Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018!

Kentucky Takes World Crown
Historic bottling from home of bourbon is planet’s finest dram, says Whisky Bible 2018

* Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain Bottled in Bond Aged 12 years is World Whisky of the Year in latest edition.
* Jim Murray hails its “sheer undiluted beauty”.
* Irish and Scotch notch runners-up gongs.

The unique bottling from Buffalo Trace gives a nod to the four grains – corn, rye, wheat and malted barley – that the legendary bourbon pioneer worked with back in the 19th century.

Scoring a remarkable 97.5 out of 100, the champion dram boasts a finish that Murray describes as a “slow, lightly oiled, gently spiced chocolate fade which goes on…and on”.

He adds: “Nothing could match the astonishing beauty of its surprisingly delicate weight and complexity combined. It was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…”

Buffalo Trace recently discovered the long-lost remains of Col. Taylor’s iconic O.F.C distillery, which stood on the same spot in Frankfort, Kentucky, until ravaged by fire in 1872.

And the company has now launched tours of what has been dubbed ‘Bourbon Pompeii’.

Buffalo Trace president Mark Brown said: “We are beyond excited. The timing could not coincide more perfectly with the recent discovery of Taylor’s original distillery.”

With over 1,200 new whiskies tasted for the latest edition of the international guide, the supreme Col. Taylor faced stiff competition from European rivals to claim the top award.

Second Finest Whisky of the Year goes to Redbreast Aged 21 Years, the best result for an Irish entrant in Whisky Bible history and only the second time the Emerald Isle has made the top three.

The Pure Pot Still scored 97 out of 100, earning praise from Murray for “one of the most wonderful noses on this planet” which helps make it “one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic whisk(e)ys”.

On the podium again is the Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition, which is named Third Finest following its second-place finish in 2017, also with 97 points.

Sectional winners include: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); The Norfolk Parched from St George’s (European); Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky (Japanese); Paul John Kanya (Asian) and Limeburner’s Dark Winter (Southern Hemisphere)

Editor’s Notes
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018 is the 15th edition of the publication and contains taste notes for over 4,600 drams.
Available from 12/10/17 at all good bookshops, retailers and whiskybible.com, priced £12.99.
Press enquiries: Vincent Flint-Hill +44 (0)117 317 9777; vincent@whiskybible.com
2018 Cover

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 Press Release

* Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 hails “mind-blowing” US dram.
* Booker’s Rye 13 Years, 1 Month, 12 Days is World Whisky of the Year.
* Champion is beyond-the-grave legacy of Jim Beam’s grandson.
* Booker Noe’s final experimental creation sees off Scotch revival.

A unique Kentucky rye has been crowned the planet’s finest dram by the latest edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Booker’s Rye 13 Years, 1 Month, 12 Days began life as an experiment by Booker Noe – grandson of Jim Beam – at the family distillery in Clermont, KY, shortly before his death in 2004.

Now it has become his remarkable legacy after landing the title of World Whisky of the Year.

Jim lavishes praise on its “brain-draining, mind-blowing” nose and finish of “amazing depth”.

And he hails it as a “staggering example of a magnificent rye, showing exactly what genius actually means. A very big, unforgettable whiskey from a very big, unforgettable man”.

Booker followed in his iconic grandfather’s footsteps by becoming master distiller at Jim Beam, but he was long-retired when he dabbled one final time.

After he passed away aged 74, son Fred kept an eye on his casks – and the result is pure liquid gold, scoring 97.5 out of 100 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The champion dram had to hold off stiff competition from Scotland to land the title.

Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition is the first Scotch on the Whisky Bible podium since 2014.

The Speyside malt blew away Jim as he tested 1,241 new samples for the latest edition of his influential guidebook.

He says: “It’s the best new offering from the motherland in a few years; a sensational return to form.”

Third place went to another US tipple, the William Larue Weller (134.6 Proof) bourbon.

Regional winners include: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); Redbreast Aged 21 Years (Irish) ; English Whisky Co. Chapter 14 England (European); Yamazaki Sherry Cask (Japanese).

Editor’s Notes
Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 marks 25 years since he became the world’s first full-time whisky writer and contains taste notes for around 5,000 drams.
Available from 17/10/16 at all good bookshops, retailers and whiskybible.com, priced £12.99.
Press enquiries: Vincent Flint-Hill +44 (0)117 317 9777; vincent@whiskybible.com

Northern Harvest Rye: All 97.5 Points Alert!

The Batch of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Jim Murray tasted for the 2016 Whisky Bible is L5085 N3.

