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J. P. Wiser's 23 YO Cask Strength

Happy Canada Day!

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@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

1st Jul 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: J. P. Wiser's
  • ABV: 64.3%
  • Batch: L19267EW12214

I’ve developed a tradition of posting a review of a Canadian Whisky on Canada Day, and this year is no exception.

Wiser’s 23 YO cask strength is marketed as the first cask strength blended Canadian whisky. It was bottled by the legendary Dr. Don Livermore to mark 23 years of employment at Hiram Walker et. al. After enjoying but not going gaga over the last two NBC 35 year olds (bottled at 50%), and very much enjoying the first 2 iterations of Lot 40 CS, I was intrigued by this younger whisky, but not by the price. Unfortunately I was not able to attend Spirit of Toronto this year, and so I actually bought this solely based on Livermore’s recent results.

When I originally bought this, including shipping, this was the most expensive bottle I had ever bought for myself. I have never opened a whisky that cost me so much money. Was it worth it?

I first opened this in November 2019. I have not come back to it a lot until recently (to prepare for this review), not because I didn’t like it but because my consumption has been quite low this year and I just didn’t get around to it much. It’s currently 4/5 full, gassed between pours.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.

Nose: 23/25

Very rich. Warm. Syrupy. Caramel and vanilla predominate initially. Some cinnamon. There is a freshness to it as well. A hint of green apple. A little nippy, not surprising given the ABV. Water brings out the apple just a little and reduces the caramel.

Taste: 23/25

Sweet, fruity arrival on the first sip. You can tell this is high ABV but the alcohol is not overpowering. It’s got caramel, spice, vanilla, a little pepper. Water makes it spicier, more astringent, more peppery, the caramel more in the background. A little less syrupy.

Finish: 23/25

Slightly astringent. After a couple of sips the finish lengthens. Quite pleasant.

Balance: 23/25

The nose and the palate compliment each other. Nothing out of place here. Not super complex, but solid flavours that work well together.

Score: 92/100

I can’t decide if I like this better neat or with a little water. There are differences for sure, but it’s great both ways.

This is definitely a winner. Given it’s quality, FORO would be a strong motivator to stock up, but the price held me back, until one single LCBO location dropped the price to $105 and it was a no-brainer.

Thanks to @paddockjudge for encouraging me to take a chance on this one.



paddockjudge commented

@Nozinan, thanks for sharing your enjoyment of Wiser's 23 YO. You've inspired me to dust off my review and possibly post it. I'm glad you enjoy it....and have back-ups... wink

Thanks for tucking away almost a full case of these for me in what @fiddich1980 refers to as the "off-site arsenal".

8 days ago 5Who liked this?

65glenfarclas commented

I should have read this review on Canada day when licbo reduced the online price (one day sale) by $20!

5 days ago 2Who liked this?

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