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JP Wiser's experience in the Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor Ontario. Right: Aerial view of the distillery.

JP Wiser's experience in the Hiram Walker distillery in Windsor Ontario. Right: Aerial view of the distillery.

The amazing craft breweries, distilleries and wineries in the city of Windsor often get overlooked, but it's time to change that. You may be surprised to know that this underrated Ontario town has the largest distillery in all of Canada and the United States.

Narcity had the opportunity to talk with the Master Blender at Hiram Walker and Sons Limited, aka the JP Wiser's Distillery, Don Livermore. When we think of Canada's history, we don't necessarily think of the farmers and whiskey producers, yet as Livermore states, "Canada was built on whiskey."

The JP Wiser's Experience will be hosting distillery tours and tastings again so you can dive into this rich Canadian history, see how the Canadian spirit is produced in this massive facility, as well as sample varieties of it.

Distillery tours are opening up again as of April 29, at a cost of only $20 per person. You'll be immersed in the history of the national liquor, not only learning the origins and craftsmanship but walking through the building to see how and where it is made. The tours end with a whiskey flight in their gorgeous tasting room overlooking the Detroit River.

If you're not up for a full tour, you can visit for a whiskey tasting, sampling multiple award-winning spirits. The tasting experience has resumed as of April 1 and is $15 per person. This is the only place you'll find JP Wiser's Red Letter whiskey for sale, and you'll find other liquors and related merchandise to browse.

If you have a true passion for spirits and crave a more intimate learning experience, you can also sign up for a course to blend your own whiskey with Livermore, the Master Blender himself. "It's called Blending 101, where I set up 140 different whiskies for $120 [per person]. You come and spend about two and a half hours with me and I teach you how to blend whiskey. By the end of it all, you get to pick out whatever you want and you can make your own custom blend."

From Hiram Walker's early days commuting from Detroit to the distillery in Windsor to the American Civil War in the 1860s which caused American distilleries to close down and Canadian whiskey to boom, the distillery's historic roots are older than the country of Canada. Canadian whiskey was the most sold spirit in the world by 1900. We're now number four in the world, according to Livermore.

The liquor business in Canada was huge, and the five largest Canadian taxpayers at that time were all distillery owners. This is where Livermore reiterates that Canada was "built on the backs of the whiskey producers." Canada was also the first government to implement a minimum aging law for the spirit.

As one of the most diverse distilleries in the world, much more than JP Wiser's whiskey is made here, including the brand Malibu rum. Gin, rum, vodka... they really make it all. It's time to brag to the world about all of the great spirits and stories that come from right here in Ontario.

The JP Wiser's Experience

JP Wiser's Experience distillery tour of Hiram Walker facility.

JP Wiser's Experience distillery tour of Hiram Walker facility.

Courtesy of JP Wiser's

Price: $15 tastings, $20 distillery tour

Address: 2072 Riverside Dr. E., Windsor, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can dive into the history of Canadian whiskey, enjoying a tour of the distillery and accompanied tastings. It's a fun boozy afternoon where you're sure to find unique experiences and learn something new.


    Megan Johnson
    Ottawa Staff Writer
    Megan Johnson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on new netflix shows in Canada and things to do in Ottawa. She is based in Ottawa, Ontario.
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