J.P. Wiser’s New Kit Allows You To Play Master Blender Role

By Gary Carter / November 8, 2021

Canada’s J.P. Wiser Whisky has taken blending to a new level … to the home.

At the J.P. Wiser Brand Centre in Windsor, Ontario, the Whisky Blending 101 class with Master Blender Dr. Don Livermore is a perennial attraction.

And J.P. Wiser officials say that one of the most common questions heard during each class is how people can re-create the master blending experience in their homes. The whisky brand listened and they’ve recently introduced in Canada a Blend Your Own Whisky kit for this holiday season, which gives whisky lovers the chance to play the role of master blender.

J.P. Wiser's Blend Your Own Whisky kit

J.P. Wiser’s Blend Your Own Whisky kit (image via Corby Spirit and Wine)

“Our whisky blending kit really gets to the DNA of Canadian whisky,” said Dr. Don in a prepared statement. “What makes Canadian whisky unique is the blending. In Canada, each grain is distilled separately, and then brought together in a recipe in the end.”

The kit available this holiday season emphasizes barrel quality, with different mini bottles presenting a different barrel quality — particularly spicy, smoky and wine. The kit includes five 200mL bottles of different whiskies to blend and create:

  • Five-year-old double distilled — A light, smooth whisky with dried fruits, English toffee, caramel and vanilla on the nose, and toasted grain, rich toffee, vanilla and subtle pepper on the palate. Its body is rounded and smooth, with a finish that is velvety and sweet.
  • Single column distilled whisky — A bold whisky with a lingering spice finish. It has rye bread, dried berries and cherry on the nose, and a palate that is grainy with hints of green apple and pepper.
  • Double distilled wine barrel whisky — Smooth and silky, this whisky has a nose of white plum, rich wood and hazelnut and displays dark ripe fruit, roasted nuts and cinnamon on the palate. The finish is lingering warmth.
  • Double distilled smoky whisky — With hints of fresh cut wood, cinnamon, clove and roasted nuts on the palate, this sample is a rich and complex whisky. The finish is black tea, with walnut, clove, leather and pipe tobacco on the nose.
  • Double distilled spice whisky — A rich, medium-bodied whisky with a finish of dried herbs and spices. The nose offers vanilla, oregano, sage and subtle coffee, with sweet toffee, dried fruit, ginger and sour dough bread on the palate.
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The kit also includes an empty 375mL bottle to fill with your own concoction, a graduated cylinder and pipette and Dr. Don’s Master Blending Guide.

“Whisky is all about the occasion, and the type of occasion should determine the type of whisky you will enjoy,” said Dr. Don. “If it is after dinner, you want a smooth sipping whisky you can enjoy neat, perhaps one that was aged in a wine barrel. A gathering or party may call for a rye in a cocktail like an Old Fashioned or mixed with cola or ginger ale.”

If it’s a cocktail occasion, he suggests a blend of whisky with a little more rye content. If you want something smoother, use the whisky from the wine barrel or the five-year-old. If you like it distilled and chilled, you want something from barrels that give it a little more spice.

For his own preferences, Dr. Don said he looks for balance in his whisky.

“The ingredients are almost all equal,” he said. “I like a whisky that when you drink it, you go through a story. You want sweetness up front … the intensity level is steady, and then down. You want to appreciate the flavor experience equally all the way through. Some whiskies have bite at the front or a burning sensation at the end. I’m shooting for balance.”

The J.P. Wiser’s Blend Your Own Whisky kit will be available online and across Ontario in early November and in British Columbia by mid November.