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The whisky you need right now: J. P. Wiser’s Dissertation

December 4, 2017

How many whiskies have you tasted that were created by a doctor of distillation? Not so many? OK, we suggest you get this one… while you can.

By Dick Snyder

There are limited edition whiskies, and then there are limited edition whiskies. As in this J. P. Wiser’s Dissertaion, of which there exist only 12,000 bottles. Once they are gone, they are gone. But you can get it right now at the LCBO for $64.95.

Here is a whisky that was named “World’s Best Blended Limited Release” at the World Whiskies Awards. It was bestowed with five stars by whisky expert Davin de Kergommeaux with the following description: “Maple syrup, vanilla, barrel notes, marzipan, suggestions of citrus & red fruits, and floral rye notes. Luxurious creamy mouthfeel and developing hot peppery spices. Complex and beautifully balanced.”J. P. Wiser's Dissertation whisky

Everything you need to know about this gem of a whisky is captured in de Kergommeaux’s text at his website, but I’ll try to capture some of the essence and a few more facts here.

The master blender at J. P. Wiser’s is a man named Dr. Don Livermore, who earned his degree for his studies in the ageing of whisky at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. This is a man who is serious about whisky, obviously.

De Kergommeaux writes that: “Dr. Livermore used scientific instruments to document changes in whisky spirit as it matured in various types of barrels in warehouses in Pike Creek, Ontario. The results were groundbreaking, most particularly because they showed that most of the flavour initially found in the wood is exhausted after about 200 days.” What does this mean exactly? Well, that it takes time—substantial time—for flavour compounds to develop in the spirit, and it’s not all about the wood. The magic happens over many years as the ethanol slowly breaks down the compounds in the wood. That’s where the flavour comes from.

Dr. Livermore wrote his dissertation on whisky ageing in 2005, having put 114 virgin oak cask barrels full of whisky to work in his academic pursuits. And the liquid in those barrels? Well, they had to go somewhere… Maybe to your house?

TASTING NOTES (as provided by J. P. Wiser’s):

  • NOSE: Green apple peels, pear drops, orange — honey with rye spices, with hints of subtle cinnamon and toasted vanilla.
  • BODY: Big and vibrant.
  • TASTE: Starts with orchard fruits layered with huge rye spices of cloves, nutmeg, ginger, yet cleverly balanced with seasoned oak.
  • FINISH: Lingering rye spices. Warming.