Whisky Advocate

Jim Murray’s “World Whisky Awards for 2010″

October 5th, 2009

Okay, here’s the list (from a press release I received this morning). Let the discussions begin. What do you agree with? Disagree with? I’ll give you my thoughts too.

Jim Murray’s World Whisky Awards 2010

JMURRAYLR2010

Straight Rye Whiskey, the spirit of choice in pre-prohibition America and immortalized in Humphrey Bogart films, has been given top billing in the coveted Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible World Whisky Awards for 2010.

International whisky authority Jim Murray has named Sazerac Rye 18 year old as the finest whisky in the world after tasting almost 1000 new whiskies since April. It scooped the World Whisky of the Year title by gaining 97.5 points, only the second time such a score has been achieved.

Announced to coincide with the publication of the 2010 edition of ‘Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible’, which contains tasting notes on over 3,850 of the world’s whiskies, Sazerac’s success marks the return of a whiskey style that all but disappeared from the marketplace. Following the repeal of Prohibition, American drinkers had developed a taste for lighter spirits, resulting in a boom for bourbon and Canadian whiskies, while straight rye fell by the wayside.

Jim Murray comments, “A decade ago I wrote that it was likely that there would be a renaissance in rye whiskey.  I recognised that the combination of big, bold flavours and subtle, delicate fruity notes would be appreciated by connoisseurs, especially those who prefer smoky Islay single malts. Now American distillers can’t make enough of it. And in this particular bottling of Sazerac 18, we have a rye that is not just at the top of its game, but reaching previously unknown heights. In beating all other world whisky types, Sazerac 18, has set the bar for rye whiskey and it will be fascinating in forthcoming years to see what is bottled to try to at least match it.”

 Distilled at Buffalo Trace distillery Kentucky, Sazerac 18 pipped into second place one of the smokiest whiskies ever produced, from the Ardbeg distillery on Islay.

Another Award winner likely to cause a surprise was an Indian Single Malt, which was awarded the title of World’s Third Best Whisky.  Distilled in Bangalore, Amrut Fusion scored an outstanding 97 points. “It makes no matter where in the world a whisky is made. If it is magnificent, then it stands a chance of being recognized in the Whisky Bible Awards. Amrut have been bottling astonishing whisky for a few years now. But this particular bottling just made my hairs stand on end. It is hard to find a whisky with better balance. India has unquestionably arrived as a whisky nation” added Murray.
 
Category winners:

Scotch Whisky of the Year – Ardbeg Supernova
Single Malt of the Year (Multiple cask) – Ardbeg Supernova
Single Malt of the Year (Single cask) – Glenfarclas 1962 (3rd release)
Best Scotch New Brand – Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX
Scotch Blend of the Year – Ballentine’s 17 Years Old
Scotch Grain of the Year – Duncan Taylor North British 1978

Single Malt Scotch

No Age Statement (Multiple cask) – Ardbeg Supernova*
No Age Statement (runner up) – Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX
10 Years and Under (Multiple cask) – Octomore 5 Years Old*
10 Years and Under (Single cask) – SMWS 77.17 (Glen Ord)
11-15 Years Old (Multiple cask) – Tomintoul 14 Years Old
11-15 Years Old (Single cask) – Isle of Arran Sherry 353*
16-21 Years Old (Multiple cask) – Glen Grant 1992*
16-21 Years Old (Single cask) – Glendronach 1992 Cask 401
22-27 Years Old (Multiple cask) – Brora 25 Years Old 7th Release*
22-27 Years Old (Single cask) – Cadenhead’s Benriach 23YO
28-34 Years Old (Multiple cask) – Highland Park 30 Years Old*
28-34 Years Old (Single cask) – Douglas Laing Glencadem 32YO
35-40 Years Old (Multiple cask) – Glenglassaugh 40 Years Old*
35-40 Years Old (Single cask) – Whisky Fair Glen Grant 36 YO
41 Years and Over (Multiple cask) – Glenfiddich 50 Years Old*
41 Years and Over (Single cask) – Glenfarclas 1962 Release III

Blended Scotch
No Age Statement (Standard) – Ballentine’s Finest*
No Age Statement (Premium) – The Last Drop*
5-12 Years – Johnnie Walker Black Label*
13-18 Years – Ballentine’s 17 Year Old*
18 & Over – Chivas Regal 25 Years Old*

