J.P. Wiser’s Bryan Vanderkruk Custom Blend

JP Wisers Custom Blend.jpg

Thanks to Bryan Vanderkurk for this sample.

More so than normal, I have to thank him quite a bit. You see, recently as part of the Toronto Whisky Society, he was sent down to Windsor. And not for the usual punitive reasons one goes to Windsor. No, this was part of celebrating the launch of Wiser’s grand opening of the brand centre.

And joking aside, as someone who lived in Windsor for 5 years to go to school there, I can say there’s fun parts of the city, and the different distilleries in the area add to it.

As part of this trip, Bryan, who does quite a bit for our society, was given the chance to make his own version of a Wiser’s whisky. For those of you not in the know, a Canadian whisky is made by creating separate whiskies from each grain used, and then blending them after they have aged, separately. This gives them more customization.

So he was given the option, and made his own, strongly rye heavy version. And then bottled it up, bringing it back to share with us.

So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A

Region: Canada

Blend Components: 15% Double Distilled ex-bourbon corn whisky, 5% Single Star Column Rye, 80% Star Special Rye. All 5 years old.

Abv: 60.1%

Colour: 7.5Y 8/6

Nose: Butterscotch, cotton candy, cloves, glue, wood, hint of grapefruit

Interesting amount of butterscotch/caramel notes on the nose. It’s quite sweet at first, with the only thing able to sweep out from the sugar being the spice of the rye.

It’s young, so it takes time and water. There’s some off notes of glue/wood that come with water, however also some acidity balances it out too.

I’m actually impressed by the amount of sweetness here, and the fact that there’s no “generic maple note” on the nose. Guessing he left that out.

Taste: Limeade, wood, ginger, floral

Without the water there’s some acidity, some wood, and some spice. For so rye heavy, you’d expect it to be a ton of Xmas spices, however it’s mostly ginger here.

Given that muaddib99 isn’t a ginger, I’m assuming he’s pining for a red head secretly with this dram. I can tell these things. Just from tasting. Totally (these are all lies).

Simple, though the sweetness/acidity is nice here.

Finish: Ginger, lemonade, cola, cloves, cabbage, dusty

More strong spice notes this time on the finish. Again, nice complex sweetness and acidity.

That said, there’s some obvious signs of this being a younger dram. Or rather, made up of younger whiskies. Like muaddib99 saying it is. Also the finish has a rough earth element that can grate on you.

Conclusion: So what do we have here: We have one corn whisky in ex-bourbon and two ryes, all young, and all at full proof. We have a spicy mixture that has some nice mixture of acidity and sweetness.

I expected a more spice filled extravaganza, and frankly I think the rye ended up being a ton of floral and sweetness. For a young dram, it’s nice, though it needs more time or balancing to fix the finish.

Good job Bryan.


World Whisky review #282, Canada review #104, Whisky Network review #1242

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