takes top honour in Jim Murray's 2011
Whisky Bible World Whisky Awards.
blended scotch whisky has swept aside
all single malt rivals to take the
prestigious Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible
Award for 2011.
Ballantine’s 17 year old has topped all
other whiskies in this year’s
publication, which includes 4,500
different brands – of which over 1,000
new entries were tasted by Jim Murray in
Single malt scotch, often a whisky
preferred by whisky lovers, failed also
to take either the runner’s up or third
spot. Second place went to Thomas H
Handy Sazerac Rye (129 proof) ahead of
William Larue Weller (134.8 proof), both
from the same distillery: Buffalo Trace.
Speaking at the publication of the Jim
Murray’s Whisky Bible 2011 Jim Murray
said, "Blends are seen by many as the
poor relations to single malts.
Ballantine’s 17 proves, quite
spectacularly, what many of us have
known for a great many years: it isn’t.
A blender has the chance to create
something unique and quite beautiful by
putting together many whisky styles.
With Ballantine’s 17, the blender has
done his job in glorious, quite majestic
Giving the blend 97.5 points out of 100,
Jim Murray describes the whisky as “one
of the most beautiful, complex and
stunningly structured whiskies ever
And in another boost for unsung
whiskies, the own label Irish whiskey
from Sainsbury’s Dún Léire Aged 8 Years
Single Malt, won Irish Whiskey of the
Year, the first time a supermarket brand
has gained top country honours in The
Whisky Bible. Produced by the Cooley
Distillery for Sainsbury’s Jim Murray
said, "this is Cooley at its best and a
very astute and masterful piece of
Last year, the World Whisky Award went
to Sazerac 18-year-old Kentucky rye.
This year, younger sibling Thomas H
Handy Sazerac Rye (129 proof) secured
second place, whilst William Larue
Weller (134.8 proof), a bourbon, came
third. Both brands herald from last
years World whisky winner Buffalo Trace
Conducted over a four month period,
whilst writing the 2011 Whisky Bible,
Jim Murray tasted in excess of 1000
whiskies to reach his final decision.
In the end, it was a Scotch blend which
scored highly in previous editions which
took the top prize.
Added Jim: "Ballantine’s 17-years-old
has always been one of the world’s
premier whiskies: its consistency over
the years has been quite remarkable. But
this year it just progressed that extra
notch to leave all other whiskies in its
shadow. This currently marks the epitome
of great blending, indeed, great whisky:
nowhere else can you find balance,
texture, and content come together in
such a sensual, graceful way. It really
is the nectar of the gods, except even
they might struggle to get to the bottom
of its labyrinthine complexity. It
needed something out of this world to
see off the two Buffalo Trace
whiskeys…and this was it."
Of the Buffalo Trace brands Jim Murray
said, "Having tasted and been
overwhelmed by both whiskeys at the
Buffalo Trace early this year, tasting
them again in the confounds of UK based
tasting room, devoid of the romance of
the distillery and in the wake of some
tough competition was a tough challenge
for these two newcomers" said Murray.
"But wow how they delivered. These are
two of the best American whiskies the
best I have ever tasted and for very