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J.P Wiser's Legacy

Average score from 13 reviews and 31 ratings 89

J.P Wiser's Legacy

Product details

  • Brand: Wiser's
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 45.0%

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@Nozinan
J.P Wiser's Legacy

Canadian whisky…. The final frontier… These are the voyages of the vessel known as Glencairn. It’s ongoing mission, to seek out new spirits, to boldly drink where @Nozinan has not drunk before…

For those of you who have read earlier reviews of mine you will know 2 things. First, they tend to run on. Second, when I do a review of a Canadian whisky, I tend to score it lower than I tend to score scotches.

Well, no longer. In the spring my palate discovered Hiram Walker (Wiser’s, Corby etc…). I had the opportunity to taste a few at Spirit of Toronto, and when Dissertation and Union 52 became available I spent a lot of time on those reviews, tasting them more than once. For the latter, I actually did different glasses on different days.

Recently, when I found out that Wiser’s Legacy was being discontinued, not just on hiatus, I decided to use some gift card money to buy some, to see if I wanted to have some stashed away before it’s gone. This coincided with a visit by my brother in law, @Nosebleed, and I used the opportunity to taste together a few Canadians, including three other Wiser’s expressions, and then we opened this one. It was during this Canadian immersion that I had an epiphanic moment and I realized “I GET Canadian Whisky”. I think I finally understand, deep inside, what it’s about.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes. As always, I did not add water to this Canadian whisky. The bottle was opened on October 9th and 19 and then today, and has been gassed after each use.


Nose: 22/25

In the glencairn, I get caramel, a hint of spice and some fruit. Cinnamon, some sort of fragrant solvent. And something I’ve never noticed in a Canadian before, the smell upon entering a fish shop. This dissipates with time. After pouring most of it out into a Kentucky bourbon glass, what’s left gives off more fruit. Some apple.

In the bourbon glass, stewed McIntosh apples and cinnamon, and as it is drying after pouring into the next glass, I get butterscotch. In the Canadian whisky glass I get a spicier nose and some pickle juice. The drying glass is heavy on rye spice.

Taste: 22/25

This definitely tastes like a “Canadian” whisky (a GOOD Canadian whisky). In the Glencairn, vanilla, caramel, pepper, spiciness. A little thin on the mouthfeel. A little sweeter in the bourbon glass , creamier. In the Canadian glass it seems to have a balance between sweet and savory. The longer it is in the glass (I’ve been working on this review close to 2h), the better the palate comes together.

Finish: 22/25

Astringent, surprisingly long, peppery. Not sweet at all. A little anise at the drop off.

Balance: 21.5/25

Maybe a little too bitter overall on the palate, and I would have preferred a slightly stronger nose with a little more complexity.

Score: 87.5/100

I give this showdown to the Canadian Whisky Glass.


I’m glad I have a spare bottle of this. I’ll be paying close attention to Legacy over the next couple of weeks as I decide whether I would like another in the bunker. I think I like the Dissertation profile a little better but that will have to wait for a H2H on another day.

I admit my bias as to always considering Canadian whiskies to be on a lower tier than Scotches and bourbons. Low ABV, filtered, coloured, sketchy 1/11 rules, all that stuff. But I’ve been thinking a lot of Dr. Don Livermore’s assertion that Canadian whisky’s strength is in its flexibility. It may be mostly marketing fluff, but I do see how our rules, while resulting in a lot of bottom shelf swill, allow certain expressions to stand out. Subtlety is key here, though the good doctor coaxes a lot of flavour from lower ABVs. As a big flavours person, it’s very different from the others and something I still have a lot to learn from.

Luckily I discovered this in time, when premium Canadian whisky is on the rise. Let’s hope the price doesn’t follow the whisky too quickly.

"... Hiram Walker (Wiser’s, Corby etc…)..."

That's part of what turns me off about Canadian whisky. Like bourbon, it seems to be a bunch of brands—a bunch of brands produced by a few big distilleries. (Is that about right?)

