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Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mr_fox » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:24 pm

Malt-Teaser wrote:Personally, I hate giving scores to a whisky and when I read books which do this, I tend to ignore the scores.
What i look for is a good description for each aspect of a whisky and then I will decide upon what I read as to whether I look out for a bottle.


Speaking from a 'beginners' standpoint, the best recommendation I have on hand is usually Jim Murray. I don't have time or (especially) money to sample 1200 whiskies a year, and I DO believe that you can rate the quality of whiskies against each other. So if Jim scores a whisky less than 90 I won't buy it, even if Tescos has it at £8 off. This way I get to try contrasting whiskies which I can be reasonably assured are of high quality.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby bamber » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:19 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
Jimmy321 wrote:I wonder if the PC6 getting 96.5 points will get them moving off the shelfs.

It's enough to make even the most positive people cynical


PC6 is not a great whisky. JM is wrong.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Knolly » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:39 pm

mr_fox wrote:
Speaking from a 'beginners' standpoint, the best recommendation I have on hand is usually Jim Murray. I don't have time or (especially) money to sample 1200 whiskies a year, and I DO believe that you can rate the quality of whiskies against each other. So if Jim scores a whisky less than 90 I won't buy it, even if Tescos has it at £8 off. This way I get to try contrasting whiskies which I can be reasonably assured are of high quality.


I know where you're coming from, but I'll be the first to say that i've been badly burned by this game.

I bought my first half dozen bottles based purely on reviews (mainly from Michael Jackson's book - before I had Murray's). What I ended up with was:

Oban Distiller's Edition: yuck.
I discovered that everyone in the world loves highland Park 18 - apart from me.
Bowmore Darkest: perhaps was good, but I got the French whore perfume bottle
Old Pulteny is definitely not my style

It's amazing that I kept going: Lagavulin 16 made sure of that.

the guides are a great tool to get started, but spend your money at a bar first, before buying the bottle if you're concerned about costs. You'll find out what you like, what you're ambivalent towards and what you don't enjoy. Everyone's different and while we can all rate a whisky better or worse than another one, you might find that one that you like a lot might only rank in the high 70's or 80's in his book (Laphroaig 15 is my example: JM gives it a paltry 79 and I absolutely love it). While I really like Ardbeg Ten, i would rate it mid to high 80s, but no where near as high as he does.

I think that these forums offer a really good source of information for many bottles.

Also, the Malt Maniacs site's Whisky Monitor is a great resource as well, as common whiskies are usually reviewed by many contributors which helps round out the numbers.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby -arsH » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:53 pm

bamber wrote:
Willie JJ wrote:
Jimmy321 wrote:I wonder if the PC6 getting 96.5 points will get them moving off the shelfs.

It's enough to make even the most positive people cynical


PC6 is not a great whisky. JM is wrong.


..... what about the World Whisky of the Year, Ardbeg Uigeadail for Canada?

Any Canadians who can confirm that there has been a special bottling of Uigeadail for Canada at 52,3% ABV? The Glenmorangie Plc can not....
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby bamber » Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:54 pm

Collector57 wrote:
bamber wrote:PC6 is not a great whisky. JM is wrong.

Horses for courses though. It may not be to your taste, but others may think it's fantastic (i.e. Jim may not be alone!).

For me, I haven't tasted it and can't comment. But I did notice someone say that Jura 10 was a great everyday whisky. I see nothing in it. Our tastes differ, is all.

Having said that, from what I've read other than in JM, I won't be buying a bottle of PC6!


I've heard people speak highly or Jura 10 also. They tend to stick together though and only emerge at night :)

To be fare I've only had PC6 a couple of times at the whisky bar across the road from where I work. I did give it some proper attention though.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:43 pm

Knolly wrote:I know where you're coming from, but I'll be the first to say that i've been badly burned by this game.

