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**DONOTDELETE**
10-22-1999, 09:42
I hope that Jim will understand and hope that I'm not wearing out my welcome with off-topic posts on other rye whisk(e)ys here. Here's one that has me stumped though and thought I'd throw it out to the group for some help.

I just bought a bottle of Wiser's Special Blend Canadian Rye Whisky. It's very inexpensive($8USD) so I wasn't hoping for much. What a surprise! Although it has an unbelievably astringent/antiseptic initial grain alcohol hit, there is a spicy brittle unmistakably RYE wash that immediately follows. This is not a complex whisky, but it is kind of a throwback to the bare-knuckled shot and a beer kind of rye whisky I can imagine was staple of US bars in the 40's. Much more character than most of the bland Canadian Whisky currently on the market. A very interesting observation, when light passes through the bottle it illuminates very small sparkling particles floating in suspension. Perhaps this is an unfiltered whisky?

The label doesn't reveal much, but surprisingly the receipt printed "Wiser's 4YR Rye". The distillery is listed as J.P. Wiser Distillery Limited, Belleville, Ont. I know that Hiram Walker owns the rights to the Wiser's name, but their big distillery in Ontario is in Walkerville near Windsor. Jim Murray doesn't mention a Belleville, Ontario distillery anywhere in his book. The importer is not Hiram Walker, like Canadian Club, it's Brittany Imports in Miami. Does anyone know anything about this whisky or the distillery from whence it came?

Thanks,
Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
10-28-1999, 20:55
Stop apologizing!

I saw your post about this on alt.drinks.scotch-whisky and have been waiting..... for an answer. Sounds interesting, but I've got nothing to contribute. It would be nice to have a Canadian whisky with some balls. I've got a great title for an article on Canadian distilling: "A Reluctance for Greatness."

Lew Bryson
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon

cowdery
10-28-1999, 22:41
In Michael Jackson's World Guide to Whiskey (1987), he describes the Henry Corby Distillery in Belleville as "what passes in Canada for a delightfully old-fashioned distillery." At that time, they marketed a Corby line, Wiser's, and other labels. He says Wiser's was originally made in Prescott, Ontario. Hiram Walker was even then the company's majority stockholder. Jackson doesn't describe any of their products as other than Canadian blended whisky.

In the U. S., "rye, a blend" or "blended rye" whiskey would have to mean a blend including only straight ryes, but they could be straight ryes from different years and different distilleries. Import labeling is governed by treaty, i.e., not the same laws U. S. brands are governed by, so it may not be the same for Canadian whiskey. They may be able to use the word "rye" if their blend contains any straight rye.

- chuck

**DONOTDELETE**
10-30-1999, 07:52
Lew,

Great title! It seems that there is some stirring amongst the sleeping giants in the great white north. Canadian Club recently released some interesting new products with a hint of character. There is the rumor of the Alberta Springs 100% rye, which I've not tracked down either. I know that the rye market isn't even the echo of a blip on the marketeer's radar screen, but if anyone seems poised to release a batch of *real* rye whiskies it's the Canucks. Although judging from the fact that the best Canadian Whiskies come from US distributors (Bush Pilot's Private Reserve and Hirsch CW), it's probably just another pipe dream like the vanity bottling of 100% rye from Lawrenceburg Indiana.

Cheers,
Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
10-30-1999, 19:58
The rye market may be small, but... I was talking to Larry Kass at Heaven Hill last year and asked him if he'd seen any increase in rye sales or interest. "It's a tiny percentage of sales. It has gotten a lot of new interest, and anything that's an uptick in spirits gets attention." Cross your fingers.
I did try those CC specials, and they were far and away the best Canadians I've ever had... especially since I've never had or even seen the Bush Pilot.

Lew Bryson
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon

**DONOTDELETE**
01-03-2000, 19:43
I am afraid that the only thing I have to add to the present Canadian Rye discussion is more questions. While traveling through Canada this summer on vacation with the family (everyone needs to see Nigara Falls at least once, even Arkansans), we stopped in the Duty Free Store at the border. While the wife and kids were picking out genuine maple syrup, I was brousing the liquor. I found a bottle of Wisers Very Old Canadian Whisky. Since it was sold in Canada, all verbage on the label is duplicated in French, which gives the label a quaint touch. The label clearly states: 18 years old (thats right: dix-huit ans d'age). The address on the bottle is:

J. P. Wiser
Distillery Limited
Belleville, Ont. Canada

A nice coin glued to the bottle is inscribed "1979" which must be the distilling date. Unfortunately, the word 'rye' does not appear anywhere on the bottle, but neither does the word "blend", which is why I purchased it. Taste wise, it is nothing like any other Canadian whisky I have ever tried (about a dozen). There is absoluetly no sweetness, there is a clean clear smoothness that splashes onto the pallet, and what I preceive to be a rye taste. Not complex in flavors, but very smooth. I compared it to the only rye I had in the house, Wild Turkey 101 Rye. The Wild Turkey is not nearly as smooth, but more abundant in flavors. After the second round of tastes, one can detect a bit of bourbony taste in the Wild Turkey (probably more corn in the mashbill). This is something I never noticed in the Wild Turkey Rye before, but became noticeable by comaprison.