I can't follow it all. I dislike the "branding" element on principle and I find it all just too overwhelming to even attempt to sort through. To know what's what, you have to figure out which ones are made by the same people, and then figure out what distinguishes one brand from another within the same house? Get outta here.

I much prefer the situation in Scotland. Even though you have scores of distilleries with esoteric Gaelic names, at least most of the whisky comes from the place named on the bottle. (Single malts, not blends.)

On this scale, I s'pose Ireland is somewhere in between.


Of course, the other problem with Canadian whisky is that it all tastes like maple. Maple and beaver. Right, @Robert99? wink

@MadSingleMalt Oh, you mean like Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn? I thought you were talking about Canadian whisky...

@Robert99

For the 150th birthday of Canada, I'm going back to a sure value among Canadian whisky: Wiser's Legacy. But It would not be useful to write another review of this well known whisky if this bottle was freshly opened. I hope this review will be of interest because I am reviewing from a bottle that has been opened for two years without being gas and that is still 40% full. So let starts.

Nose:

A lot of menthol, floral, light maple, almond, vanilla, some cherry, light wood spices, grainy cereals, custard and a bit of sourdough. It is way less woody than it was originaly.

Taste:

A lot more sweet than the nose, a mix of caramel and maple. More floral too and the custard is now banana. The other flavors are faint souvenirs in the background.

Final

Almond and vanilla flows over a gneral minty floral background with a bit of bitter note at the end.

Balance

Balance is very good, but , at the same time, it is like the air has separeted the components of this blend. I have a young rye with its floral notes and an older corn part with a rounded sugar. I do understand better now the comment of @paddockjudge about the column still part being the star part of this blend and my guess is that it is also the oldest part.

Conclusion

This bottle presents a different whisky now. Not as bold and spicy as it was or woody but more floral with higher notes. It's funny but the rye makes me think more of a young Willett than Lot 40. As for the corn part, I simply never tasted its equivalent. I think that this bottle was at its best after something like 6 months but it is a remarkable tribute to its quality that it remains so good after 2 years of air exposure.

Did I hear correctly at Spirit of Toronto that it is currently not in production because it's not selling well?

I missed this review when it first went up. Nicely done @Robert99. While my bottles of Legacy never last for two years, it's nice to know that they'd hold up reasonably well if they would. The floral notes one can detect in some ryes are always very welcome to me, so I'm tempted to set aside some Legacy for a while to see how I'd like it.

@hunggar

Wiser’s Legacy has over the past few years grown enormously in popularity. So much so that it’s become the unofficial benchmark for Canadian quality and affordability in the whisky community. Well, that’s more than enough to stoke my interest. I’ll admit I’m sometimes skeptical of Canadian whisky. Within the whisky world, we’re late bloomers, and there are still plenty of duds out there. But things are changing, and more premium whiskies with better productions are slowly creeping onto the scene. I’ll be comparing this to my other prized Canadian, Corby’s Lot No. 40, which is in fact a component in the Legacy. This bottle has been open for 10 months.

Nose: A bit malty, a bit grainy, with good balance between sharpness and softness. Rye, orange oil, cinnamon, caramel, lemon tart, honey, ginger, dill, apple cider, and faint oak.

Palate: I like this thick, silky mouthfeel. Pencil shavings, vanilla, cream, maple wood, rye, banana, and charcoal.

Finish: Long and dry, with what we scholars refer to as a shit-ton of spices. Woodspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black peppercorn, mustard seed, ginger, anise, and faint cumin. We quickly move in to molasses, maple, charcoal, grain, rye, pencil shavings, menthol, oak, banana, and unsweetened orange juice.

Thoughts: This is quite different from Lot No. 40, which is admittedly simpler. By contrast this is a broader, heavier, more layered, and more sophisticated. For that reason I can appreciate why it’s the poster child for Canadian quality, although I actually prefer the Lot 40. I find it more balanced and charismatic.

