Whisky Focus - Jim Murray’s The Whisky Bible 2010 World Whisky Awards 2010 Winners

Whisky Bible 2010 World Whisky Awards

5th October 2009
Jim Murray’s World Whisky Awards 2010.

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 7717 (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 Glendcadem 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 Years & 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)


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


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

New In The 2010 Whisky Bible

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.

Where To Buy The Whisky Bible 2010

The Whisky Bible is published by Dram Good Books and is available from:

Copies signed by the author Jim Murray can be obtained from www.whiskybible.com  for only £10.99

Available from Amazon for £7.14 with free delivery.

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