(WINDSOR, ON) – To mark Windsor’s 125 birthday, JP Wiser’s produced a commemorative bottle of Legacy rye whisky.
Only 125 bottles were produced at its bottling line in Windsor and inscribed with the city’s 125th Anniversary logo. One-hundred-and-twenty-four will be available to the public from the JP Wiser’s store at the distillery on Riverside Drive East in Walkerville.
Although Wiser’s didn’t release the actual age of the whisky, because of the blending, the Legacy tasting notes include orange blossoms, apricots, honey, and a whiff of vanilla. The taste comprises a toasty cereal, caramel, and zesty citrus flavour with a soft finish of sweet oak spice.
At a special ceremony on Friday to mark the city’s birthday, the company’s director of manufacturing and maintenance, Neil Bishop, presented bottle 125 from the production run, to Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens. He promised to give the bottle a place of honour in his office.
Dilkens also talked of the distillery’s importance to the city. He called the historic compound the largest in North America. It has also been a key driver of the city’s economy for longer than the city has been around. In fact, Dilkens reasoned that without the whisky pioneering efforts of American Hiram Walker, the founder of the distillery, “Windsor would be a shadow of itself.”
John Philip Wiser’s company is actually a year older than Hiram Walker and Sons. At one time, the country’s leading distilleries were Walker, Wiser’s, and Gooderham and Worts in Toronto.
Mergers in the industry have resulted in the products of all three companies now being distilled in Windsor. It is an important point for Windsor because the consolidation of brands, sometimes under different ownership, has allowed it to enjoy an uninterrupted history of distilling.
Wiser’s arrival in Windsor was a bit circuitous. JP first opened a distillery in Prescott, ON, in 1857. After his death, the company was purchased by, and integrated into, the operations of Corby Spirit and Wine in Corbyville, ON.
In 1989, after a merger with Hiram Walker, Corbyville’s distillery was shuttered and production of its own products and those of Wiser’s were relocated to Windsor.