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Corby Distillers seems to be pushing out new products at a very quick rate these days - they are really giving Forty Creek a run for their money. This one is a blend of two whiskies: one distilled in a copper pot still, the other in a continuous still. This seems to be Wiser's answer to Forty Creek's Copper Pot, which I believe has the same production method. I don't think it is 100% rye as nowhere does it indicate that.
The colour is a medium amber. Somewhat floral on the nose, with apricot, vanilla, light caramel and some rye spice in the background. Herbal. Grain silo. A little shy on the nose, but it's a freshly opened bottle so could need more time....ah yes it does open up nicely - floral and fruity, with a gentle toffee sweetness and a bit of spice. Water dampens things a bit, but nevertheless this is very good.
On the palate there is a kick you don't usually get with standard Canadian whiskies - could be the higher ABV, could be the upfront spiciness from the pot still. The sweetness of toffee and vanilla is put in check by the spice, oak and earthy notes. Some wood polish, and for some reason I have HP Sauce stuck in my head (if anyone can taste this whisky and comment on that particular note, I'd appreciate it). Spicier with water - very rich and full-bodied.
The finish is mouth drying, chalky (in a good way) with oak, savoury herbs and umami. While this is nothing revolutionary or game-changing, it is a very solid, well-structured, delicious and classically Canadian whisky. Very full-bodied, and the higher ABV is a nice touch. With the exception of the flavoured whiskies, Wiser's (plus Corby products like Lot 40 and Pike Creek) are batting a thousand with consistently strong bottlings. Given the very disappointing products we've been getting from Forty Creek lately, it looks like Don Livermore is quickly replacing John Hall as the face of great Canadian whisky.