Double Still Rye

JP Wiser’s Double Still Rye (43.4%)

August 31, 2015


Butterscotch, blazing hot peppers, baking spices, sweet grain, roasted chestnuts, hints of dried fruit, coffee beans and resurging peppery spices. ★★★★☆

Double Still Rye is big whisky – a lot bigger than a boost in abv to 43.4% predicts. Its bold flavours, heavy on butterscotch, burst with flaming hot peppers barely quelled by nutty dry grain. Hints of cedar meld into dry woody spices almost but not quite like sandalwood. A succession of sweet grain, toasted chestnuts, vague dried fruits, coffee beans and a second surge of peppery spice give you an inkling just how much depth there is to this whisky.

Peppery notes linger throughout, yet the mouth feels soft and rich with a comforting sweetness and a hint of something citrusy. Still those rye spices and hot white peppers persist adding a refreshing sharpness to a big dram. The floral and fruity notes so typical of Canadian rye, while present are somewhat muted, coming to the fore only when you add water, so do add water. Doing so reveals how well the complex interweaving of these secondary flavours complements the peppery thunderbolts. This is good whisky, distinctly Canadian and distinct in itself.

The recent international successes of his Lot No. 40 and Pike Creek whiskies have encouraged master blender, Dr. Don Livermore to expand his range even further, and the outcome is seen in several new releases expected over the next few months.

With Wiser’s Double Still, Livermore emphasises the rye roots of the Wiser’s range. He has taken an all-rye whisky distilled to low abv in a single pass through a short beer column, and married it with a second all-rye whisky that has been refined with a second pass through a copper pot still.

The Autumn of 2015 is shaping up to be The Season of Innovation for Corby Distillers. Corby runs the Hiram Walker Distillery in Windsor, Ontario. It’s the largest beverage alcohol distillery in North America, and home to some of the most skillful and creative whisky makers in the world. Who’d have suspected the centre of excellence for whisky innovation would be found in the continent’s largest distillery?

“I can’t wait for you all to try this one,” declares Corby’s Global Ambassador, Dave Mitton. “It has two types of rye distillate. We’re emphasizing the importance of rye spices in Canadian whisky with a copper column distilled rye which is bolder with heavy rye grain attributes. The second is a copper column and copper pot distilled rye which concentrates up the rye spices.”

Highly recommended. ★★★★☆

$28.99 at Manitoba Liquor Mart. Coming soon across Canada.

Wiser’s Hopped Whisky is reviewed here.


23 Responses to “JP Wiser’s Double Still Rye (43.4%)”

  1. Glad to see Canada continue to bring out more and more rye…there’s certainly demand and it’s delicious. Hopped whisky was bound to come out and I’m glad Wiser’s got on that early – your tasting notes certainly indicate too that it’s keeping well within the Wiser style. Good stuff!

  2. It’s fantastic to see Canadian producers finally breaking the 40% barrier, and doing it with interesting, rye-driven bottlings. I’ll give this a try as soon as it comes to NS.

    • Picked up a bottle and am really happy with the quality per dollar (I feel like it almost rivals Dark Horse on that front).

  3. Toronto Tim:

    oh boy ! imagine the RYE head-to-head comparison in the Fall: Alberta Premium RYE vs. Crown Royal Northern RYE vs Wiser’s RYE vs. .. oh man, i can NOT wait.

    • Davin:

      . . . vs Canadian Club 100% RYE vs Dark Horse vs Lot No. 40 . . .
      Happy times for rye lovers.

      • Daniel A:

        Except there is no competition for lot no.40 so you’d have to take it out of the running. You can’t have a fair race with Usain Bolt in it

  4. Add CR Northern Rye (available in US only) and there are some serious wallet – friendly options out there in a market of spiraling single-malt and Bourbon prices…

  5. Toronto Tim:

    Aye, Chris (above) i stopped buying Single Malt Scotch some 3 years ago.i now really enjoy our Canadian renaissance of whiskey: Forty Creek, Highwood … now Wiser’s all make great drinks.

  6. Tom:

    I requested the manager of my local LCBO to order in a couple of bottles of the Wiser’s Double Still for me – Picked up my two bottles this afternoon and am now enjoying a tasting. I think she brought in two dozen, and if word gets out, they won’t last long on the shelf.

    Your notes above are bang on!

    Have to tell my buddy, Pete, in Peace River, AB to get a bottle, too.

    • Davin:

      Glad you are enjoying it.

  7. Omineca Greg!:

    This has just arrived in BC. I picked up a bottle last week, but I’m just getting to spend some quality time with it now.

