Of all things synonymous to Canada, a brand of whisky that started ‘flowing’ in the nineteenth century is certainly a distinctive one. The legendary John Philip Wiser brought to life a whisky that would go on to be celebrated worldwide. And, it all started at his uncle’s farm in Prescott, Ontario. J.P. Wiser’s has firmly established itself as a connoisseur’s delight by staying true to the traditions that have stood test to time.
Wiser was considered a visionary and had astute business acumen. Hence, it is obvious that he set out with the goal of creating a brand of whisky that would bear a hallmark of premium quality and craftsmanship, and please the senses holistically.
1893 was a watershed year for Wiser as he introduced his initial offerings at Chicago. By 1895, J.P. Wiser’s was producing 500,000 gallons of whisky and was exporting around the world. Wiser died in 1911, which ultimately slowed down the meteoric ascent of the brand.
While Canadian whiskies may not be as revered as their more decorated American and Scottish cousins, they too have their loyalists. Traditionally, Canadian whiskies were disadvantaged by the lack of means needed to brew and distil. As a result, the Canadians had to rely on clean heat, which took away the smoky nature of whiskies that were brewed classically. But, what it did was give birth to a distinct style. And, this style has now become a tradition that is meticulously maintained.
Most Canadian whiskies are distilled in column or continuous stills. The recipes are also carefully selected in order to complement the brewing process. J.P. Wiser’s is carrying forward the legacy of producing fine Canadian whisky, and the process begins at choosing the right grains, which are presently procured from the Great Lakes Region. Wheat, rye, barley and corn make up the primary ingredients. J.P. Wiser’s has traditionally used white oak American Bourbon casks and Canada’s extreme weather conditions contribute to the aging of the whiskies, which, as a result, are quite unique.
J.P. Wiser’s catalogue promises diversity. Most of the whiskies that the company produces have regularly attained critical acclaim, resulting in the brand’s global popularity.
Among the offerings are the Vanilla and Apple variants, which are distinctive not just for the natural ingredients used but also because no artificial agents are at all used. Another interesting feature on the catalogue is the Hopped variant that, as the name suggests, has a generous addition of hops. The idea is to bring forth the not so ubiquitous marriage of whisky and beer. With the fine blend comes further addition of orange and honey, giving this whisky a unique taste and an ale finish. Then, there are the Double Still Rye and the Deluxe variants, which have long been popular choices. Both rely heavily on rye, resulting in robust whiskies which are smooth at the same time. Deluxe has won multiple awards. Finally, from the house of J.P. Wiser’s are also two grand, old whiskies that have enthralled whisky-lovers around the world. Legacy, a multiple award winner, is made from handpicked, special rye grown for the purpose. As the name suggests, the process of brewing this variant involves the very traditional approach to whisky-making that Canada prides itself for. Saving the best for the last, J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old is by far the most revered of its offerings. Highly regarded and a multiple award winner, this whisky offers richness and elegance of age.
J.P. Wiser’s is a brand that boasts of a rich tradition and a legacy that is almost two centuries old. With time, it has evolved while still staying true to the roots and the philosophy of delivering a signature quality. The eloquence and the versatility of the various whiskies coming from J.P. Wiser’s breweries are testament to old John Philip’s vision: Quality is something you can’t rush. Horses should hurry, whisky must take its time. Amen to that!