Irish Whiskey of the Year – Redbreast Aged 12 Years*
 
American Whiskey
Bourbon of the Year – George T Stagg (144.8)*
Rye of the Year – Sazerac 18 Years Old (Fall 2008)*
 
Bourbon
No Age Statement (Multiple barrel) – Parker’s Golden Anniversary*
No Age Statement (Single barrel) – Blanton’s Single Barrel 316
9 Years & Under – Jim Beam Black Aged 8 Years*
10-12 Years – Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve*
13-17 Years Old (multiple Barrels) – George T Stagg (144.8)*
13-17 Years Old (Single Barrel) – Buffalo Trace Experimental Course Grain
18 Years & Over – Evan Williams 23 Years Old*

Rye
10 Years & Younger – Jim Beam Rye*
11 Years & Older – Sazerac 18 Years Old (Fall 2008)*

Canadian Whisky of the Year – Wiser’s Red Letter*
Japanese Whisky of the Year – SMWS 116.4 (Yoichi)*

European Whisky
European Whisky of the Year – Santis Malt Highlander Dreifaltaigkeit*
European Single Cask Whisky of the Year – Penderyn Port Wood Single Cask*

World Whiskies
Indian Whisky of the Year – Amrut Fusion*

(* denotes category winner)
 
To mark the sheer quality and standard of whisky making around the world Jim Murray has created a new Liquid Gold Award for all whiskies scoring 94 points and above.  Representing 10% of all the whiskies featured in the ’2010 Whisky Bible’ they are, says Murray “the elite; the very finest you can find on whisky shelves around the world. Rare and precious they are liquid gold”.

A full account of the 2010 World Whisky Awards can be found in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010 published today (5th October 2009).  And with nearly 4000 tasting notes, including 946 of the very latest releases, the ‘Whisky Bible’ remains the definitive and most up to date guide available.

Published by Dram Good Books priced at £10.99, the ’2010 Whisky Bible’ is available through online retailer Amazon and other good book stores. Signed copies by the author can be obtained from www from www.whiskybible.com.

54 Responses to “Jim Murray’s “World Whisky Awards for 2010″”

  1. Del Sneddon says:

    Personally, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to take Jim’s conclusions so seriously. It is without question that Ardbeg is a world class whisky, but Jim’s continued favouritism is becoming rather tired – and obvious.

  2. David Stirk says:

    What a surprise, another Ardbeg tops the bill….

  3. Stefan says:

    Interesting choice. Will definetly have to try it. Jim seems to have a taste for Glenmorangie plc products (Ardbeg & Glenmorangie). As both distilleries have made some stellar expressions the last few years I can’t really disagree with that. I’m glad I have a bottle of the Supernova. Good to see that the Arran Distillery is getting some recognition!

  4. Stefan says:

    I meant the 18 year old rye whisky, not the supernova..

  5. Glen Ferguson says:

    While I haven’t tasted nearly as many whiskeys as Mr. Murry, from some of these selections I think it is safe to say we have very different preferences.
    This makes me wonder what is the point of awards? A tasting note gives context but an award is just a preference.

  6. John Hansell says:

    I’m going to offer some of my thoughts here, having tasted and reviewed most of these whiskies myself. And I’ll preface my comments by saying that I really respect Jim’s tasting ability and agree with him in many, if not most, circumstances. But even he and I split on some opinions, as you will notice here.

    To keep things brief, I will cite only three awards I strongly agree with and three that I strongly disagree with.

    First, the three I strongly agree with: Parker’s Golden Anniversary (stunning stuff), Highland Park 30 y/o (no brainer), and Redbreast 12 y/o (another no brainer).

    And now the three I (respectfully) disagree with: Sazerac Rye 18 y/o (this whiskey has “jumped the shark”; the past four year’s of bottlings is the same whiskey aged in stainless steel that, while still a very nice whiskey, and a whiskey that continues to change in flavor while in stainless, does not come close to the 2005 vintage), Evan Williams 23 y/o (every time I’ve tasted this it was over-oaked to death), and Buffalo Trace Experimental Coarse Grain (too coarse for me; I prefer the Fine Grain bottling released at the same time). In each case above, I can think of whiskeys in these categories that are (in my opinion) far superior products.

