Wiser’s Windsor Celebration

A special numbered bottle of JP Wiser's Legacy, number 125 of 125, was presented to Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens in honour of the city's 125th birthday.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

A special numbered bottle of JP Wiser’s Legacy, number 125 of 125, was presented to Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens in honour of the city’s 125th birthday.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

(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.

JP Wiser's director of manufacturing and maintenance, Neil Bishop (R) presented a specially numbered bottle of Legacy rye whisky to Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens, on 24 November 2017, in honour of the city's 125th birthday.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

JP Wiser’s director of manufacturing and maintenance, Neil Bishop (R) presented a specially numbered bottle of Legacy rye whisky to Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens, on 24 November 2017, in honour of the city’s 125th birthday.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

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.

In honour of Windor's 125th birthday, JP Wiser's produced 125 numbered bottles of Legacy rye whisky. After presenting No. 125 to the city's mayor, the remainder are available for purchase from the retail store at the distillery.Photo by Ian Shalapata.

In honour of Windsor’s 125th birthday, JP Wiser’s produced 125 numbered bottles of Legacy rye whisky. After presenting No. 125 to the city’s mayor, the remainder are available for purchase from the retail store at the distillery.
Photo by Ian Shalapata.

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.

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Robert Tuomi

After initially succeeding as a broadcast journalist and achieving senior level assignments, Robert branched out into marketing communications. As a senior executive, primarily in the high-tech industry, Robert created award-winning and comprehensive, multi-faceted initiatives to enhance sales and expand market awareness for some of the largest companies in their fields.

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