Can the group tell me anything else about this whisky. Is it a rye? Is it a blend ?

Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas

**DONOTDELETE**
01-09-2000, 01:36
I tried that. It was great!

While in Niagara Falls, I went into an LCBO store and found a couple of other interesting-looking bottles of small-batch Canadian whiskey. One was "okay", but the other, LOT 40, just about blew my socks off. It's a single-barrel, pot-still, 100% malted rye product. Apparently it's a little like Maker's Mark in that, although it's technically owned by a large, national beverage company (Corby), it's actually run as a small company that produces a very high-quality product in limited quantities. The rye flavor is absolutely stunning. We keep this out with the bourbons in our collection as a comparison, especially if we have a guest who appreciates rye whiskey.

If anyone knows a distributor in the United States, please let me know.

-John Lipman-
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

cowdery
01-12-2000, 18:12
I saw a bottle of the Wiser's Special Blend Canadian Rye Whisky at Sam's the other day and, on the strength of the discussion here, plus its cheap price, I grabbed a bottle. It's not awful. I don't drink Canadians enough to compare it to anything, but it has the perfumy quality I like about Canadians. In fact, it's better than not awful. It's actually pretty tasty. Just don't expect too much.

- chuck

**DONOTDELETE**
01-14-2000, 10:24
John,

I also picked this up at the LCBO over Christmas. What a wonderful find! There are three whiskies in this collection: Lot No.40; Gooderham and Worts, Ltd; and, Pike Creek (port wood finish). Corby is a marketing arm for Hiram Walker, so it's sure bet that all three of these come from the huge Walkerville distillery near Windsor. How HW can produce such diverse and flavorful whiskies such as these and then manage to bury them in their awful mainstream product line is beyond me. I have been trying to find out more about the grain bill of the Lot No.40. I'm sure it is not 100% rye, but all of the rye in it is 100% malted. Here's what the brochure says: "Lot No.40 is distilled in a single old fashioned copper pot still from a mash of small grains and malted rye." It is the most "rye-like" of any of the Canadian whiskies I have ever tried. I'm still searching for that elusive 100% rye CW made by Alberta Springs though...

Slainte,
Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
01-21-2000, 19:23
Well, now I'm disappointed that it isn't 100% pure rye. I still love the flavor, though -- it sure is a lot more rye than *I've* ever tasted. So now, how do we go about getting ahold of some Alberta Springs CW?

I found a website with some info on Lot No. 40 (and also Pike's Creek and Gooderham & Worts Ltd. The three constitute Corbys' version of the Small Batch Brands). Check out http://celebrator.com/9904/shore.html

Apparently, this whiskey has been made by one Joshua Booth and six generations of his descendents. Their homestead (Lot #40) on the shores of the Bay of Quinte is the basis for the label. This is in Eastern Ontario between Trenton and Napanee on Lake Ontario.

Of course I don't know for sure that such a place really exists. Josua Booth may be no more authentic than Ezra ("visit our little distillery located well, uh, in Kentucky somewhere") Brooks, but the whiskey's sure good. And if Corby is part of Hiram Walker (who owns, but keeps their hands off of, Maker's Mark) then maybe just maybe this really is what it claims to be and Joshua Brooks is no less real than T. W. Samuels.

-John Lipman-
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
01-26-2000, 10:34
John,

Here goes nothing. There should be a scan of the CWG brochure attached to this message. If it doesn't appear, let me know and I'll email it to you if your interested.

Cheers,
Bushido

cowdery
01-26-2000, 18:20
I haven't studied the CWG brochure, but the mention of "double barreled" makes me think this is a Jim Beam product, as I know that is a process they have been touting. They market Alberta Springs and Windsor Canadian, and probably some others. It also reminds me of the marketing for their Small Batch Bourbon Collection.

- chuck

**DONOTDELETE**
01-30-2000, 19:44
Bushido,

Thanks. Yes, the attached scan came out fine. My, my, but the Whiskey Guild sure is reminiscent of the Bourbon Circle, isn't it? I think Chuck's right about the marketing. Oh well, doesn't matter. The whiskies (at least the two I've tried) are very distinctive and worth tasting. Especially the Lot 40, simply because I suspect the original Pennsylvania Monongahela whiskies probably tasted a lot more like that than like any of the current rye whiskies. After all, not all the distillers in West Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, etc. moved out to the Kentucky territory, only the ones who still considered themselves "Americans". The American revolution was certainly not a unanamous idea. Many whose opposition to the new Federal government was particularly strong moved north. Maybe Josh Booth was one of them. As for the double-barreled Pike's Creek, Chuck's reference to Jim Beam's experiment with Jacob's Well is intregueing, but the brochure description sounds more like the sort of thing that some Scotch distillers like to brag about... aging for some time in oak barrels , and then aging for another period in used port or sherry casks. The Jacob's Well process was all done in oak barrels; it's just that the bourbon was dumped and mixed and then re-barreled as way of "evening" out the flavor.