    There are other award winners I might agree or diagree with, but not to the extreme of feeling the need to point them out here. As with everything in life, we all have our own opinions. Mine is just one of many.

    • Trent says:

      John, very good post.

      I know this is a couple of years on since your post, but I needed time to taste a few more before firming up a personal opinion. Obviously personal taste and experience is going to alter opinions, but the 18 y/o sazerac although nice, Number 1??? Jim Murray seems to have a pretty good palate overall but there are always a few surpsies in his bibles. Although never terribley wrong, there are a few in there that to be the catergorie winner leaves one surprised.

      All in all, the award winners are still quite drinkable, so won’t turn away from the annual bible in any event, but good to see I’m not the only one who varies in preferred taste.

  7. Rick Duff says:

    Very interesting that the 13-17 Years Old (Single Barrel) winner was the – Buffalo Trace Experimental Course Grain, but
    John rated it as an 80 and the fine grain getting the 94 (http://blog.maltadvocate.com/2009/06/11/review-two-new-buffalo-trace-experimental-whiskeys/). Very interesting.
    I wish for the single malts he’d have a peated and non-peated category.

  8. Jimi says:

    I tried to like the Sazerac 18yo as well as a couple other rye(the younger Saz and a Van Winkle), but they seem one dimensional compared to Bourbon. I can see it as the essential component in rye based whiskey or in a cocktail, just not a profile I like on its own.

  9. I have the Sazerac 18 and it’s very good, no question. I also have a lovely single-grain Rye (NAS) from Tuthilltown that is wonderful. I agree with Glen that ranking whisk(e)y, or movies, or anything, is very subjective and it’s normal to have biases and a reviewer should expect disagreement. Jim does a very good job of justifying his reviews, and I buy a copy of his book every year since I find his reviews to be valuable in honing my tasting abilities (I also find John’s blog, here, useful for the same reason). Tasting things yourself is the only way to establish your personal preferences. That’s obvious, right? To me, the value in reviews is helping me decide how to spend my precious whisk(e) budget on likely good products.

  10. Dutch says:

    In the Irish, American and Rye I think he made great choices, are they the absolute best? Hard to say, but they all are fine whiskeys and make great choices as representing each category.

  11. Jason says:

    I agree with Ballantines 17yr as Best Blended Scotch. It would be a toss up between that and Royal Salute for me.

    However, I cannot understand how he judged Ballantines Finest (NAS) as the best of the NAS blends. I just shake my head at that one. Maybe he still had the 17yr old in his glass when he thought he was sampling the the Finest.

  12. Red_Arremer says:

    The intention behind awards is the promotion of the people giving the awards and the things receiving them. Strictly something to chat about with friends and acquaintences. The only thing wrong with hype is that so many people get taken in by it.

    Honestly, Murrays awards are only marginally more interesting than how hard he’s straining, in the picture, to look authoritative and serious.

  13. WhiskyNotes says:

    I don’t have problems with reviewers who have their favourite distilleries, but Murray has done consultancy for Ardbeg for so many years and helped to define the current profile. And now Sonnalta PX from the same company as a runner up… I guess he should know better and be more neutral if he wants to be acknowledged as a reference.

  14. Josh says:

    I love Jim Murray’s individualism and writing style, but I’m beginning to get tired of seeing Ardbeg win every year. Being a peat freak, I really enjoy the Supernova, but it is more of a novelty than anything else. To call it the best Single Malt in the world is a stretch. I also, don’t agree with some of Jim’s assessments in the blended category. Ballentine’s Finest??? Really? Famous Grouse whomps Ballentines in that category – at least in my opinion. But, I guess that’s really what it’s all about – opinion. Jim’s entitled to his…

  15. John Hansell says:

    I enjoy using the book as reference guide. It definitely serves a purpose. Sometimes I’ll look to see if he likes a whisky as much as I do (or vice versa). Like I said above, we don’t always agree, but not two people are going to agree on everything.

    And I don’t review as many whiskies as he does (no one does), so it’s nice to see his opinions of whiskies I haven’t tried yet.

