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J.P Wiser's 18 Year Old

A good batch (2012)

0 491

@JasonHambreyReview by @JasonHambrey

11th Feb 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This whisky is a bit notorious for batch variation, especially given the price. This was from a decent batch. I recently reviewed another batch (which wasn't as good) from 2014 which was worse. This batch was out of 3500 bottles.

This whisky, like other Wiser's whiskies, is distilled in Windsor at the Hiram Walker distillery.

Nose: Fruity, woody rye comes in sharply at first. plum, lots of vanilla, apricot, brown sugar, toffee, some maple syrup, along with other wood - cedar and pine. I think of brown sugar bubbling with cinnamon and butter on sticky cinnamon rolls as I smell....It's a touch creamy, and a touch bitter. Dark rye bread also comes off on the nose. There's a fair bit going on. I do like the woodiness of the nose. 88%

Taste: Full bodied, thick and smooth as a nice coating of oaky vanilla along with spice come onto the tongue. The rye comes on quite heavily too as the oak picks up and eventually wins the battle with a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel is excellent. There are spices at the end alongside the oak that keep the tongue engaged. The interesting thing about the touch of bitterness is that it seems constructed. In other words, it plays its part in the taste but doesn't stick around and linger and ruin anything. It is there, but is limited and doesn't dominate. In that way, I enjoy it. Thick and woody, and not overly bitter for the amount of wood that is present. The spices! I love them. They change up a bit, and softly prickle the tongue delightfully. The spices alone have put this score up a percent or two....90%

Finish: A fairly clean finish with some depth to it. Vanilla, freshly baked light rye bread, brown sugar, slight citrus, and, of course, oak. As I drink more, I see more of the spices come through - cloves, pepper and some nutmeg. Even a bit of pear! Not sweet, soft pear - but when it's hard and a few days from being ripe and sweet. It's also fairly dry - I always like those finishes. It lingers, and despite the touch of bitterness on the palate the finish is without it (which is great). There's a bit of what I might describe as starchiness which reminds me of the finish on Wiser's small batch. As with the entire drink, oak reigns supreme. 93%

Intrigue: In many ways it seems just simple, old rye but it is done quite well. I like how the bitterness is contained despite all the oak influence, though it is slightly present in a way that I do not mind. 90%

Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 91.

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Victor commented

Glad to hear that there are good batches of Wiser's 18. I have never been so angry from buying a bottle as I have been from my bottle of Wiser's 18 yo. Beam's Red Stag whiskey liqueur tastes better for 1/4 the price.

I am re-tasting from my 3 years open bottle of 2011 Wiser's 18 yo now. It has lost a lot of flavour recently, which, for this bottle is a good thing. Remarkably, old and toned down, this bottle of Wiser's 18 yo tastes much like Wiser's de Luxe, the most basic Wiser's expression, which, for this bottle is a step up.

Old de-glopified Wiser's de Luxe, that's what I own now!

I have tasted better Wiser's 18 yo than my own bottle of it, so I don't doubt that better batches are out there. A 91 pt Wiser's 18 yo? THAT I would have to taste to believe.

7 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

Yeah - I have had bad batches - but no horrible batches that I would put below Deluxe. The recent batch I just had (from 2014) I rated at 87, though it was a fast review and I need to spend a bit more time with it. But, it was decent - not worth the money at that point but this bottle above was.

7 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

The 2010 batches, 3500 cases domestic market and 2500 cases for export, had some stellar bottles in those batches - I have rated them in the 89 - 91 range. The more recent iterations are not as much to my liking. Definitely not a value play; there are other Canadians in this age range delivering better quality with some delivering excellent value. Gibson's and Danfield's are two examples.

7 years ago 0

JasonHambrey commented

@paddockjudge agreed. Wiser's is more available but Legacy will always beat out the 18 anyway. I wonder what year this was from - sometimes these bottles sit on the shelves for a while.

7 years ago 0

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