Britain’s United Whisky Kingdom! – Whisky Bible News

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2019 Cover

Britain’s United Whisky Kingdom!

* English and Welsh drams awarded their own new section in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019.

* Sassenach distillers’ challenge to old order after record year.

* “We have something special on our hands,” says Jim Murray.

First it was wine. But now it is whisky. For Single Malt produced south of Scotland has been awarded a region all of its own. 

The author of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has announced that for the first time ever England and Wales now gets its own section in the book, classing it as a region of significance alongside Scotland, Ireland, Kentucky, Canada and Japan. 

Previously included with other European offerings, in the 2019 edition launched today, Jim Murray hands them stand-alone status and charts the remarkable rise of a region that now boasts ten producers. 

For the first time, as many as three of their whiskies – St George’s Norfolk Farmers Single Grain, Norfolk Single Grain Parched and Penderyn Icons of Wales No.5 Bryn Terfel – have notched scores of 96.5 out of 100. 

Mr. Murray says: “Such has been the consistency coming from the likes of Penderyn, St George’s and The Cotswolds Distillery, it became clear we had something special on our hands. 

“They each produce a Single Malt of exceptionally high standard year after year so it would have been a disservice to them had I not given them their own region. 

“Now that Britain is leaving the EU, I hope these distillers get together to form their own association on lines similar to the Scots. It’s what they need to do to fuel their growth.” 

The news has been met with delight by both Welsh and English distillers with the Managing Director of Penderyn, South Wales, Stephen Davies saying: “This is just the shot in the arm the industry needs. We know we make excellent whisky, but it is sometimes hard to get people around the world to understand this. Now whisky lovers from the USA to China will see us as a whisky from a recognised region of quality, rather than a curiosity. This really is wonderful news.” 

And David Fitt at St George Distillery, Norfolk, added: “People trust Jim Murray’s judgement and if he says that something is worth trying, then they probably will. Us now having our own region means we can take the distillers of other countries head on as equals, not a little distillery somewhere south of Scotland. 

Australia, too, has been awarded its own section for its “bold and brave” malts. 

Winner of World Whisky of the Year, though, goes to Kentucky bourbon William Larue Weller 128.2 Proof, the third consecutive American champion. 

Mr. Murray praises “its unique brilliance” and describes it as “the most delicious lesson in whiskey structure imaginable”.  

The runners-up, from the 1,263 new drams tasted this year, are the Glen Grant 18 Years Old Single Malt from Speyside, Scotland and, third, the Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 127.2 Proof, which is also a Buffalo Trace dram. 

The distillery’s president Mark Brown said: “These wins are special to us – they are a testament to the skill and craft of the men and women of Buffalo Trace, who consistently produce the best whiskies in the world.”  

Regional winners include: Canadian Club Chronicles: Issue No1 Water of Windsor Aged 41 Years (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); Redbreast Aged 12 Years Cask Strength (Irish); Amrut Greedy Angels 8 Years Old (Asian); Hakushu Paul Rusch (Japanese). 

Editor’s Notes

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2019 contains tasting notes for nearly 5,000 drams from around the world.

This is the biggest selling whisky guide, now in its 16th edition.

Available from 9/10/18 at all good bookshops, retailers and whiskybible.com, priced £14.99.

Press enquiries: Vincent Flint-Hill +44 (0)117 317 9777; vincent@whiskybible.com

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