Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible hails “rampantly beautiful” Canadian champion – Whisky Bible News


…but here comes India’s Dram-A Sutra!

* Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible hails “rampantly beautiful” Canadian champion.

* US knocked off World Whisky of the Year top spot for first time in five years.

* India returns to podium with “near-perfect” offering.

A Canadian rye whisky which draws its water from the Rocky Mountains has been declared the summit of all the world’s whiskies. 

Whisky guru Jim Murray has given “totally world class” status to Alberta Premium Cask Strength in his Whisky Bible 2021, naming it World Whisky of the Year – the first time it has won the coveted top prize. 

Made from a mix of malted and unmalted rye, Alberta Premium Cask Strength weighs in at a massive 65.1% abv and scores 97.5 marks out of 100. 

The last time a Canadian won World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, police in Toronto were called as drinkers fought over the last bottles still on the shelf. 

“It is such an honor to be named World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray and we are thrilled for our Alberta Distillers team,” said Albert Baladi, President & CEO, Beam Suntory. “To receive this prestigious accolade is a testament to the team’s dedication and passion for crafting a premium spirit of the highest quality, and comes as at a time of Canadian whisky resurgence around the world.” 

“On behalf of the entire Alberta Distillers team, we are honored to have Alberta Premium Cask Strength named ’World Whisky of the Year.’ said George Teichroeb, General Manager, Alberta Distillers Limited. “We are incredibly proud of our Alberta Distillers team for creating such a unique and beautiful world-class whisky, and continually pushing the boundaries of what Canadian whisky can be.” 

After sweeping the board in 2020 with a unique 1-2-3, Kentucky distiller the Sazerac Company has to settle for the runner-up spot in 2021 with the “mind-blowing” Stagg Jr Barrel Proof, another bourbon out of the Buffalo Trace stable, boasting a finish of “cocoa, dark liquorice and so much toastiness”. 

But the most eye-catching podium entry of all is Mithuna, from the Paul John distillery in the tiny Indian state of Goa – the first time a South Asian whisky has taken a top-three gong in more than a decade. 

Jim Murray says sampling its sensational chocolate-and-spices complexity is “like after you have just made love…and you are unable to speak or move while your senses get back into some kind of normality”. 

The renowned and influential whisky writer tasted 1,252 new drams for the 2021 edition of the Whisky Bible. 

Speyside veteran Glen Grant takes Scotch Whisky of the Year for its Aged 15 Years Batch Strength 1st Edition with Jim Murray praising the Moray distillery’s “extraordinary and unique charm”. 

Meanwhile, lowland newbie Annandale – opened only in 2014 – is handed Best 10 Years And Under Single Cask Scotch and hailed as a reason for whisky lovers to not “cling to the lifebuoy of age, tradition and history”. 

Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey is named the inaugural winner of American Blended Whiskey of the Year, but the Kentucky distiller also picks up a further three awards for its bourbon and rye whiskeys. 

Other sectional winners include: Gordon & MacPhail Mr George Centenary Edition Glen Grant 1956 (single cask of the year); Ballantine’s 30 Year Old (Blended Scotch); Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (Irish); Thomas H Handy Sazerac (American Rye); Nikka Whisky Single Malt Yoichi Apple Brandy Wood Finish (Japanese); PUNI Aura Italian Single Malt (European). 

Editor’s Notes

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2021 contains tasting notes for around 4,500 drams.

Available from 16/9/20 at whiskybible.com, priced £14.99.

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