Here’s a quick little rundown in case your grandfather only ever drank Scotch and you’ve confused that with being the only true whisky in the world.
We told you it would be quick.
Scotch, Irish, Japanese, American, European, Bourbon (yes, American whisky and bourbon whisky are technically different), Canadian, Rye – they’re all whiskies. And now, Canada officially has the best in the world.
You see, Jim Murray, of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, the world’s leading whisky guide, has just named Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (made from “near 100% rye grain”) the best world whisky you can buy with an incredible score of 97.5/100. In 13th edition of the Whisky Bible Murray has put out, it’s the first time a Canadian distillery has won the coveted prize. Perhaps just as notable, however, is the absence of any Scotch whisky from his top 5:
Jim Murray’s 2016 World Whiskies of the Year
1. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canada)
2. Pikesville Straight Rye (USA)
3. Midleton Dair Ghaelach (Ireland)
4. William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot.2014)
5. Suntory Yamazaki Mizunara (Bot.2014)
About the Crown Royal Murray had this to say: “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.”
Not a bad review. But it’s not all glory, Murray went on to add this in a press release:
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.
Either way, we know what we’ll be drinking this weekend.