The pros easily outweigh the cons here. For starters, the spices are intense, vivid, and relentless. A lot of sharp flavours to explore, most of which don’t stem from the rye (Lot No. 40 being the rye content). Maybe not an every-mood whisky, but this can and will give you a swift kick in the ass in the most delightful way possible. Another pro is the smooth sweetness and gentle texture which help to calm all that oak and spice; no doubt the work of a quality corn whisky.

HOWEVER, as mentioned above I don’t find this to be a consistently balanced whisky. The component parts are all absolutely lovely, and the final result is mostly a harmonious culmination of those parts, but not always. At times I find it to be over-oaked, and at times I find it generally uncoordinated. Usually there's no problem, but it's a minor shortcoming that I notice on occasion

Still it’s a fine ambassador for our particular style of distillation and production, and an excellent example of the direction Canadian whisky can and should take. So yeah... good stuff. Try it!

I tried it at my epic tasting with @paddockjudge et al. At the same session we used his recipe to recreate it. I have to say I liked what we made a little bit more... I think Connosr has a member who could become a master blender...

@Nozinan, yes I remember you guys discussing your homemade Legacy. Does it have less bite without the virgin oak influence? Very cool idea, something for me to try someday!

@Robert99

I may repeat myself but I am not a rye drinker at first. I would take a Scotch and a Bourbon before a Rye almost every day, but being Canadian and to extend my palate, I go for a Rye from time to time. I read a lot of good things about Wiser's Legacy and it is affordable so I bought a bottle. Previously the best Canadian Rye I had was Lot 40, but I did like it because it was not to me a truly Canadian in its flavor profile. As for the Wiser's Legacy, it has a real Canadian Profile, maple, orange and sweet caramel, of wich I am not usually found of. So what is different with WL: the wood.

The nose got maple, orange oil and orange peel, the bitter kind, some white pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg and some floral notes. At the beginning I smell some vanilla and almond with cherries but it recessed with air.

On the palate the white pepper is increasing and I have ginger. The wood presence is obvious but balance the sweetness and add a nice floral note with a hint of menthol to give some lightness to this rye.

The finish is a swirl of sweetness and bitterness in a good way and is quite long.

Conclusion, this is maybe the best Canadian Whisky! But the way the wood is used, I find that there is something American about it. I know, they don't use any Bourbon Cask, but it is at if a master distiller from Kentucky came to Canada to assure the maturation of this Whisky and pick the casks to do so. What ever they did, it is d***** good.

Robert, about the wood and American style, I think that there is a lot of new wood aging in Wiser's Legacy, just as there is entirely new wood aging in WhistlePig Rye, which requires it because it is bottled as a US Straight Rye Whiskey. New wood has a whole bunch of rich delicious flavours which are mostly lost once the barrel is used even once. Only a relatively few Canadian whiskies ever use new oak, though more are going that direction, happily.

@paddockjudge is extremely knowledgable about the composition and maturation of Wiser's Legacy. Perhaps he will weigh in. @paddockjudge?

It is interesting to me that you said that you liked Lot 40 because it doesn't taste to you like a truly Canadian flavour profile...whereas my (one of many) other close Canadian whisky buddies, @Pudge72, says he loves Lot 40 because he considers it the true Canadian rye whisky style. The last time I saw @Pudge72, he brought me a bottle of his preferred Canadian Rye, Lot 40, and he also brought me, compliments of @whiskyjoe, a bottle of my own favourite Canadian rye, Wiser's Legacy.

Where to begin? @Victor and @Robert99, coincidentally, today I picked up a bottle of Wiser's Legacy to supplement my cache of eight different batches. I have opened the bottle and poured a good smash of this chewy and delicious triple-grain treat so that I can accurately portray its nuances and complexities.

