Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009
I am pasting below the official press release from Dram Good Books (DGB) which was released simultaneously as the Ardbeg press release. Jim does not have the same PR clout that Ardbeg has, but an informative read all the same! The DGB press release answeres some of the questions regarding Jim Murray's position on Uigeadail.
Ardbeg Makes it a Double by Winning Whisky Bible 2009 World Whisky of the Year
The tiny Hedridean distillery of Ardbeg has again produced the world's very best whisky, according to Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009 published today (Mon).
Ardbeg became the first Scotch single malt whisky to be named the Bible's World Whisky of the Year last year with their 10-year-old. For the latest edition they have come up trumps again, only this time with the more powerful and rarer Ardbeg Uigeadail.
The distillery, which is located on Islay, has only two stills and dates back to 1815. It pipped a Japanese malt for top spot as the leading international whisky authority Jim Murray tasted no fewer than 1,227 new whiskies and re-tasted another 350 more for his latest annual publication.
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009 contains a staggering 3,850 tasting notes of all the world's whiskies, with well over half of them tasted by Murray in the last 18 months alone. It is regarded as by far the most influential and up-to-date book on the subject in the world and is an international bestseller.
Murray admitted that he was actually surprised by the whisky, even though he has long rated Ardbeg the finest of the world's distilleries. "Whether it is the best distillery or not, there are always other whiskies out there able to topple it with a sublime bottling: reputation alone cannot guarantee this accolade.
"I had never rated Uigeadail anything like the best of the Ardbeg range. It is a mixture of very old and much newer whiskies from the distillery and in the past I don't think they had got the balance quite right. But in Vancouver I discovered a bottling of it which had been earmarked for the Canadian market and was completely blown away. I awarded it 97.5 points out of 100, the highest I have ever given. It did everything you could possibly ask of it - and a whole lot more.
"Now I think the guys at Ardbeg are trying to discover what made this particular bottling so special so they can try and keep that standard going! But I think they'll have their work cut out."
And he gave the award of top Blended Scotch to the newly released "Last Drop," which Murray describes in the Bible as "a freak whisky at its very peak." The blend was put away in warehouse in 1960 but the barrels which contained it lay completely forgotten until being discovered last year. Each bottle costs £1,000 but there are only 1,347 of them and it can never be repeated. By contrast, Ballantines Finest, which was named Standard Scotch Blend of the Year, costs only a fraction of that.
Said Murray: "Because of the corn-based grain whisky used in the Last Drop blend, all these years in the barrel have made it taste nearer bourbon whisky than Scotch. So no doubt some purists will not be too happy with the award. But class is class whatever the style, and this just oozes it and shows not a single blemish for all its enormous age."
Elsewhere two lost Scottish distilleries also won awards. Best New Single Malt of the Year (single barrel) went to Rarest of the Rare Glenlochy 1980 whilst Best Single Malt of the Year aged 25 to 39 was Rosebank 25-years-old. Glenlochy closed in 1983 while Rosebank ceased production ten years later.