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 all 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 is almost of a floral wine character in its aroma profile. 25.5/30 (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. 26.5/30 (88%)
Finish: Arugula, light cinnamon and nutmeg, 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. 17/20 (85%)
Conclusion: 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). 17.5/20 (88%)
Overall Score: 86.5/100