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. ★★★★★
It seems that J.P. Wiser never stopped learning. Largely self-taught, he displayed a deep and ever increasing understanding of agriculture, plant & animal breeding and whisky making – and business. He served in Canada’s parliament and turned a struggling distillery into a powerhouse that is leading a Canadian whisky renaissance more than a century after J.P.’s death.
His successor today, is Dr. Don Livermore, a man with a more formal approach to learning and an equal mastery of making whisky. The doctor stands for PhD, a degree he earned from Heriot-Watt University for his original studies of whisky ageing.
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.
Additional contributions from the wood take time. They happen over years as the ethanol slowly breaks wood down into more flavourful compounds.
The best kept secret of long-aged whisky it seems, is that oxidation of the spirit itself contributes greatly to flavour development, and this process also takes time. Lots of it. Wood is just a part of the process.
When Livermore graduated from Heriot-Watt, he no longer needed all those barrels of whisky he was studying. His solution? Blend them together into a new, one-time release appropriately called “Dissertation.”
The result is a hugely flavourfiul, beautifully balanced whisky, and one that Livermore calls his proudest accomplishment to date. That says a lot considering all the glorious beauties emerging from the Pike Creek warehouses these days.
J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation is bottled at 46.1% abv.
Nose: Sweet, maple syrup with vague vanilla, hints of oak, peanut shells, marzipan, slight citrus notes and suggestions of red fruits.
Palate: Complex and beautifully integrated. Sweet, creamy and syrupy with woody barrel notes, barn boards, vague vanillas, and red fruits. A subdued peppery heat develops into a warm glow with hot spices in the mid-palate. Hints of floral rye and fruity ice cream throughout.
Finish: Hot and still richly flavoured with touches of caramac bar and fading vaguely floral notes. Long, creamy smooth, and spicy.
★★★★★ Very Highly Recommended
$64.95 at LCBO