Are you one of the lucky World Whisky of the Year bottle holders?

If so, we would love to know where these bottles have turned up around the world. Please tweet us your pictures or post them on our Facebook page so we can see! [twitter url=”https://twitter.com/JimMurrayWB16″ style=”horizontal” float=”left”]

Crown Royal Bottle Code

A Message From Jim Murray

Dear Whisky imBiblers,


I suspect that by now you would have expected to have in front of you Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016.


So did I.


But I’m delighted – and relieved – to say you will soon: I should be signing the first copies of the new Bible on the 23rd.


For reasons that were no fault of our own – and way beyond our control – there had been a delay in the printing process.


To overcome this, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is now currently being produced in three different countries for the very first time: the UK, the USA and on mainland Europe.


We are sorry if you have been inconvenienced. And believe me when I say it has been anything but fun to overcome these unexpected difficulties here, too. However, we had extended the Special Offer period to help make amends.


And I’m sure, with my reviews of over 1,000 new whiskies, you’ll find it was worth the wait.


I look forward to signing your Bible very soon. And as we strictly do not take money for advertising or inclusion in the Bible may I thank you for your continued patronage and patience.


Sincerely yours,

Jim Murray

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 Press Release

Jim Murray Awards 2016 “World Whisky of the Year” to Canada’s Crown Royal



One of the world’s most remote distilleries has been awarded World Whisky of the Year for the very first time.


The Gimli Distillery, which sits on the shores of Lake Winnipeg in central Canada, is the home to the Crown Royal brand. Which in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016, published today, has been given the coveted title of World Whisky of the Year with its special Northern Harvest Rye edition.


It is the first time a Canadian Whisky has won the top prize in the Whisky Bible in this, its thirteenth annual edition. Last year the whisky world was shaken when the award went to a Japanese single malt.


Whisky authority Jim Murray, who tasted over 1,000 new whiskies before making his announcement said: “Last year people were shocked when I gave Yamazaki the award – until they tasted it. Then they saw it was not the affront to Scotch they first thought and something truly extraordinary.


“This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it come to the world’s top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky’s uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye.”


Although Canadian whisky is commonly known as rye, this new brand is one of only a handful which is actually made from near 100% rye grain. Most others are distilled from corn or wheat with rye and other flavourings added.


Said Mr Murray: “To be honest, I had been considering actually demoting Canadian whisky from having its own chapter in the Bible The quality of Canadian has been disappointing me for some time with too many non-whisky products, like fruit juice or wine, being added to give a softer flavour.


“Then Crown Royal Northern Harvest pops up out of nowhere and changes the game. I think other distillers out there have to have a close look at this and see if they can at least have a go at reaching where this new bar has been set. Otherwise the name of Canadian whisky will continue to decline against the high standards being set in other countries.”


In his Whisky Bible 2016 he gives Northern Harvest Rye a record-qualifying 97.5 out of 100 points and comments: “Rye, that most eloquent of grains, not just turning up to charm and enthral but to also take us through a routine which reaches new heights of beauty and complexity. To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice.”


The Gimli Distillery in Manitoba was first visited by Mr Murray in the mid-1990s when he described it in his Complete Book of Whisky as being located “where the Prairies are at their Prairiest”. The warehouses each year sit under a foot of snow and the usual -18 temperature in January can sometimes plummet to -40. It is, quite literally, many hundreds of miles from its nearest fellow distillery.


Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye made it a astonishing one-two for rye whisky, as it narrowly eclipsed Pikesville 100 proof Straight Rye from the Heaven Hill Distillery Kentucky for top spot. Third came another traditional whiskey, a pure pot still from Ireland – Midleton Dair Ghaelach. It is the first time an Irish whiskey has made one of the top three spots.


With Buffalo Trace’s William Larue Weller bourbon coming in fourth and Yamazaki Mizunara from Japan fifth, it is the second year running Scotland has missed out in a top five placing in the Whisky Bible.





*   Other award winners: Scotch of the Year – Glenfarclas Family Cask 1957; European Whisky (Multiple casks) – English Whisky Co. Chapter 16; European Whisky (Single cask) – Kornog Taouarc’h Chwec’hved 14

*   Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is available from Monday in all good book shops and online at whiskybible.com, priced £12.99.

*   The 2016 edition contains detailed taste notes for around 4,600 whiskies – including more than 1,000 new labels – all marked for nose, taste, finish and balance.

*   For more information, contact Vincent Flint-Hill at Dram Good Books 0117 317 9777 vincent@whiskybible.com

*   Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible has sold more than half a million copies in English language.