Vita Dulcis 13 – Canada’s J.P. Wiser’s 18 year 40%

A nice surprise in my international Advent Calendar was a chance to ‘virtually’ take a trip to Canada shortly before Xmas!

As I had some catching up to do, I speed tasted a few sips of four drams… one after the other… with this one the last. Good thing as it was a clear departure and one that needed time to settle into…

Here is what I found!

Canada – JP Wiser’s 18 year Blended Whisky 40%

  • Nose – Initial hit was acidic, almost varnish or glue, but then it immediately mellowed, became sweeter, light tart fruits like a crisp apple, pine sol… and after the 1st sip reminded me of dried sour plums
  • Palate – Smooth, rounded…. tamarind… dried sour plum – a bit tart, a bit salty, a bit sweet and overall tangy
  • Finish – Long finish… which continued with the dried sour plum theme

Sometimes you come across a whisky that has a single predominant quality. Or at least once you catch that dimension, all senses become fixated on it. In the case of this J.P. Wiser’s 18 year, for me it was dried sour plums – Li hing mui (旅行梅) – specifically the red ones. This quality activated my taste buds with its combination of sour, salt and sweet. It also struck me that it might make an interesting addition to a cocktail.

While Canadian, this one reminded me of Asia. During my tasting, I was on a video chat with a friend in Canada and she immediately knew exactly what I meant.  She shared one of their favourite summer drinks is lemonade over ice with sour plums – the best part is how the sour plums help cut the sweet, add another element and then after soaking up the lemonade are delicious to eat.

Bottom line…. the more I sipped, the more I enjoyed this one… It was distinctive, interesting and a good shift in character after some less than stellar whiskies.

Distillery official tasting notes? I couldn’t really find… this is all they have to say:

Aged to perfection over 18 long years and blended with exacting care to deliver a premium whisky with the smoothest of finishes. This multiple award-winning spirit is something you’ll want to have on hand to serve and enjoy on special occasions.

Taste profile: Autumn florals, green apple, fresh pine, caramel, spice, oak 

Funny thing is… as I sat down to write up my notes, I discovered the Bombay Malt & Cigar lads and I had tried this whisky a few years ago during a special Canadian focused evening. When I read my old tasting notes, I could see the similarities but after fixating on sour plums, it was like a broken record… all I could ‘hear’ (taste/smell) was that!

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