Maker: Corby, Windsor, Ontario, Canada (Pernod-Ricard)
Style: Blended Canadian whisky
Age: 18 y/o
Michigan State Minimum: $75
Appearance: Shiny orange.
Nose: Potpourri, vanilla, orange sherbet, alcohol.
Palate: Medium sweet. Rock candy, tarragon, vanilla, sarsaparilla.
Finish: Sweet and spicy with a little bit of heat. Thyme, anise, butterscotch, bubblegum.
Parting words: Wiser’s 18 sits atop Corby’s Wiser’s line, which includes the flagship Wiser’s Deluxe, Wiser’s Rye, and Wiser’s Legacy, a mong others. Canadian whisky ages very well (the Canadian climate makes for slower aging than in Kentucky) and so I had high hopes for this.
It is a good whisky. Unlike some other Canadians at double digits, like the 12 y/o Canadian Club or the 21 y/o Collingswood, Wiser’s 18 still has some teeth at its advanced age. There’s plenty of rye spice and vanilla and even some alcohol bite on the palate, even though it’s only 40% ABV. It also comes in an elegant rectangular bottle that looks very sharp on a home bar.
Long time readers may sense a big “but” coming, and here it is: $75 is much too expensive for this. It’s much better than the all-nose Collingswood 21, the only other venerable age-stated Canadian available in Michigan, but even that bottle of disappointment is $15 cheaper. The real kicker is that Wiser’s Legacy is superior in every way. It’s 45% ABV, was $45 the last time it appeared in Michigan, and is all rye whiskey, unlike this blend.
Wiser’s 18 y/o is good, but not good enough to justify being the second most expensive Canadian whisky on the Michigan list. It is mildly recommended.