actual oak. This forces me to add a few drops of sugar syrup and then some Angostura Bitters. The transformation is wonderful, and I think I have found a good whisky to for mixing into an Old Fashioned Cocktail.

In the Throat 12.5/15

Finish: Raw oak and sap, rough wood,  caramel and baking spice

The whisky has a long woody finish, but the exit is more bitter than sweet. I taste touches of caramel and baking spice lingering; however firm woody flavours dominate the exit.

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, which 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 bitters
2 large ice cubes
1 twist of lemon or 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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