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Gillman
10-06-2008, 15:41
This is another entrant in the new Canadian whisky ranks. Wiser's has innovated before in releasing its Red Letter whisky and Special Reserve. The latter has 43% ABV - something different for Canada where almost all rye is 40%. The former had a big vanilla character, good, but not really stretching the bounds of Canadian whisky IMO.

The Small Batch is the most assertive to date of the new whiskies and approaches Forty Creek's whiskies in intensity of palate. It is full-bodied, sweetish, and while Canadian in palate does offer something new in its bigger, rounder flavours. I am not sure how this was achieved, presumably "heavier" whiskies were used to make up the batch than is normally the case. I would guess there is more rye whisky in it distilled at low proof than is normally used.

The whisky has little aftertaste so I doubt there is very much whisky in it aged in new charred wood (of whatever distilling-out proof) but the flavour in the mid-palate is strong and excellent.

The proof of the bottling us 43.4% which is indicated to be "Original Strength" - not sure what that means.

A fine effort for a reasonable price (circa $27.00). We are getting better, slowly, but it's happening.

Gary

Gillman
10-06-2008, 15:43
The program does not let me correct the title of the thread, so I hasten to add that the correct name of the whisky is "Wiser's Canadian Whisky Small Batch".

Gary

Jono
10-06-2008, 16:02
Gary, how would you rank the current Wiser's offerings?

Wiser's Deluxe
Wiser's Very Old
Wiser's Special Blend
Wiser's Reserve
Wiser's Small Batch

Gillman
10-06-2008, 16:24
Like this Jon:

1) the new Small Batch (a must buy IMO)

2) the Very Old

3) the Special Blend

4) Wiser's Deluxe

5) Wiser's Reserve

Gary

Gillman
10-06-2008, 16:26
Jon I can't recall if the Reserve is the 43% ABV released a couple of years ago. If so, I'd place that 3rd, then the Deluxe, then the Special Blend.

Gary

Gillman
10-06-2008, 16:28
The Red Letter was very good, but to me kind of stands outside the others, both stylistically and certainly in price. If there is one to bring back, it is Small Batch and maybe Very Old.

Gary

Megawatt
10-07-2008, 10:55
Awesome, can't wait until this is available in my area. I need some more good, affordable whiskies to fit my budget.

The LCBO is also releasing a Canadian whisky glass made by the Glencairn crystal company.

Megawatt
10-09-2008, 10:56
I wonder if this stuff is just a re-labeled Wiser's Reserve. The bottles are similar, the proof is nearly identical, and Wiser's just discontinued their Reserve whisky. Coincidence?

Gillman
10-09-2008, 12:08
I doubt they are the same. The depth of flavour in the Small Batch makes them evidently different IMO.

Gary

Megawatt
10-10-2008, 13:32
I'm enjoying my first glass of Wiser's Small Batch right now. It is good, but reinforces my suspicion that it might be a repackaged Wiser's Reserve. Both are dry with pronounced buttery notes, which distinguishes them from the rest of the Wiser's lineup, which tends more toward sweetness. They also have a similar alcoholic nose. Of course, I'm comparing from memory and I haven't tried the Reserve in quite some time. A side-by-side comparison would be interesting. I just find it curious that Wiser's took Reserve off the market while introducing a similar whisky at the same price point...

Jono
10-10-2008, 13:59
http://www.tastings.com/search_spirits.lasso?se=k&sb=All&ca=Canadian&sf=ScoreForSort

Here is a tasting note.

Megawatt
10-10-2008, 14:45
http://www.tastings.com/search_spirits.lasso?se=k&sb=All&ca=Canadian&sf=ScoreForSort

Here is a tasting note.

Pretty well on the money.

Frodo
10-10-2008, 19:25
I wonder if this stuff is just a re-labeled Wiser's Reserve. The bottles are similar, the proof is nearly identical, and Wiser's just discontinued their Reserve whisky. Coincidence?

I think it was the LCBO that has discontinued the Wiser's Reserve as opposed to Wiser's. The newer Small Batch looks like a limited edition although that is somewhat of a loaded term. Crown Royal has a limited edition out and it has been going strong for over 5 years...

Thanks for bringing this and the Centuary Reserve to our attention Gary!!!

Frodo
10-10-2008, 23:14
Woops - spoke too soon. Looked on the Wiser's website and found the old Reserve not among the offered expressions. Interesting...

Gillman
10-11-2008, 09:46
Guys, I hope you enjoy it. I can't prove it but I recall well the Reserve and it had much less flavour and depth than this new one.

Now, perhaps more recent bottles of the Reserve were filled with something the same or similar as what is in the Small Batch - that I cannot say.

But the first Reserve was a slightly fuller example of regular Wiser's IMO.

The term "buttercream" describes very well the Small Batch, it is an outstanding product.

Gary

Megawatt
10-12-2008, 08:58
Again, hard to say when comparing from memory. In any case, Small Batch is a nice whisky that stands apart from your average Canadian with toasted walnut, butter and spice, not unlike coffee cake. Nice with a touch of water, too.

Gillman
10-19-2008, 09:47
Trying this again the other night, I was getting pine-like notes that reminded me of the special Forty Creek bottling issued last year (I forget the exact name, Forty Creek 40th or something like that). In fact they seemed quite similar in some ways, which is interesting!

Perhaps both use a goodly amount of rye spirit distilled-out at a low-proof.

Gary

Gillman
10-19-2008, 09:48
Trying this again the other night, I was getting pine-like notes that reminded me of the special Forty Creek bottling issued last year (I forget the exact name, Forty Creek 40th or something like that). In fact they seemed quite similar in some ways, which is interesting!

Perhaps both use a goodly amount of rye spirit distilled out at a low-proof.

Gary

Frodo
10-25-2008, 19:25
Tried this today. Walnuts and stewed prunes. Dark flavours with some balancing sweetness. The 43.3% gives the dram some welcome guts that may not be there otherwise. A good indicator that the Cdn whisky industry may be waking up.