  16. KLD says:

    Jim makes a monumental effort! Jim gets around! The challenge is that WB relies upon one authority, not the avg of 10. If there truly is a conflict of interest, then an objective reviewer should defer to others to review. That said, ten reviewers can’t cover all the ground Jim walks on. Those who are purests will need to appreciate that pressure can exerted upon those who may or may not receive samples. Some of us have tried quite a few bottlings that Murray and others have yet to rank. Some of my favorite Lowlands still remain unranked and overlooked.

  17. bgulien says:

    Personally I don’t even look at his reviews.
    A hint of bias towards Glenmorangie Plc.
    No, I much more favor the reviews of Serge (whiskyfun.com) or the Caskstrength boys.

  18. Sku says:

    I seldom agree with Jim’s ratings, but he’s an entertaining writer and a good promoter of whiskey (though he clearly does have favorite distilleries including both Ardbeg and Buffalo Trace).

    I havent’ had the Saz 18 for a couple of years, though I loved the older ones. Still, I’m thrilled to see a rye whiskey picked as number one. I love rye and would love to see even more distilleries doing good work with their ryes.

  19. butephoto says:

    I really love Sazerac Rye so I’m not surprised it has gained recognition. Not sure about the Ardbeg – it’s good but in my opinion not the best.

  20. Armin says:

    Going back to your earlier entry about tasting vs nosing, have you and him really _tasted_ that many?

    May be I’m reading that wrong, but based on “including 946 of the very latest releases” that sounds like a lot of whisky to drink. That’s close to 3 dram a day for a year, and then you would only actually taste each of them once…

  21. David Stirk says:

    Armin, herein lies the problem – how many times has your first opinion of a whisky been wrong? For me, my first opinion is almost always wrong. Some whiskies don’t just grow on you, they explode on you.

  22. John Hansell says:

    butephoto, yes, I am happy to see a rye whiskey getting the recognition it deserves. And the Saz 18 year old whiskeys are splendid whiskeys–don’t get me wrong here. But, the past few years have been inconsistent and (IMHO) not in the same caliber as the releases during the first half of this decade. (Supplies are low and being stored in stainless steel tanks.)

    And I, too, would have picked a different Ardbeg (Corry, perhaps?)

    Armin, I don’t review nearly as many as Jim does. I usually review no more than a few at a time, which allows me to nose, taste, and even swallow a little. I think all this helps. Honestly, I don’t know how Jim does it. Better him than me…

    And I try to taste a whisky twice before putting a number to it. Even with my live Twitter tastings, I’ll still taste it once beforehand.

    • Hi John

      I know this is late in the day (like about 6 months) but I was given Jim’s latest bible to review and when I came to write a note I found a bucvketload o contradictions.

      One of the things I agree about your comments is that Sazerac 18yo was truly great around 2000-2 and hasn’t been quite in the same category since.

      I really didn’t like the Supernova and thought the Octomore 2nd edition more palatable, although neither would be in my top ten.

  23. Thomas W says:

    I fully admit own to owning three of Jim’s “bibles” already – and to having just ordered my fourth one. And I also admit to having bought the Ardbeg Supernova as a committee bottling when it came out, as well as the regular release.
    OK! So Jim loves peated whiskies. I suppose we all got that. Point well taken, there are too many peated whiskies out there, according to Mr. Murray. But please, do it Jim’s style (no “caramel”), otherwise see the Ardmore Traditional’s rating.
    I really love Jim’s 1997′s book a lot, but why, Jim, did you have to make Supernova your new No.1? I bought too many Supernovas to be disappointed by this obvious choice, but still… it will be one surprise less when I get to read 2010′s Bible.

  24. Thomas W says:

    there are too many peated whiskies out there
    meant to write “too few”, sorry for the mistype!!

  25. Red_Arremer says:

    You still taste it once before hand, huh? Good, that makes me a little more comfortable with those. First impressions really are uniquely revealing, but I’ve always felt that a definitive review or even a good opinion should embody more familiarity than that.

  26. As expected, plenty of the Glenmorangie Group’s whiskies. As others have suggested, I tend to use Murray’s ratings merely as a suggestion. In fact, I think any rating is highly personal and hence only of marginal interest to others. I’d much prefer simple tasting notes.

