This article ran on Post City’s website as “JP Wiser’s new Hopped brings the characteristics of beer to a bottle of whisky” on October 8, 2015.
It was probably inevitable that, as interest in hop-forward craft beers rose at the same time there has been a renewed interest in whisky and dark spirits, that there would be an increase in attempts to market some combination of the two.
For the most part, outside of my own proclivity for pouring a few fingers of whisky alongside a pint of beer, this marriage has come by way of beers that attempt to bring you the flavour of whisky. Sometimes it works, as when Chicago’s Goose Island ages a stout in bourbon barrels to make the spectacular Bourbon County Stout—arguably the beer that started craft beer’s barrel-aging trend. And other times, as in the dreadful English import Old Crow, which is essentially a lager with a shot of bourbon flavour, it most certainly does not work.
There have, however, been few attempts to bring the characteristics of beer to a bottle of whisky.
Enter JP Wiser’s Hopped.
Made with a blend of five- to nine-year-old Canadian whiskies, JP Wiser’s Hopped Whisky is “dry hopped” at the end of its aging process—a technique borrowed from brewing wherein dried hops are essentially steeped in the beer, imparting the juicy aromatics of hops without as much of the bitterness that’s obtained from hops in the boil.
One thought on “Someone put hops in my whisky”
Adding hops to whisky isn’t exactly a new idea – it’s just the first time it’s been done by a mass spirit producer the size of JP Wisers, as far as I know. Years ago I had an opportunity to visit the Corsair Distillery in Nashville, TN and they make a series of wonderful hopped whiskeys (citra and amarillo, amongst others). That experience inspired me to try hopping whisky (technically still “grain spirit”) and have experimented with different production methods more seriously over the last year (I’m legally licensed to do so, don’t try this at home).
I’ve yet to try this particular whisky, so I’ll reserver judgement until then. Some might say we’re heading towards the Bud Light Limes of the spirit industry when big manufacturers start successfully selling (“marketing”) flavoured spirits. To me comparing a craft hopped whisky to JP Wisers is probably closer to comparing LFB Bricks & Mortar to a Mill Street Coffee Porter, rather than Dieu du Ciel “Solstice D’été” to a Bud Light Raz-Ber-Ita.
At any rate, thanks for the review Ben, definitely interested in trying this one.