Legacy is not a 'standard' Canadian 'Rye' blend. The proportional composition is somewhat heavily weighted in the rye whisky component of this spectacular blend, approximately 33%, much more than any standard blend I can think of. Barley in the 2 - 5% range and the balance, which is the base, the platform upon which this particular Canadian expression is carried, is a combination of column still and pot distilled corn whisky...and bottled at 90 pf.

There is a lot going on with Legacy. Glancing at my collection of notes from a master class, and subsequent discussion, with Dr. Don Livermore, who succeeded David Doyle (2007 Red Letter and the launch of Legacy, 2010) as Master Distiller at Corby's/Wiser's/ Meagher's, this particular expression is a blend derived from varying styles of whisky; pot still rye, malted rye, column and pot still corn and barley whiskies. The rye whisky component is Lot No. 40. The barley whisky is particularly delicious, most notable were the grassy notes that are characteristic of column still production. Believe it or not, the star of the show was the pot double-distilled corn whisky - absolutely incredible, like a long-aged Cameron Bridge single grain Scotch.

Dr. Don Livermore indicated the age of the whiskies employed to be 10 years (Red Letter being 13 years, finished in new oak for approximately 5 months and basically column distilled). The new oak used to age all of Legacy's component whiskies is undoubtedly a large part of the unique flavour profile exhibited by this blend; however, the method of distillation is equally influential and makes its mark on Wiser's Legacy. Each of the component parts are truly very fine examples of the various grain varietals, but the method of distillation sets each apart from the other. The floral and fruity aromas from the rye component (Corby's Lot No.40) can be attributed to the copper pot single distillation. The relative absence of any sulphurous, grassy, or soapy notes indicates to me that the proportion of pot distilled whiskies is much greater than that of column distilled whiskies.

@Robert, to truly understand WL, one must first understand the component parts. Your comments regarding the wood influence have merit, but do not attribute all of these new properties in this unique Canadian to the wood. You might enjoy knowing that Dr. Don Livermore is one of only two Master Distillers in the world with a Ph.D specific to Brewing and Distilling. Dr. Livermore's Ph.D studies addressed measuring the quality of barrels. WL was launched during the tenure of David Doyle, but there is no doubt Livermore was influential in the creation of Legacy, which was launched shortly before he took the reigns at Wakerville.

An exercise I enjoyed very much was blending my own Wiser's Legacy. Under the guidance of the good Doctor, the master class participants were encouraged to use all of the component whiskies to create their own version of Legacy. I've tried this at home many times; it is a lot of fun. I've used Lot No.40 (CC 100% RYE), Deanston's Virgin Oak, and Highwood Ninety 20 years (Century Reserve 21 Years, Century Lot 15/25). Results may vary.

I hope this helps in your understanding of Wiser's Legacy, a truly complex and delicious whisky by any standard.

Thank you for a very frank and enjoyable review.

@JasonHambrey

The first time I had this whisky it was in a liquor store tasting bar, where I tasted some Ardbeg Corryvreckan - one of the biggest, most muscular peaty Scotches out there. I looked at Legacy and thought I might want to try it, but figured I wouldn't have a chance at tasting anything after the Corryvreckan. However, I decided to try some, and was shocked to find that Wiser's Legacy stood its ground with some brilliant rye and spice. The name "Legacy" is a tribute to Wiser's founder, J.P. Wiser, and is based off one of his recipes.

The whisky is distilled in a pot still from a rye-rich mash, and matured in white oak barrels, which are toasted rather than charred. It works some magic in this fantastic whisky. It comes in the bottle at 45%, which is unusual for Canadian whisky normally bottled at 40%. It was also one of the first Canadian whiskies to enter into a "super-premium" category, which was small at the time and now includes many more additions than when Legacy was released in 2010.

This bottle was bought in 2012, and reviewed in 2013.