  27. John Hansell says:

    Yep Red, I still like to DRINK whisky (which is the reason I got into this in the first place). What I try to do with each whisky is taste it as you would in a typical social setting and DRINK it! Then, I will try to also taste it formally in a group of its peers. That’s when I put a number on it.

    For example, for my live Twitter tasting this Wednesday with the Sazerac Rye 18 yr. olds, I have tasted all of these several times already. And tomorrow I will be publishing my review of Diageo’s Manager’s Choice whiskies. Why havn’t I put out my release last week like a few other bloggers? I wanted to taste each whisky a few times before rating them. I hope this gives you some comfort, or at least understanding, when it comes to my ratings. And I hope this is the reason why many people can associate with them. (That, and the fact that I try to keep my tasting notes simple and easy to understand.)

    Sorry for going slightly off topic here.

  28. Thomas W says:

    Hey John, great to have you! For all the implicit reasons you stated yourself and the ones beyond them (like the fact that you are maintaining this excellent blog in the first place!). Thanks for the terrific reviews, they are very helpful.

  29. Quentin says:

    John,

    Your comment about tasting is a key distinction. Jim Murray advocates in his Whisky Bible spitting out the whisky and not swallowing, even for amateur tasters, but that misses an important element of drinking (not just nosing or judging) whiskies). The full experience of whisky involves all the senses, and the experience long after the liquid has passed to your stomach. Of course, swallowing even small amounts would be dangerous for someone who samples as many whiskies as Jim does.

  30. Barry Hay says:

    a silent protest against Diageo? And a lot of GM/Ardbegs… Well done!

  31. David Stirk says:

    Hi Quentin,

    Hear, Hear & Hear! I don’t buy this non-swallowing nonsense. I am completely with Serge Valentin that if you are at a tasting or a festival where you plan to taste many whiskies then, yes, spitting is very important. But to be considered a professional taster and score and award etc, then spitting is akin to judging a car on looks, gadgets, comfort of seats but not on actual drive. And, if the argument is ‘there are too many whiskies for me to swallow them all’ then cherry-pick. It is not humanly possible to taste every whisky bottled (and even JM’s book does not do more than break the ice) therefore, ask for the very best that bottlers, companies have to offer – let them put their best foot forward (as the Malt Maniacs do) rather than attempt every thing and not give them the time they deserve. This is what I think John tries to do and I enjoy the Twitters where you get lots of comments and a real feel (in real time) of what the senses are taking in.

    I was fotunate enough to write a book on whisky and there were times when I spent several hours with whiskies because I kept getting something different. It took me three months to write a few hundred tasting notes (time well spent you might say).

    Just my tuppence with really – but so far I have not been convinced that a proper tasting can be conducted when the whisy has been spat out rather than swallowed.

  32. Whisky Guru says:

    Hello John,

    I have been following your blog for some months here. The discussion on this topic is quite complex here for many reasons. When it comes to whisky it is even more complicated.

    Firstly, what you and Jim doing is tasting and judging whiskies. The scale of your tasting and Jim’s may vary in terms of the nmber of samples tasted per year. Although I am not sure if it is your full time profession, Jim’s whisky bible is what he does for living and he is a whisky writer. It will be impossible for him and even for you to drink these many whiskies in a year.
    But the fundamental difference between you (John and Jim) and the consumers is that your experience in tasting and analysing different samples and the knowledge you gain over a period of time.

    Nosing and tasting in particular to the sensory skills depends on
    a. Your exposure and ability to pick up the aromas. The way how your brain analyze and absorb the aromas. A classic example can be identifying sulphur in a sherry finish. Research suggests that over 60% of the population do not have the ability to pick up sulphur.
    b.Similary, I may not agree with you or Jim’s tasting notes as an end consumer. If I smell Mango in a whisky I do and that his how my brain picks it up.

    c. What is important though is what you are paying for a whisky and what you are getting out of it?

    The reviews and critics are a guide as you rightly said. There is a chance to differ from it. But it can points us in the right direction. I am not a great peat fan. But Amrut Fusion for example is some thing new for me to explore and that is where the reviews help.

  33. John Hansell says:

    David, we’re in the same boat here. I would rather review fewer whiskies, but spend more time with them, than rush through them just to say “been there, done that”.

