Our roots are in premium Canadian whisky. J.P Wiser’s, our flagship brand, dates back to 1857. Over its many years, the brand has helped us hone our whisky-making skills and solidify our reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Today, we’re leveraging these strengths to elevate the global conversation about premium Canadian whisky and, in so doing, drive sales. With Canadian whisky being the centrepiece of our product portfolio, the better we do with it, the better the company performs as a whole.
Corby’s Canadian whiskies earned top industry nods again this year, at both the Canadian Whisky Awards and the World Whiskies Awards.
The World Whiskies Awards are the culmination of three rounds of blind judging conducted by an international panel of experts. Collectively, Corby’s whiskies took home six awards, including:
- J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye (since renamed J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel) – Best Canadian Rye
- J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation – World’s Best Blended Limited Release and Best Canadian Blended Limited Release
- Gooderham & Worts – World’s Best Canadian Blended Whisky
Interestingly, J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation, a Liquor Control Board of Ontario exclusive, is the thesis of our master blender Don Livermore, for which he earned his PhD in Brewing and Distilling. This rye-forward whisky is the result of his studies to draw out the richest notes of vanilla, toffee and spice through the quality of barrels.
We also took home several awards at the Canadian Whisky Awards:
- Northern Border Collection – Award of Excellence: Innovation
- Lot No. 40 – Connoisseur Whisky of the Year, Multiple Markets
- Gooderham & Worts – Connoisseur Whisky of the Year, Domestic
- J.P. Wiser’s Double Still Rye – Sippin’ Whisky of the Year, Domestic
Our Northern Border Collection comprises four Canadian super-premium whiskies: Lot No. 40, Gooderham & Worts, Pike Creek and J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old. The Northern Border Collection Rare Range is the first of an annual release that includes unique limited edition products such as Lot No. 40 12 Years Old Cask Strength, Pike Creek 21 Years Old, Gooderham & Worts Little Trinity 17 Years Old, and J.P. Wiser’s 35 Years Old.
J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Takes Centre Stage
J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe, an award-winning, full-flavoured Canadian rye whisky that plays a big part in the J.P. Wiser’s whisky family, posted solid growth in fiscal 2017. During the year, we updated its packaging to enhance its quality perception and better communicate the time and care that go into making every single bottle.
In the coming year, we’ll be launching a new communication campaign for the J.P. Wiser’s family, with J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe at the forefront. The campaign will reinforce the fantastic quality of our product and the hard-working people and grain-to-glass process behind it.
There’s a lot of room for creativity in the blending of Canadian whisky, which enables our master blender to experiment with new ideas that appeal to different types of consumers, and to bring back liquids of the past. Rare Casks is a series of limited releases, each with a unique story to tell. J.P. Wiser’s Dissertation was part of this series, as were J.P. Wiser’s One Fifty whisky and J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels. Launched in collaboration with the LCBO in June 2016, Last Barrels was hailed as one of the most interesting whiskies to come along in ages, with a grain mix that mirrors the first recorded grain mix in J.P. Wiser’s archives from 1869.
In fiscal 2017, we released J.P. Wiser’s Union 52 in British Columbia. A union of new and old world styles, Union 52 is a blend of 96% Canadian whisky, matured for 15 years in new-oak barrels, and our last barrel of 52-year-old highland single malt Scotch.
J.P. Wiser’s One Fifty – A celebration of our Canadian heritage
J.P. Wiser’s Last Barrels – Grain mix mirrors the one used by J.P. Wiser in a recipe dating from 1869
J.P. Wiser’s Union 52 – Unique blend of Canadian whisky and 52-year-old single malt Scotch
Going Global with Craft Whiskies
Our Lot No. 40 and Pike Creek craft whiskies are making a name for themselves around the world, and doing a good turn for Canadian whisky in general. We’re taking an incubation approach to marketing our brands in export markets and have now entered the US, Australia, France, Germany and the UK this way. Led by Dave Mitton, our global Canadian whisky brand ambassador, and his team, it’s all about creating memorable experiences with our brands for the local bartender community and key influencers, through tastings, cocktail events, bartender education and more.
Brand Centre Welcomes Visitors
The Hiram Walker & Sons Limited (HWSL) facility in Windsor, Ontario, where our J.P. Wiser’s and other Canadian whisky brands are produced, has played a prominent role in the history of Canadian whisky since before Confederation. In celebration of our heritage, we opened the J.P. Wiser’s Brand Centre at the HWSL facility for hosting whisky tastings and talks, socializing and sharing the brand story through photo and film archives.
In fiscal 2017, we announced a partnership with WindsorEats that offers the public walking tours of the HWSL distillery, one of the largest of its kind in North America, and guided whisky tastings at the Brand Centre. Participants are also able to buy a personalized, laser-etched bottle of J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian whisky while they’re at the Centre. Tickets to the first three Drinks of Walkerville tours were sold out in five hours. All in all, it’s a great way to bring our brand stories to life and to boost tourism in the area.