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J.P Wiser's Double Still Rye

Average score from 3 reviews and 5 ratings 85

J.P Wiser's Double Still Rye

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@OdysseusUnbound
J.P Wiser's Double Still Rye

I bought this bottle on a whim when I went camping with my family in early July. I wanted a change from the standard cheap rye I usually buy for my rye & gingers. I found this wallet-friendly whisky much better than expected.

Tasting notes

  • Nose: somewhat bitter, grapefruit pith, the rye is present but doesn't dominate, some oak notes
  • Palate: peppery, somewhat briny (kind of like dill pickles, but not exactly), nutty notes, very sweet and sour/umami
  • Finish: short to medium length, rye returning, more nuttiness, peppery, slight hints of pickled ginger

I think this will be a mainstay of my liquor cabinet. It's inexpensive, bottled at a decent strength, works neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail (it really shines in a Manhattan). Perhaps I'm rating it this high because I wasn't expecting much. Well done, Wiser's.

I am looking forward to getting a taste of this one, though I am always put off by the words 'bitter' and 'grapefruit-pith' when used to describe rye whisky.

@Victor I understand and I'd normally agree, but it really works here, imho. It's not very bitter on the palate, though.

@JasonHambrey

This whisky is another move towards more rye grain in Canadian whisky, where Wiser's has decided to blend together two 100% rye whiskies together - one from a column still distilled and one from a copper pot still distilled to a higher ABV relatively. These are two of the main "flavouring" whiskies at Wiser's - the column still whisky and the copper pot whisky, which is the column still whisky redistilled in a copper pot to a higher alcohol content. Apparently, the column whisky is heavier on the grain characteristic of the rye and the copper pot whisky is heavier on the spice characteristic of rye.

Nose: Quite bready, with some classic maple and Wiser's spiciness coming through. This is definitely dusty rye, and it smells as if some new oak was used in this production, but there's also a good rich base to it as well. Pine, orange, and tannin are also about - all good - but with that there is a light thread of unwelcome tannic bitterness too. Apple, and some floral elements too - orange blossom, violet, and vanilla. I didn't notice just how floral and fruity this nose was until I did a side by side with a woodier whisky - very nice! It's almost of a floral wine character in its aroma profile. 85%

Taste: At first sharply woody with some caramel before a kick of cinnamon and some vegetal and oaky rye takes the finish with some caramelized orange. The floral components of the rye comes in - and there is a bit of bean sprouts on the end too. Slightly tannic, but there's a nice interplay of floral and vegetal notes from the rye. 88% Finish: Arugula, light cinnamon and nutmeg, lightly tannic. Dried ginger. Green apple skins. Quite tannic on the finish, too, and slightly drying in the mouth. The drying spice does add quite a bit to this finish. 85%

Intrigue: This is quite decent, and one of the better lower priced mixers/sippers. Do I like it more than Wiser's other similarly priced product - Wiser's Small Batch (also 43.4%)? Yes - at first I feared that it might be a replacement whisky but they are both very different. This is intensely floral and fruity compared to the more wood-oriented Small Batch. Both whiskies are spice-heavy, but I still think the spices are a bit more emphasized in Small Batch. This whisky continues the trend of Canadian ryes shifting into a bit more of a bigger American style with more new wood, but capturing and emphasizing the rye well. I like the move from Wiser's - it's staying true to the spicy house style but also moving in a bit of a bolder direction. For those who want a reasonably priced whisky that embraces rye well, this is a good pick - I am glad for the addition and quality of this whisky, and that other producers are doing the same (like Crown Royal). 88%

Weighting the nose 25%, the palate 35%, the finish 20%, and intrigue 20%, the overall score is 86.

@talexander

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.

@talexander, thank you for a spot on review. Dr. Livermore is doing some wonderful things with grain and wood as is demonstrated by this particular release. We are indeed fortunate to have access to great whisky from Wiser's/Corby's...Diageo, ADL/Beam Suntory, pay attention!

@talexander, I know where you are coming from with the HP sauce note. New wood influence and the floral elements from the column still rye have twisted the oaky notes into an umami-bomb: tomato juice, clamato juice, cured ham, call it what you want.

I'm not gonna answer your question until the next epic session.

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