Nose: a nice big, bold and engaging nose. there's caramel, and the nose is sweet and candied. It has lots of vanilla, honey, oak, toffee, ginger, unfiltered apple juice, cinnamon and butterscotch (it's quite creamy!). Banana also features quite heavily, and the nose is quite similar in that respect to that of Lot no. 40 - but I would say this features more complexity and louder vanilla and oak, and less banana. There's a corn backdrop, and some toasted oak develops as it sits and the vanilla notes get larger. There also are some notes of menthol in the nose. There's even a bit of smoke in this one, but it's quite light like match smoke. 92%

Taste: smooth and sweet entry, with apples, caramel, bananas, and warming rye which lightly burn for some time in the mouth before a slow fade and spicy, lingering, dry finish. There's maple, and some light orange as well. Very full bodied, and perhaps not the best balance but almost overpowering. Sweet on the finish. The ginger and cinnamon feature quite nicely in this one. There's also a bit of fragrant mint on the finish, which has the effect of lifting the whole experience slightly. 95%

Finish: fantastic! Big, muscular, long. It's quite dry, fruity, and oaky, and some vanilla and sweetness come out after some time. There is some black pepper and some fruity, candy-like rye as well. 98%

Intrigue: This is one of my favourites. It has lots of complexity, and appealing flavour profile, depth, and breadth. This creamy, spicy, and fruity rye is one I thoroughly enjoy. It seems to me a bit more developed, bolder, and complex version of Lot no. 40 (also a fantastic whisky) with some more softer flavours and less spice intensity. 95%

Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 95.

@Victor, why not?! Great fun for all regardless of your favourite whisky style or preference. This blending exercise will enhance the understanding of the relationship between grain, wood, and distillation method. It is educational and a wonderful gateway experience for those willing to explore bold and new frontiers.

Paddockjudge Legacy Recipe:

15 ml Highwood Ninety 20 YO 7.5 ml Corby's Lot No. 40 1.25 ml Deanston Virgin Oak Highland Single Malt

The resulting blend is about as close to Wiser's Legacy as you can get without opening a bottle of Legacy. Much of the fun is derived from experimenting with varying ratios and product substitutions.

Here is an excerpt from my comment to @Robert99 on his review of Wiser's Legacy

" Legacy is not a 'standard' Canadian 'Rye' blend. The proportional composition is somewhat heavily weighted in the rye whisky component of this spectacular blend, approximately 33%, much more than any standard blend I can think of. Barley in the 2 - 5% range and the balance, which is the base, the platform upon which this particular Canadian expression is carried, is a combination of column still and pot distilled corn whisky...and bottled at 90 pf.

There is a lot going on with Legacy. Glancing at my collection of notes from a master class, and subsequent discussion, with Dr. Don Livermore, who succeeded David Doyle (2007 Red Letter and the launch of Legacy, 2010) as Master Distiller at Corby's/Wiser's/ Meagher's, this particular expression is a blend derived from varying styles of whisky; pot still rye, malted rye, column and pot still corn and barley whiskies. The rye whisky component is Lot No. 40. The barley whisky is particularly delicious, most notable were the grassy notes that are characteristic of column still production. Believe it or not, the star of the show was the pot double-distilled corn whisky - absolutely incredible, like a long-aged Cameron Bridge single grain Scotch.

Dr. Don Livermore indicated the age of the whiskies employed to be 10 years (Red Letter being 13 years, finished in new oak for approximately 5 months and basically column distilled). The new oak used to age all of Legacy's component whiskies is undoubtedly a large part of the unique flavour profile exhibited by this blend; however, the method of distillation is equally influential and makes its mark on Wiser's Legacy. Each of the component parts are truly very fine examples of the various grain varietals, but the method of distillation sets each apart from the other. The floral and fruity aromas from the rye component (Corby's Lot No.40) can be attributed to the copper pot single distillation. The relative absence of any sulphurous, grassy, or soapy notes indicates to me that the proportion of pot distilled whiskies is much greater than that of column distilled whiskies."