    We’re going off topic here. Let’s stay on topic. I promise to do a “how do you review whiskies” posting really soon, okay?

  34. Mike says:

    I think it’s really cool that Jim and John have a fair bit different opinions on a few of these whiskies (particularly the Buffalo Trace Experimental- coarse vs. fine grain wood). I’m quite glad that they have somewhat different tastes, because it means when they agree that something is really good, then you best get it while you can (if you can afford it). And if they agree that something sucks, you’d probably be better off getting something else. Where they differ, those are key whiskies for you to try and thereby develop your own taste profile preferences. Exciting times in whisky!

    An earlier poster noted that averaging scores from around 10 independent tasters would be the overall best approach. I whole-heartedly agree! The avg. score and standard deviation (measure of how much variability among tasters) would provide a simple, quick, and likely accurate measure of your own likelihood of enjoying the product. Who might do such a thing? I think it would have a different purpose than the Whisky Bible- maybe picking 25-50 distinct whiskies that represent the range of taste profiles in each of the different major styles (single malt scotch, bourbon, rye, Irish, Canadian, and “other”). While the Whisky Bible is a great reference, it can be a bit daunting to read through several whiskies at one sitting. A nice touch with this new idea would be if each major whisky had an introductory section listing some of the typical components of the taste/nose profile that generally lead to good or bad ratings.

  35. John Hansell says:

    Mike, good points!

  36. B.J. Reed says:

    Mike

    Suggest you look at Scottish Field Challenge because that is exactly what they do and I often use their analysis to pick a few whiskies for my collection.

    http://www.scottishfield.co.uk/statistic/whisky_challenge/

  37. Red_Arremer says:

    Mike, did you know that someone has actually done some linguistic analysis of John’s ratings to figure out what notes correlate with higher and lower ratings? I wasn’t blown away by the research proposal or the methodology, though, and right now I can’t remember anything about the findings except that Bourbons usually rated higher than scotch.

    And another thing Mike– you’re assuming that the notes that reviewers take exhibit a high degree of precision– That a given reviewer consistently reports on the same phenomena with the same phrases or words. There are two problems with this assumption:

    1. This problem is just practical. Aside from a few words, “sulfur” comes to mind, whisky reviewers often do not use the same words to report the same flavors. In trying to capture their whisky experience as a totality they often parse things one way or another. Two whiskies may have some very similar flavors, but one will end up with “…croissant, brown gravy…” and another will end up with”…butter in a frying pan, honey bun…” So even though some aspects of the experiences of the two whiskies may coincide, the notes, on a word for word basis, don’t at all.

    2. This problem is conceptual, but still important: To know that an instrument is precise, one has to know what both what the instrument is analyzing and what the object its analysis is. Whisky reviewers analyze their sensory experiences and report their analyses in notes. We have their notes, but we don’t have their sensory experiences. We have the analysis, but not the object of analysis so we can’t know whether or not the analysis is precise. We can’t know whether a given whisky reviewer regularly uses the same words to report on the same experiences.

    Mike, at the very least, reviewers need to radically standardize their styles and approaches before your frequency analysis method will produce anything of value. Just look at John Hansell, Jim Murray, and Serge Valentin (sp?). They all have different methods and tend to use pretty different vocabularies as well. You’re going to end up looking only at the language they use in common and that’s going to leave out a lot of their best insights and in the end, I don’t think that it would produce something more reliable than any of their accounts individually.

  38. John Hansell says:

    Hi Red, I know that Buffalo Trace did an analysis of my reviews and a couple other people in their quest to make the perfect whiskey. Maybe that’s the anaysis you were thinking of? But the “bourbon usually rating higher than scotch” is news to me. I’d like to see that report if you can find the source.

  39. patrick says:

    how much did the Uigedail scored this year?
    Well, as mentioned several times, whisky is a matter of personal choice. What I found impressive is the number of whiskies tasted over 1 year: about 3 a days. Quite Impressive.

  40. John Hansell says:

    Okay guys. This thread drift to how we evaluate whisky has convinced me that it’s a topic worth its own posting. I’m going to post something up today while it’s on our minds. Post your thoughts over there after I publish it. (And yes, please feel free to just repost your thoughts over there about the subject.) Thanks.

    But please continue offering your thoughts about Jim’s awards for 2010.

