Three of these Canadian whiskies are blended, Lot 40 is not. They all include rye in their recipes. All claim some special treatment or process that makes them special. Lot 40 is distilled in a single copper pot still. Forty Creek Barrel Select is made from three different single grain mashes and aged in different barrels and then blended and finished in sherry casks. Wiser's 18 Year Old claims to be made at the oldest distillery in Canada. Crown Royal XR claims to have the last remnants of whisky from the old Waterloo warehouse and to contain some whiskies that may be upwards of 50 years old in its blend.
It is unfortunate that Canadian whiskies are often looked down on by both Scotch lovers and Bourbon lovers...........but that is somewhat understandable, even though I have known many folks who drink them because they are so approachable. Because most of them are 80 proof (Lot 40 is 86 proof), they can seem quite soft (not to say weak) to many whisk(e)y lovers. I would not want to be condemned to drinking only Canadian whisky, but I certainly find them excellent on occasion.
These four are all very good whiskies, worthy of having on your bar and available when your palate calls for something on the lighter side. They are all easy sipping and smooth. Lot 40 is the more robust of these, with more fruity rye spicy grit. Forty Creek is sweeter and on the light fruit side and is influenced by it time in the sherry finishing barrels. Wiser's is more beholding to the oak (as one would expect it to be at 18 years old) and is more subtle than the others. Crown Royal XR is the softest but in most respects the least interesting as a 'whisky'. It is a very subltle and most similiar to excellent Irish whiskey (with a flash of rye bite) in its delicacy.
All are first rate softer whiskies and each has something different to offer the interested drinker. They are good enough and different enough to make it impossible for me to choose one as a favorite. Crown Royal XR is now selling for about $100 in my neighborhood. My opinion is that it is no where near the approximately $65 extra over the others. Any thoughts I had about purchasing another bottle have evaporated with the angle's share.