-John Lipman-
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
02-01-2000, 19:45
Beam's connected to the horrible Tangle Ridge, too, aren't they? Another "double-casked" whisky.

Lew Bryson
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon

cowdery
02-02-2000, 10:10
I believe so. Is it horrible? I haven't tried it, not being a big Canadian whisky fancier. (It's known as "brown vodka" in some quarters.)

- chuck

**DONOTDELETE**
02-03-2000, 13:28
Chuck,

Yes, it's ghastly! More like a whisky-wine-cooler than an nondescript brown vodka though. For those who enjoy kool aid mixed with their whisky, check it out.

Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
02-10-2000, 10:06
Yer, it's not pleasant. I mean, bourbon's got that nice corn/vanilla/rich sweetness in back of it, but this stuff is SWEET, cloying. Yeck.

Lew Bryson
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon

**DONOTDELETE**
04-12-2000, 21:49
I have two different expressions of Wiser's 18 YOn neither of which was Duty Free. "Wiser's Very Old" fits your desciption exactly, except I purchased mine in the States and the label says "imported." I also have "Wiser's Oldest" which I picked up in Canada. The label looks completely different. Oldest tastes a little smoother and a little less flavorful to me.

John A. Dube[/i/green]

**DONOTDELETE**
06-26-2000, 16:13
Hi All,

I've been away, now I'm back.

I have finally found that elusive 100% Rye Whisky from Canada. It is Alberta Premium and proudly proclaims it is the only rye [Canadian] whisky actually made from rye. It is very different than the American Ryes, as one might expect. Very fruity, and aromatic, not bitter at all. Sort of buttery and dangerously drinkable with a lot more character than you'd expect from a CW. The Rye Bread finish is surprisingly long lasting and extremely enjoyable. It won't supplant the Wild Turkey Rye from the vaults, but it is a very nice addition to my fledgling collection of Rye Whisk(e)ys. A keeper.

Cheers,

Bushido

cowdery
06-27-2000, 07:51
Sounds interesting. How difficult was it to find?

--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)

**DONOTDELETE**
06-27-2000, 09:46
Hi Bushido, welcome back!

I'm going to be visiting Niagara Falls this coming weekend. Needless to say, I will NOT be returning home empty-handed. Do you know if Alberta Premium is carried by the Ontario Liquor Control Board stores?

-John Lipman-
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

**DONOTDELETE**
06-27-2000, 14:40
Hi John, Chuck,

The Alberta Premium is a standard in-stock item at the LCBO, it isn't even that expensive (about $11USD). At the LCBO in Windsor where I got mine, it was not on the shelf with the Alberta Springs. Look for it in the "Premium" section of the Canadian Whisky shelves.

Another 100% Rye Canadian is in the works for release in the next few months from Kittling Ridge. If it is anything like their 40 Creek Three Grain (made from malted barley, rye and maize), it should be a honey.

Cheers,
Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
08-01-2000, 13:59
J_Lipman allegedly wrote:

"Hi Bushido,

Heh-heh, I do believe it was *you* who told me it was 100% malt. Or at least that whatever rye was in it (I had thought 100% rye until your response) was 100% malt. Now it looks as though even that isn't correct (since the total rye content is obviously more than 15%). That would have been in the "Canadian Rye (off topic)" thread of the Rye forum (where this probably should have been; sorry Jim).

-John Lipman-
http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey"


John,

Guilty as charged. The labeling makes you believe it is 100% malted rye, but I got an email recently from the master blender that cleared the matter up. I have since emailed him again for clarification on the total mashbill as there is reference to "small grains" in addition to rye on the label. So, here's what I know as of today: I *believe* that the Lot No. 40 is not 100% rye grain; the proportion that is rye is comprised of 15% malted and 85% unmalted western rye; and, it is one of my top five favorite Canadian Whiskies and maybe top twenty whiskies of any kind.

More information at: http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/beautyeh? as it becomes available.

Cheers,

Bushido

**DONOTDELETE**
09-11-2000, 23:09
A quarter of your top 20 Whiskies are Canadian! That's great to hear. I thought I was the only one. I had assumed that your knowledge of CW was more a function of being a well ronded connoisseur, rather than being such a fan. The tremendous activity here and on the Canadian web site is heartening.

John A. Dube