Top Brands

Canadian Whisky

Stirring up excitement among even the most discerning whisky enthusiasts.

Bottle of Pike Creek Canadian Whisky Bottle of LOT40 Rye Whisky Bottle of J.P. Wiser’s
Bottle of J.P. Wiser’s Bottle of J.P. Wiser’s

J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Whisky

Fiscal 2019 was a breakout year for J.P. Wiser’s, our flagship brand. Excluding Special Blend, J.P. Wiser’s grew 18 times more by volume and 3.5 times more by value than the Canadian whisky category and was among Canada’s top three value-gaining spirits brands (read our top story Toasting What Matters).

New offerings, along with premium innovations launched in fiscal 2018 (including J.P. Wiser’s 15 Years Old and a limited release of J.P. Wiser’s 35 Years Old), further enhanced J.P. Wiser’s unique heritage and superior-quality credentials. Both the super-premium, limited edition Alumni Whisky Series and J.P. Wiser’s Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail exceeded year-one targets.

The second phase of our Hold It High campaign was resoundingly successful. Instead of highlighting how our whisky is made and the people behind it, as we did in the first phase, the conversation shifted to all Canadians and gave them opportunities to toast friends and nurture friendships the way we nurture J.P. Wiser’s whiskies.

Topping off an extraordinary year, J.P. Wiser’s whiskies were ranked among the best in the world in several prestigious industry award programs. Among them:

  • J.P. Wiser’s 35 Years Old was awarded World’s Best Canadian Blended Whisky and J.P. Wiser’s Vanilla Whisky was awarded World’s Best Canadian Flavoured Whisky at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards.
  • Wendel Clark Alumni Whisky Series, J.P. Wiser’s 35 Years Old, and J.P. Wiser’s Canada Commemorative 2018 were awarded Gold at the 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards. J.P. Wiser’s 35 Years Old also won Connoisseur Whisky of the Year after winning the prior year’s coveted Canadian Whisky of the Year award.
  • J.P. Wiser’s 18 Years Old and J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye won Gold and Silver, respectively, at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
826k 9L cases shipped (includes Wiser’s Special Blend) +3% compared to fiscal 2018

The Hiram Walker & Sons distillery in Windsor, Ontario, where our Canadian whisky brands are produced, was recognized as Distillery of the Year by the Canadian Whisky Awards for the second year in a row.

Bottle of LOT40 Rye Whisky Bottle of Gooderham & Worts Bottle of Pike Creek Canadian Whisky

Craft Whiskies

Still in their development phase, but catching on quickly, our craft whiskies continued to outperform the dynamic North American super-premium whisky category. Pike Creek, Lot No. 40 and Gooderham & Worts (collectively known as the Northern Border Collection) are winning people over in droves – from trendy millennials to serious whisky enthusiasts. Retail volume grew 14.7% and value was up 13.4% compared to fiscal 2018.

There was a noticeable uptick in Pike Creek sales following a packaging refresh and price repositioning. To introduce this accessible craft whisky to a wider audience, Pike Creek also sponsored the final two events in the Grand Slam of Curling schedule and ran television commercials for the first time.

With Lot No. 40, we’ve traditionally focused on the bartender community and key influencers, with an expert team of brand ambassadors travelling across Canada, and recently into select US and western European markets, to share their brand love. In fiscal 2019, we added a number of consumer-facing activations including The New Old Fashioned Night Market, which ran over two nights in Toronto and attracted more than 1,000 people. Guests were able to enjoy Lot No. 40 cocktails, support local artists over the holiday season, and experience unique visual and interactive installations while listening to live music.

Having entered into a five-year agreement with Hotaling to represent the Northern Border Collection in the US, which took effect July 1, 2018, we were pleased to see an increase in distribution of 14%, driven largely by Pike Creek, Gooderham & Worts and Ungava gin.

Of course, our craft whiskies wouldn’t go anywhere were it not for their superior quality. All three won top awards in prestigious competitions:

  • Pike Creek, Lot No. 40 and Gooderham & Worts were awarded Gold medals at the 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards. In addition, Pike Creek Rum Barrel Finish was awarded Sipping Whisky of the Year.
  • Pike Creek 21 Years Old European Oak Finish won World’s Best Corn Whisky at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards while Lot No. 40 11 Years Old Cask Strength won World’s Best Canadian Rye Whisky. Gooderham & Worts Little Trinity (17 Years Old) was awarded Best Canadian Blended Limited Release at the World Whiskies Award for 2018.
31k 9L cases shipped (entire Northern Border Collection, including export) +17% compared to fiscal 2018