@JasonHambrey very nice review. I just wrote a review of this rye then read your review and I think we had a similar experience with this dram. As usual, you picked up way more flavors than I did, but my palate is not familiar with rye. Still, we are very close although for me, Lot 40 is playing way more the exotic fruits while Legacy has a unique way to play the wood spices. I also expect Legacy to better take air because of the wood. You may give me an advise on this point since I am at my first bottle of Legacy, that would be welcome! Anyway, let me tell you that I am learning a lot by comparing my notes to your reviews, they are very usefull to acquire the ability to name the flavors I encounter in Canadian Whisky.

@vanPelt

Nose: You first notice the fresh, cool anise, different from a barley malt. Banana and cool mint are forefront, but you can also pick out vanilla and honey sweetness, and some soft oak influence of nutmeg and orange rind.

Palate: The obvious flavor is caraway, with a pleasant cooling effect. Light and thin in mouth-feel, it has faintly sweet background of banana or pear, but more noticeable are the floral oak spices.

Finish: Again the rye dominates, with long, lingering fennel coolness. Slightly bitter grapefruit rind emerges.

I imagine this will be an especially great one to pull out on a hot summer day....

@vanPelt - I've sampled from more than 20 bottles of Legacy since the launch and have never experienced a less-than-great bottle.

The orange rind you perceive on the nose is to me, citrus pith; and the grapefruit rind on your finish is grapefruit pith in my notes. Your references to anise and fennel are interesting, and for me actually a refreshing alternative to the usual rye whisky descriptors, but I have a few to share that you didn't employ.

Nose: promise of sweetness - pralines. Baking spices - vanilla/cloves/cinnamon, floral notes, doughy rye bread rising, sawdust.

Palate: The promise of baking spices and sweetness translates to the taste - mackintosh toffee, white pepper, cloves, citrus pith, cinnamon, a hint of cocoa, silky, and then tingly peppermint building to peppermint pop-rocks with increasing heat and intense peppery pin pricks.

Finish: long for a Canadian (not nearly as long as Laphroaig QC), dry mouth, continuing heat in the mouth after the exit. Grapefruit pith and lingering rye/baking spices. A refreshing pour of world class whisky at a sensible price. I had originally rated this at 91. I am now inclined to assign a rating of 95 to this masterpiece.

@ vanPelt - one of my favorites and a great big heavy-based, square-shouldered, rugged bottle that is almost impossible to tip (in my younger days, one of the the old-timers told me at hunt camp "don't buy the round bottles, they just roll under the bunk") and easy to store in the cabinet. This expression was introduced in 2010 at the outrageous price of $85 in Ontario; by the spring of 2011 the price tag had dropped to $50. I purchased a case of this upon discovering the price change, anticipating that it would be short lived. It is now two years later and the price is fixed at $50 and at least four subsequent lots have found their way to Ontario store shelves. Only one bottle in my cabinet remains from the initial lot L10... What is the Lot number on your bottle? - located at the base under the square label on the front face. Not all batches are created equal - the L10 and L11 batches are brilliant!

Looking forward to hot summer days. Cheers!

@Gunny283

Nose: Peppery and sweet with lots of vanilla, apple, and wood.
Taste: Spice and pepper greet you initially. This quickly trails off to more sweetness: vanilla and perhaps caramel. This one wraps you up like a warm blanket. Better chilled with stones than room temperature. A few drops of water bring out the sweetness. There is almost no strong alcohol taste throughout. Finish: The rye spice lingers along with the vanilla for a moderate amount of time. As it disappears, you immediately want more. Balance: My favorite Canadian Rye and a pleasant surprise at $50. Unfortunately, I just bought the last bottle in the city of Victoria, as BCLC has apparently decided to stop stocking this one. I may be able to find it at private sellers, for more money of course. What ever will I do?

@Matthieu

Let me start by mentioning that I absolutely detest the square bottle. Sure it looks nice, but it feels wrong in the hand and I hold it with my two hands to make sure I don't drop it while pouring.

Drunk neat. The bottle has been opened at least 4 times since last February. when I bought it. From memory, it used to be stronger.

