If a grain can’t get past me, it’s not good enough for our customers.
— Kristy Fregonese
The building blocks for each of our whiskies are simple yet extremely important – grains, yeast, water. We dedicate countless hours to ensure that we start with the right ingredients, going so far as smelling each batch of grain before it enters the building. Because choosing to start with quality means you’re on your way to ending with quality too.
Fermentation is the heartbeat of our process.
— Han Ha
Once the rye, corn, and other grains are confirmed to be of the highest quality, we’ve got to get them ready for their transformation. We cook and crush, or ‘malt’ and ‘mill’, the grains so the starches break down and the yeast can turn sugars into alcohol. The choices made in this process are some of the most crucial, as the yeast has one of the biggest influences on the taste of our whisky.
Precision matters. A slight change in anything can change everything.
— Neil Bishop
The distillation of this fermented mash is equal parts science and art. For as many precise measurements and strict timelines we adhere to, it’s the distiller’s intuition that we rely on the most. The choices Neil makes will take the flavours from the grains and the yeast, and either ramp them up or tone them down. It’s here that our head of distilling and Master Blender work hand in hand to shape our whisky.
Drain & fill
Every barrel has to get by me before it sees a drop of whisky.
— Darren Bombardier
The draining and filling of thousands of barrels is no easy task. To achieve the desired flavours for each of our whiskies, our team must make the critical decision of when to empty and fill specific types of barrels with specific spirits – according to our Master Blender’s plans. Even the barrels must meet our standards, to ensure the correct flavours are imparted while maturing.
When it comes to whisky, time is on our side.
— Donald Campbell
All Canadian whiskies must be aged for a minimum of three years in wood barrels, and many of our whiskies contain elements that have aged even longer. We char or toast each of our barrels to filter out unwanted flavours and impart new ones while they sit – the result is a higher quality whisky with more depth of flavour.
We all rely on one another, we operate like an orchestra. Blending embodies the same idea of bringing everything together.
— Dr. Don Livermore
Our Master Blender aims to carry on the tradition of quality, care, and craftsmanship that J.P. Wiser established decades ago. Don will combine light distillates with flavourful, spicy spirits to achieve the distinctive flavour notes of our whiskies. His choices ensure consistency in our products. However, he also has the freedom to innovate while blending – leading to new and diverse whisky offerings.
It won’t make it into a bottle or even a barrel if it isn’t right.
— Graham Young
We wouldn’t serve anything we haven’t tried ourselves, so every batch of our whisky goes through a rigorous quality control phase. The role of the 20-person sensory analysis team is to confirm that our recipes are adhered to, and that each batch ends up like it should – from colour to smell to taste.
Hundreds of decisions go into a bottle of whisky. The last few happen here.
— Jason Leithead
When it’s all said and done – and our patience has paid off, there’s one final quality check before they’re ready to hit the shelves for the ultimate quality check… yours.