  41. [...] my blog postings have lead to drifts in the comment thread to how whiskies are evaluated, including my posting here yesterday on Jim Murray’s “World whisky awards for [...]

  42. Kurt says:

    Since I picked up the no age runner up (Sonnalta PX) and the Redbreast 12yr (thanks to some of the people on this blog), and I absolutely adore both of them, I think I’m going to follow Jim Murray a bit closer. Although you can’t argue about taste, if Jim & I share a similar tastes than I’d love to hear more form him.

  43. Do we really care what a panal of ONE thinks? I don’t. I respect proper pools of thought on whisky such as the Scottish Field Challenge the WB really is a silly form of opinion, proven more so this year.

    Or for that matter the general public!

    I find it very hard to take the WB seriously. In fact is it meant to be considered so.

    Also I thought that some of these were meant to be widely available, Blended Scotch, “The Last Drop” where do you get it, Glendiddich 50 yo, have not tried it, who has, who can disagree.

    Sorry Jim, I won’t bother with this years bible.

  44. Steffen Bräuner says:

    Well this is a huge list of whiskies available

    By reading thru the bible you’ll soon find out if you can relate to his marks or not. If you can I am sure you’ll get some inspiration
    Personally I can’t relate (at all) but I still get inspired. I won’t buy the bible each year, but every 2nd or 3rd it’s well worth it.
    My favourite whisky in 2007 was a 29year Bannf from Cadenhead which received 78points in the bible iirc and I find Cardhu standard at 90points utterly boring nor can I understand how Jameson can recive 95p (or was it 96). Just too many ratings leaves me like a big questionmark

    macdeffe

  45. Red_Arremer says:

    Hey John, just noticed your post so went back to the email where a friend of mine told me about that study amongst other things. It was, in fact, the Bufallo Trace study and my friend’s synopsis implied that your rating bourbons more highly was a finding of that study. I myself have never read the study and if you say that that’s not in it, I’m sure you’re right.

  46. [...] more, check out What Does John Know (and his follow up post), and Whisky Intelligence.  Meanwhile, Edinburgh Whisky uses the Murray [...]

  47. Chap says:

    Just a note to say I really like the way this comment thread played out. I’ve never been that into Murray’s reviews, don’t know why, but perhaps his favorites list indicates that we like different things.

  48. Andy Brown says:

    Not again, I tend to agree with Del. I love Ardbeg and have most of the recent bottings open and drinking but Jim Murray must have shares in the distillery. Supernova is a great whisky but Uigeadail for me is still the best. I know that it is only one persons opinion, but so many people take the Whisky Bible as the last word. Never mind I can guess it will be Corryvreckan next year.

    • Paul R. Potts says:

      Andy, interesting that you should mention Uigeadail v. Supernova. Murray actually rates the Uigeadail a half-point higher than the Supernova in the 2010 Whisky Bible…. but the Supernova still gets a “World Whisky of the Year” and the Uigeadail doesn’t.

      Personally I find that I agree with Jim on most of the whiskies that I’ve tasted — _most_, not all. I think the Uigeadail is fantastic. Jim rates the Arrigh Nam Beist highly too, though, and I don’t like it nearly as much as he does — I find something bitter on the after-taste. I also don’t rate the Caol Ila 12 very highly. I do appreciate when he marks a whisky down, though — I’ve noticed myself that Bunnahabhain 12 is not what it was a while ago, and it is interesting to see him confirm my opinion.

      But it does bring up a technical problem: are we really tasting the same whisky? Distilleries strive to produce consistency but if he and I are not tasting a bottle from the same cask, or from the same vatting of casks, then it is hard to know if what we are tasting is truly the same. Not to mention the effects of aging _after_ bottling.

  49. Dylan says:

    I definitely agree with the Glenglassaugh 40 Years Old, I was lucky enough to try that recently at the Whisky Show in London.

    One of the finest whiskies I’ve had & I got through a few rarities that night!

    At £1400 at bottle, it’s a bit out of most of our price ranges but I seriously recommend you check out the 30yr old which is much more reasonably priced (I think I paid about £80 recently) and is still an outstanding bottle.

  50. Ronan Mc Namara says:

    IMHO 15 year old redbrest beats the 12 year old every time!

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