Nose: Cloves, cinnamon, rye, allspice, warm rye bread, apricots, dark cherry, butterscotch, and coconut.
Taste: Rye, white pepper, cinnamon, butterscotch and baking spices.
Finish: Medium. A zippy, spicy entrance with a soft fade at the back of the throat.
Look up a synonym for “rebel” and words like “nonconformist”, “independent”, “renegade” and “innovator” thesaurusize up on the computer screen. Would you associate those words with: John Philip Wiser, Henry Corby, Hiram Walker, Harry C. Hatch , Joseph E. Seagram, James Worts and William Gooderham. Hmmm, I believe they’d be comfortable being called that.
J.P. Wiser’s Seven Rebels, part of its Rare Cask Releases, pays homage to the aforementioned Canadian whisky pioneers. Released in British Columbia in association with BC Liquor Stores, admittedly I did a small whisky dance when a bottle showed up on my doorstep. Now, master blender, Dr. Don Livermore did more than just tap into a few barrels during an afternoon co-mingling party. This blend features, ahem: seven different distillates made up of barley malt, rye malt, corn, wheat and rye. Oh, and there’s more. They were aged and finished in virgin oak, ex-bourbon and, ex-Speyside casks. Finally, some of the barrels also had charred oak staves put in as well. I know, right? Just reading about all what went into Seven Rebels makes me want to stick my nose in this whisky’s business.
And right from the first whiff, it’s as if all seven “rebels” (or pioneers, as they’re referred to on the label) are happy to make your acquaintance. They’re not jumping all over each other. It’s as if you’re in a receiving line with all those notes going by you: cloves, cinnamon, allspice, fruits, butterscotch. All very polite and charming. The same went, I found, for the sipping. The spices are first up and give your tongue a teasing little tingle. Then the other flavours come through, and not one butting in line to get noticed. The spiciness gives way to a soft finish at the back of the throat, like that sustaining note from The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life”.
Some scotches are renowned peat bombs or sherry monsters. Some bourbons can be “rye-ght” in your face. Seven Rebels does indeed have presence. It has a lot to say because it has a lot of history in it. But it’s more than a 1-note ka-blam. It’s deliciously balanced with no reminding of who the predominant flavour is. All “seven names are getting” along quite famously Besides, this whisky shows that you can truly be a rebel without having to do a whole lot of yelling. Cheers.