Nose: Dominated by mint, with apples and some sweet vanilla. Very fresh.

Palate: Cool, smooth and sweet. Reminds me of the Wiser's Small Batch and the Alberta Premium. It's simple and a disappointment after that nose. Spices start building up as it warms though.

Finish: There it is! A huge rush of rye spices strike first, with some grapefruit. As the initial rush dies down, it is progressively replaced by mint and dry oak, both of which stick around forever it seems.

Balance: It is a well done, but I find the palate disappointing. The finish is simply perfect on the other hand, and makes this rye well worth the experience.

@Matthieu - It is interesting how we can both enjoy the contents of this bottle, yet disagree on the functionality of the container. It is my opinion that the heavily weighted square bottle, with it's multiple facets and masculine demeanor, embodies the complexity and strength of this world class whisky...if that's not convincing enough, perhaps this may sway your opinion: I was told in my youth, by an elderly and distinguished gentleman, " don't buy the round bottles, they just roll under the bed".... lol happy new year, it's only a bottle.

And with this review, #16, I reach page 2 of the members page!

m

I decided to celebrate Canada Day with a fine Canadian. After considering all of the options in my cabinet, I chose Wiser's Legacy which I had not yet tried.

It was indeed a wise choice.

Nose: Rye, apricots, citrus zest Mouth feel: light, watery but smooth Taste: burnt oak, pears, vanilla, pepper Finish: long, exquisite pepper building and building to a fantastic white hot pepper finish Balance: lovely

Total Score: 93

@StevieC

I have read a number of peer reviews online, and on this site about Wiser's Legacy. An award winner at both the World Whisky Awards and the Canadian Whisky Awards.

Looking at the colour and alcohol content (45%), I was expecting a Canadian whisky full of spice and flavour. Boy, was I ever right! This had better character, body, and roundedness than the previous tasting I did with Canadian Club 20 YR. It is quite evident that Wiser's Legacy is a fairly young whisky, but it surely offers different flavours not typically found in your standard Canadian whiskies. It started off good, but my outlook quicky changed. Here are my thoughts about tasting the Legacy.

Colour: dark bronze, amber.

Nose: soft/slight scent of toffee, oak, and bitters (smells similar to Campari or an Amaro), fresh and citrusy zest.

Palate: light-medium bodied, lots of spice at mid-palate. I picked up lots of
spearmint/mint, oaky. Fairly smooth.

Finish: short finish. Yet spice and pepper
linger at the back of the throat.

Overall,I was a little disapponted with this whisky. Points are given to the classy bottling and higher ABV. The whisky starts off good, and, although it is smooth and spicy, the finish is short lived, and the minty taste is a bit too much. I have never tasted a whisky like this before. I am a bit confused. Perhaps it will take a few more visits before I can fully appreciate what it has to offer.

@talexander

Wow - I was very surprised when I sampled this sweet but powerful whisky - amber colour, good legs and a solid body. Sweet aroma of oak, toffee, apple and, strangely, baked bread. Taste was much of the above but very peppery - a little water brought out a buttery quality. Warm vanilla finish - kind of like drinking a cake but in a really good way!

I have to admit that this is one that I was not able to 'get', despite three separate tastings (both with and without water) from a very generous sample from @victor several months ago. While I did find it to have a much nicer finish and balance than the some of the standard Canadian mixers (CC Classic 12 yo, is my base reference in this regard), I seemed to miss the positive intensity of flavours that most reviews note.

I have read elsewhere (likely on this site) where some have found that it took a half bottle or more for the profile to open up. I would strongly suspect that I can put myself in that category.

@Victor

The Wiser's whiskies are distilled at the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery in Windsor, Ontario. Wiser's Legacy is labeled "Copper Pot Distilled" and has no age statement on the bottle.

Nose: fragrant rich sweet maple and sweet oak, vanilla, a little caramel, and lots of rye spice. I smell here a slight undercurrent of a combination of bitter and sweet orange as well. This is a very beautiful nose, similar to the nose of a 15+ year old Willett bourbon.

