I like a lot of Wiser’s whiskies for their spiciness and boldness. This whisky is a wonderful example of that. It comes in at a higher strength, 43.4%, compared to the usual 40% which is pretty well ubiquitious in Canadian whisky. It is a double barreled whisky, at least once in virgin oak barrels (i.e. not previously used for maturation of a different spirit) meaning that it was partially aged in one barrel before being transferrred to another barrel for further aging. My guess is that it was finished in the virgin oak.
Nose: Lots of maple and vanilla, along with some spicy rye and some notes that remind me of baking bread – perhaps not wheat but malt loaf. Even though there is no wheat in this whisky, it almost smells as if there is with the soft sweetness which comes with wheat which lingers in the background. The maple syrup leaps from the glass, and it is of the heavier sort which has slightly more burnt and caramel flavours. There’s also oak, and the whole whisky smells a bit green – like green wood rather than dried wood. There are little tiny bits of soft vanilla and dried fruits reminiscent of bourbon. However, there’s a part of the nose I don’t like that is almost starchy, and brings to mind bean sprouts. It’s odd, and seems to detract from the nose significantly for me. It’s also a bit oily on the nose – slightly buttery. So there is certainly a lot going on, but to me it is not that well balanced and there are a few stray scents I would rather wish were not there. 24.5/30 (82%)
Taste: Brown sugar, with some reasonable sweetness, maple, caramel, and vanilla. Spicy rye and some brilliant oak provides the backdrop and this is a weighty, spicy whisky – I love the delivery. I still find a fair bit of that starchiness – those bean sprouts – but it is much more amenable to my palate than my nose. It comes together very nicely and is much more balanced than the nose. There’s also a nice soft bourbon-like kick on the end which is quite nice. 27/30 (90%)
Finish: it’s warm, with some spicy rye grain, dark rye bread, and oak – both green wood and dried, older wood, and a touch more of those bean sprouts and some vanilla. The bean sprouts I don’t love here either, but it’s It also has some good length and a nice amount of sweetness – not too sweet but not lacking in sweetness either. 16.5/20 (83%)
Conclusion: I really love the delivery, and the finish is quite good as well, but I don’t fancy the nose much. However, the flavour profile is great and this is still a favourite of mine because of the great delivery and I’m always happy to have a dram of this. 17/20 (85%)