Review #40: Wiser’s Dissertation

This is a review of Wiser’s Dissertation bottled at 46.1%. The sample for this review came from a bottle generously provided by Wiser’s for the Toronto Whisky Society. If you are not familiar with the background on this bottle I highly recommend you read up on it here.

N: Rye bread, molasses, pepper, green banana, caraway, vanilla, mint, cinnamon

P: Pepper, caramel, rye bread, vanilla, herbal, oak, anise, slightly bitter. Nice mouthfeel.

F: Medium-long. Lots of pepper, vanilla and brown sugar.

Overall: One of the better Canadian whiskies I’ve had. Lots of rye spices but there is a balance with the sweet vanilla and caramel/brown sugar. There really are quite a lot of classic bourbon/rye notes in this one. I love how there are more and more Canadian whiskies with big bold interesting flavours instead of the traditional quiet and sweet profiles most are used to. I’m looking forward to getting my own bottle of this once released.

Score: 84

Review #30: Masterson’s 10 year old Rye

This is a review of Masterson’s 10 year old 100% Rye bottled at 45%. The sample for this review came from my own bottle #22328 from batch #005

N: Spicy and a bit earthy. Mint, caraway, black pepper, some sweet caramel, orange peel, some fruit (Apple? Melon?), black licorice comes with time in the glass.

P: Rye bread, caraway, pepper, cherry, orange, mint, anise, some oak, cinnamon. Spicy.

F: Medium-long. Spicy with some orange, oak, cinnamon and pepper.

Overall: I think this is a decent, spicy, 100% Canadian rye. It’s a little unbalanced as it’s very spicy and the sweet and fruit aspects are very mild, but I like spicy ryes so it worked for me overall as a daily sipper. I do wish it didn’t have as much black licorice/anise though because I’m not really a fan. Unfortunately, for me this is a step down from the always good and available Lot 40 and is more than double the cost where I am. A decent alternative if you’re looking for a change of pace, but since Lot 40 is so much cheaper just get Lot 40.

Score: 79

Review #24: Forty Creek Evolution

This is a review of Forty Creek Evolution bottled at 43% which was the 2014 special release bottle from Forty Creek distillery. The sample for this review came from my own bottle.

N: Plums, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, a bit of spice I can’t pin down, panettone.

P: Fudge, grapes, prune juice, caramel, cinnamon, fruitcake. Thin and very sweet.

F: Short, fruity, and sweet.

Overall: This is definitely a step up from most Canadian whiskies and probably the best Forty Creek I’ve had. I found this a hard one to score though because while on one hand I do like what they tried to do, and think they were successful in some ways as I thought the fruitiness added an interesting twist and some complexity, in the end I felt it wasn’t able to overcome what I dislike in most Canadian whiskies as I still found it too thin and sweet for my tastes. For those reasons this isn’t one that I reach for very often at all and my final score reflects that.

Score: 75

Review #23: Forty Creek Barrel Select

This is a review of Forty Barrel Select bottled at 40%. The sample for this review came from my own bottle.

N: Lots of caramel, acetone, maple, vanilla, cardboard, some oak spice.

P: Very sweet, maple syrup, caramel, candy corn, vanilla, a touch of spice, grainy sweetness.

F: Short. Caramel, vanilla and some spice fade very quickly.

Overall: This is way too sweet for me. It is maple and caramel dominant from the nose right through to the finish and I think it would greatly improve from more spice to balance it out. There were also some off notes that I didn’t enjoy (acetone, cardboard) and I found it very thin with no finish. That being said I don’t think anyone is under the impression this was made to be a sipper and I do think this is slightly better than most cheap Canadians.

Score: 65

Review #16 and #17: Wisers Red Letter 2013 and Union 52

Wisers has been putting out some interesting limited releases recently. One of the most recent, Union 52, is a BC exclusive release of a blend of one of Wisers high end regular releases called Wisers Red Letter with some unspecified 52 year old scotch. Both whiskies are bottled at 45% so I’m looking forward to this comparison to see what effect the likely tiny amount of 52 year old scotch had on the Red Letter. The Red Letter sample is the 2013 release and was provided by /u/TOModera and the Wisers Union 52 was generously given to me by /u/Devoz.

 

N (RL): Caramel, sawdust, creamed corn, rye bread, and little bit of something herbal, lighter and sweeter than the U52, a little citrus comes with time, everything is very light though.

N (U52): Caramel, honey, vanilla, grass, apple skins, menthol, malt, oak. Much richer than the Red Letter.

 

P (RL): Light and sweet with some rye spice, vanilla, oak, clove, dry with a thin mouthfeel.

P (U52): Rye, caramel, cinnamon, orange peel, oak, licorice, I like this more than the Red Letter but the mouthfeel remains pretty thin.

 

F (RL): Short. Caramel sweetness and some rye spice.

F (U52): Short and spicy, definitely not as sweet as the Red Letter. Orange peel.

 

Overall: Going into this I had thought that I would be able to pick out a lot of similarities between the two whiskies as U52 uses Red Letter as its base but was surprised when I found them to be fairly different. To me the U52 was better than the Red Letter across the board. It was deeper and richer and more complex beating the Red Letter slightly in each category from the nose to finish. Both are not my preferred style as I found them too light and thin but they were definitely able to improve on the Red Letter by blending in that scotch cask. Glad I was able to do this side by side I’m looking out for more releases from Wisers coming up in 2017.

 

Score (RL): 77

Score (U52): 80

Review #7: Lot 40 Cask Strength

Thanks to /u/Devoz from the Toronto Whisky Society for the sample from his own private 200 mL bottle of Lot 40 cask strength at 55.8% provided by Corby/Wisers.

N: Not surprisingly this has similar notes to the standard Lot 40 but with everything amplified. Lots of spice, rye, caraway, pepper, green/fresh wood, dark caramel, menthol, very little heat and a nice amount of oak to balance, dill also appears after a while and becomes quite prominent, this is a really nice nose.

P: Lots of spices are immediately apparent that echo the nose (rye bread, caraway, pepper), actually the whole thing very much echoes the nose with huge spices up front, some dark caramel, oak and dill. The only thing I picked up that wasn’t in the nose was a faint cherry like sweetness. This also has a much thicker mouthfeel than the standard Lot 40 and again is not as hot as I’d expect for 55.8%.

F: Very long and spicy with slight sweetness and oak. This notes in this dram seamlessly transition from nose to taste to finish.

Water: I didn’t add any water to this one.

Overall: This is the best Canadian whisky I have had and competes with some of the best ryes I’ve had as well. Out of curiosity I had a dram of THH 2015 right after to see how it stacked up and it definitely held its own (The THH beat it slightly with a score of 90). If this was a regular bottling it would have a permanent place on my shelf and would likely be a massive step towards changing the negative perception of Canadian whisky amongst most whisky fans. Why oh why won’t you let us have nice things Corby???

Score: 89