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And now we come to my third and final Canada Day review. I opened this bottle of Wiser's 18 with my friends @thecyclingyogi, @kvass1970 and Ross (who I'm not sure is on connosr) in celebration of Canada Day!
Wiser's has a long history of distilling in Canada, and was possibly the first distiller to use the words "Canadian Whisky" on the label, at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. All of Wiser's expressions are distilled at the Hiram Walker distillery, which is owned by Pernod Ricard. Today Wiser's are the fifth best-selling Canadian whiskies in Canada and, in my opinion, Wiser's Legacy is the top Canadian whisky in the land.
The 18 has a cloudy copper colour; the nose, lots of caramel, oak and musty rye. There is a little of the candy floss I've detected in Wiser's Legacy. Cigar box, burnt sugar, apples and raisins. Water really brings out a lot of vanilla. Very nice and oaky.
The palate is absolutely fantastic. Very sharp, musty rye but really coated in smooth, velvety caramel. Cedar and ground black pepper. Water makes things creamier and adds more butterscotch. There is a lot going on in the mouth - it's spicy, sweet, smooth and sharp all at the same time.
The finish is long and smokier than sweet. This is perhaps the richest and oakiest Canadian whisky I can remember, more so than even the CC 20 or the Alberta 30, which is not a bad thing. I'm giving this the same score I gave the Legacy, though I think I prefer the Legacy by a hair, only because the oakiness of the 18 starts to get to me over time. I think if I reviewed the Legacy now I would likely score it a touch higher; but it's hard for me to knock the 18 lower than 90, it is a truly rich, complex and deeply satisfying whisky.
Well, I was thinking of doing a Happy Canada Day Part IV - my Glenora Battle Of The Glen came in today - but on second thought, I think I'll cap it at the three. Perhaps I'll save the Glenora for 2013!