Taste: sweet maple with enormous amounts of balancing rye spices. This is phenomenally smooth and delicious. Luxurious.

Finish: the rye spice flavours exit a little before the wood flavours, which last quite long.

Balance: this is an "old school" style Canadian whisky, with lots of rye and no noticeable trace of anything artificial, chemical, or of any sweet additives. I love it. It is to date, by far, my favourite Canadian whisky. I am in complete agreement with Jim Murray's most eloquent 2011 Whisky Bible comment on Wiser's Legacy: "...I was seduced like a 16-year-old virgin shoolboy in the hands of a 30-year-old vixen." Me too, Jim.

@dbk: I bought a bottle of Barrel Select FC years ago and thought it was okay; then I tried the Three Grain, which I liked better--the sweet corn finish was solid.

I've read lots of positive reviews of FC, so might give them a look, even though they're a little pricey. Are they really that good? I'm hesitant because I'm afraid of the hype. Fifty bucks for Legacy is a value to me as it's world-class stuff, but the FC at $60 and $70, I don't know.

I did read the phenomenal review of John's PC1 over at canadianwhisky.org and thought that I might have to try this annual beauty.

@Requiem, I've reviewed all current releases on Connosr (I'm waiting to open my bottle of the Port Wood and for John's Private Cask to be released), so you can read my thoughts on them via my profile page, or just search for them. The long and the short of it, however, is that the Confederation Oak is currently my favourite Canadian whisky. To me, it is absolutely in the same league as Wiser's Legacy (which is a steal, without a doubt!), and at least worth a try. Not everyone enjoys the Forty Creek profile equally, but I believe their high-end expressions to be excellent, hype or no hype.

@Megawatt

Here is another whisky which took me half a bottle to properly appreciate. Legacy is a true Canadian rye, a blend of rye, rye malt and barley malt. The bottle declares it "pot still rye."

The whisky is a bit closed at first but time and especially ice bring it to life. On the nose I get sweet herbs: mint leaves and mild dill. After a minute it starts to burst with fruit, especially oranges.

It starts off a bit hot on the palate. The body is medium-thick but it still seems rather young, maybe 8-10 years. The flavour starts with sweet caramel and fruit notes before gripping the mouth with nice earthy flavours that you find in good Canadian whisky. There is also a fizzy taste reminiscent of ginger ale. All in all, quite nice. You won't mistake that it's a Canadian whisky yet it stands on its own.

The finish is slightly bitter and grainy, but in a good way. I don't get a lot of oak from it. There is also a bittersweet fruit note in the finish, perhaps orange peel.

Overall this is a good whisky which rewards patience and an open mind. It benefits tremendously from a lower price at the LCBO ($50 instead of $85), as it is a nice entry at this price point but might be a letdown at the higher price.

@Victor- that's a big Amen you hear from your northern neighbour. Megawatt has suggested this may be an 8-10 yo, I hope he is correct. What if there is more aging and soon to be available as a 12-15 yo? Incredible possibilities. I am currently on my third head-to-head trial, and at the price of these premium offerings I may have to cull out the older and simpler of the two. After six bottles the score is: Legacy 3, 18 yo not yet on the board. I do enjoy the 18, but for my taste, Legacy is indeed something unique and satisfying. Enjoy them both while they are available.

Cheers!

@Nelom, check the bottling code and avoid Legacy L16008, it is not true to form, anice is detectable on both the nose and palate...and Lot No.40 L16027 has a hint as well, it's a shame.

I suspect the malted rye component of Lot No.40 is responsible for this note in both whiskies. Hopefully the next iteration will follow the dusty, spicy profile that has clearly been established for Legacy. The 65% corn whisky base in Legacy accentuates the black licorice notes from the most recent iteration of Lot No. 40, a sub-component that accounts for 33% of Legacy.

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