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J.P. Wiser's 10 Year Old Triple Barrel

Great rendition of a traditional style

2 087

@JasonHambreyReview by @JasonHambrey

31st Jan 2023


J.P. Wiser's 10 Year Old Triple Barrel
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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J.P. Wiser's released this whisky recently into their core lineup - I can't remember exactly when, but in the last two years (I think). It is a blend of corn and rye distillate, aged for 10 years in refill, first-fill ex-bourbon, and new oak. Hence, a "triple barrel". It sells for $35 in Ontario.

I tasted this one blind in the Canadian whisky awards. I didn’t recognize it, and it kept climbing in successive tastings. I noted down “really nice, classic, Canadian whisky. Very rich – what is this? It is really well balanced - a phenomenal example of blending in the traditional Canadian style."

When I refer to the "traditional" style, I am referring to the bulk of Canadian whiskies and the style that carried Canadian whisky to its massive proportions in the mid to late 20th century - a light corn whisky that carries a bit of rye and other powerful spirits - slightly sweet, complex (sometimes very) but usually subtle in its complexity. The finish often dries slightly. They are usually easy to drink, and there are lots of bad examples of them on the bottom shelves. I find, in general, that folks in connoisseur circles (and judging juries!) haven't explored the style enough to understand it and assess it correctly - regardless of whether or not they like it. As an aside, as much as I like the style, I think it has a ceiling.

I love the style, but it isn't "trendy" and it isn't up the alley of many of my respected whisky friends.

The nose is rich and complex, with aged waxy corn notes, spicy and floral rye, baking spice, bean sprouts, clove, vanilla, and caramel. There is lots of complexity, and it maintains a very nice balance of the corn and rye – this isn’t a corn whisky, nor a rye whisky. It is truly a blend, where you can see the influence of both. The palate has sawdust, dried apricot, clove, lilac, beeswax, dried blueberry, and finishes with light tannin, baking spice, old shriveled dried apricots, prunes, bean sprouts, and some orange pith. It is in a completely different league than Wiser’s deluxe (which has never particularly appealed to me).

You need to sip these ones slow because they aren't about immediate, massive complexity - but rather, subtlety.

This has made it into my recommended list of cheaper Canadian whiskies (which has shrunk in recent years) – I continue to give nods as well to Collingwood Town Double-Barreled (not the standard Collingwood...), Northern Harvest Rye, and now this one. Pretty good value for $35.

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