We are experience a severe heat alert here in Toronto. I’ve been quenching my thirst with my favourite summer long drink, President’s Choice diet tonic water, lime, and ice, all day. When I went to replenish my supply of diet tonic water, there were only 2 on the shelf, just out of reach. If I had been taller I would have had them both. As it happened, while on the phone discussing Stagg Jr. with @Paddockjudge, and waiting for an employee to help, another gentleman came along and noting that I was after them, offered to get me one and take the other for himself. I hope this will last me until Tuesday when the stores reopen.
As I post reviews at the same time that I write them, I’d prefer to post a Canadian whisky review on Canada day, but as I’m on-call tomorrow, I’ll settle for the evening before (besides, I think Connosr runs on GMT so this will appear to have been posted on July 1).
In May at Spirit of Toronto I attended a masterclass devoted to new 2018 releases from Wiser’s et al. So far two have become available in Ontario. The fantastic (sorry @paddockjudge, I can’t keep it a secret any more) 19 YO Seasoned Oak (review to come once I’ve gotten to know it better) was supposed to be a LCBO exclusive Father’s Day release but has made sporadic appearances, mostly outside of Toronto.
The Canada Day release, which kind of blended with the appearance of the other one, is unsurprisingly named Canada 2018. If you believe the label, it celebrates the 200th anniversary of the 49th parallel, created the last time we won a war with the United States (or was that the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup?). Perhaps fitting, as we embark on a new (non-military) war with the US, this time over tariffs imposed because, apparently, we are a security threat to the US . In this war, Canadian whisky will win because American whisky will become more expensive here… but I digress.
This was the least expensive of the new expressions, at just under $50, bottled at a curious 43.4%. You would think it would be bottled at 49% to celebrate the 49th parallel, but I’m not their marketer. It contains double distilled corn with “some” rye. It is matured in new oak, once-used bourbon casks and “used whisky casks”. There is no age stated on the bottle but we were told it is 12 years old.
This expression is reviewed in a Highland whisky glass, 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.
Lots of caramel, some vanilla, a little syrup. Maybe a little McIntosh apple. Not much else. Even covered, it’s a weak nose. Water enhances the fruits slightly. (20.5/25)
Sweet, peppery, a little spirity. Fairly thin mouthfeel. Some caramel flavour. Not very complex. With water I get a hint of menthol under the pepper. It’s a little spicier and slightly more complex. (20.5/25)
Pepper, slightly astringent, a little sour on the exhale. Medium long. No change with water.
It’s a little unbalanced, with a lot of pepper overwhelming the palate. With water the pepper is a little less overwhelming. (19.5/25)
Score: Neat - 79.5/100 With Water: 81/100
OK, so not everything by Wiser’s is an A+. This is a standard Canadian whisky, and I’ll bet many people who have it will be adding a cube or two of ice on this hot national holiday. And on a night like tonight, that turns it into an 83/100 whisky for me.
Well, at least it’s not gingerale. Hmm….
HAPPY CANADA DAY!