    I really like it.

    Unmistakable chestnut nose.

    It’s quiet, the flavours don’t try to upstage one another. I taste the sandalwood…shows how little I know, I would swear there was corn in this, probably that’s what I associate with this level of richness. I would never guess it’s 43% It’s spacious. Very nice. I just made a Sazerac with it, good drink. I look forward to running it through my regular cocktail paces.

  8. Curran:

    This is the best canadian whiskey I’ve had very complex and we’ll balance up there with single malts and better than American whiskys bourbon included bar non

  9. otto vonostrowo:

    Very, very nice rye whisky but confusing as heck! These guys say it is a blend of corn and rye whisky ( : J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye is a complex blend of corn and rye whiskies with a full and robust flavour) and you and many others say that it is a blend of two rye whisky’s. What is true? I wish to hell that we would get off of our high horse and that to be named a Canadian Rye Whisky it has to be a minimum of 51% rye!! I like rye whisky and love Alberta Premium/Canadian Club Rye because they are 100% rye whiskies and of course Alberta Springs, Crown Royal Northern Harvest and the more expensive Pikes Creek and wonderful Lot 40. The cheaper stuff like Walkers Special old etc. should let us know how much rye they use. and Highwoods 90 20 years old tastes suspiciously like corn whisky!

  10. Sean Middelkamp:

    I recently purchased this bottle and am enjoying it, but I noticed from my notes that I bought a bottle ( in the USA ) of J.P. Wiser’s Rye in 2015. It had a different label and no mention of “double still” on it. Can anyone tell me if these are the same whiskies? Sadly I don’t have the other to compare to…

    • Davin:

      They are different whiskies.

  11. Joel:

    Just noticed on the LCBO website that this product has been discontinued. Any idea why? The Double Still Rye was one of the best value-per-dollar whiskies (Canadian, American, Scotch, Irish etc.) on the market. I guess I’ll have to grab a few bottles to tuck away.

    • Davin:

      Sorry, no idea.

  12. Shell Freilich:

    Is this still available at LCBO? Thanks, Shell

    • DANNYD:

      Discod Shell. Same with a normal sized bottle of Alberta Springs. You can only get it in 60oz plastic hobo jugs now.

  13. Friedrich W O Vonostrowo:

    I was in the LCBO last night getting a few Cans of Wells Bombardier ESB and still had some money left over AND whisky was on sale so I looked for one of my favourites the “JP Wiser’s Double Still Rye” since I still had half a bottle of “Lot 40″ in my cabinet. I couldn’t find the damned stuff anywhere but I came upon a bottle of “JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye(43.4%)” which I took home. Once home I did a little research on the bottle of rye and I think it may be the replacement or the same whisky as the “Double still” just a new name. It was also a bit clearer about the rye content which is 62%. What do you know about this? At first sips it is still a great tasting whisky worth at least 3.5 to 4 stars.
    Thanks for your review on why Canadian rye is called rye. I figured the first distillers were German immigrant who ran the flour mills and I know we Germans love our rye bread. So I assume “Centennial Rye” would be the closest approximation to original Canadian rye because it is very high in malted wheat whisky content.

    • Davin:

      Yeah, they are the same whisky, just different names.

  14. Friedrich W O Vonostrowo:

    Whisky lovers are often amazed when they learn that Canadian whisky is the best selling whisky style in North America. Indeed, from small beginnings more than two centuries ago Canada has become the second largest whisky-making nation in the world, next only to Scotland. Yet the story of Canadian whisky is shrouded in mystery and myth. Like Canadians themselves, until very recently, Canada’s whisky has largely flown under the aficionado’s radar.

    Canada’s First Distillers
    European settlers arriving in Canada in the 18th & 19th centuries often brought small stills with them. Although many of these early settlers came to Canada from Scotland and Ireland, they distilled rum, not whisky. They were more interested in making alcohol than whisky, and took full advantage of easy sea access to Caribbean molasses to do so. However, as settlers began moving west into Ontario where molasses was more difficult to obtain, distillers turned to grain to make their spirits, and Canadian whisky making was born. This time these first Canadian whisky makers were neither Scots nor Irishmen, but English and German settlers.

  15. Darryl Loewen:

    We did a taste test between recently purchased bottles of “Double Still Rye” vs. “Triple Barrel Rye” and across the panel, all four of us found the Double Still bottling to be spicier and the Triple Barrel to be smoother, with more of a vanilla undertone. Could this just be batch differences? Or could the flavour profile be intentionally more “friendly” and less challenging in the new bottling?

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