Knolly -the scores aren't everything. You first need to find a writer who seems to share your palate. Once you have done that, you can find common ground on scores and tasting notes. Then read the tasting notes as well as look at the scores, and you might find you've got a useful guide. As people say, unless you can taste 1200 whiskies yourself before making a purchase, it's helpful to read the thoughts of someone who has done the legwork for you.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Aidan » Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:21 pm

Same here. I go a lot by what Jim Murray says, even if I think some are bizarre. I wouldn't go by what Serge or the Maltmaniacs say, really. No disrespect meant to them.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby I_SPEY » Tue Nov 04, 2008 5:33 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
Jimmy321 wrote:I wonder if the PC6 getting 96.5 points will get them moving off the shelfs.

It's enough to make even the most positive people cynical


Hi Willie,

I think, you're meaning to say:
It's enough to make even the most cynical people positive :wink:

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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mr_fox » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:05 pm

Thanks for the responses and helpful hints. I gather that Jim reviews the quality of the whisky, rather rating it against his personal favourite smells/tastes. So I may end up with whiskies that I don't like the taste of but I've lessened the risk of buying a complete dud by going on Jim's scores.

Nice idea to try before you buy (in a bar) but I don't have anywhere up to the job where I live. Different story for those in cities or Scotland (where even Wetherspoons has a good whisky selection).
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:23 pm

Jimmy321 wrote: I wonder if the PC6 getting 96.5 points will get them moving off the shelfs.

No i think this was to stop me ribbing Jim McEwan about me having the highest scoring PC in the Whisky Bible ! :lol: :P
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby corbuso » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:02 pm

mr_fox wrote:
Speaking from a 'beginners' standpoint, the best recommendation I have on hand is usually Jim Murray. I don't have time or (especially) money to sample 1200 whiskies a year, and I DO believe that you can rate the quality of whiskies against each other. So if Jim scores a whisky less than 90 I won't buy it, even if Tescos has it at £8 off. This way I get to try contrasting whiskies which I can be reasonably assured are of high quality.


I do agree with the comments of others. Selecting a whisky only on Jim Murray score, you will less a lot of excellent whiskies and you might be disappointed by some.

I did also bought in the past some bottles according to JM scoring, but not anymore. My main complain with JM book is that is more a list of score than real tasting notes. When you read JM tasting notes, do you know how the whisky might taste?
JM is a nice to have book, but don't hesitate to taste the whiskies in your shop if you can, ask questions on this forum and check other sources (tasting notes on the web) to make your opinion.

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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Knolly » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:01 am

Nick Brown wrote:
Knolly wrote:I know where you're coming from, but I'll be the first to say that i've been badly burned by this game.

Knolly -the scores aren't everything. You first need to find a writer who seems to share your palate. Once you have done that, you can find common ground on scores and tasting notes. Then read the tasting notes as well as look at the scores, and you might find you've got a useful guide. As people say, unless you can taste 1200 whiskies yourself before making a purchase, it's helpful to read the thoughts of someone who has done the legwork for you.



Hey Nick: I totally agree - sorry, i should have added "when I was starting out...". That was the point that i was trying to make, is that when I was starting out, I bought several bottles simply based on reviews and ended up spending a bunch of money on bottles that I wasn't (and still am not) blown away with. So, tasting really makes all the difference and finding a half decent whisky bar (or some well stocked friends!) will be a good investment when getting a personal collection started up.

Again, I agree too on finding a reviewer that you seem to agree with, but people's tastes are different, so you have to take their reviews with a grain of salt.

Now I pretty much know what I like and what I don't for the majority of mainstream whiskies out there, but every once in a while I find something pretty new or unique or be surprised by a distillery that I don't generally care for (or be disappointed in one that I really like - Blasda comes to mind...). I've also found that now that I have a pretty good understanding of the main stream bottles, that I've moved on to single cask or IB bottles, which I think is the natural progression for all of us that become whisky geeks!

Cheers!
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Knolly » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:09 am

-arsH wrote:
..... what about the World Whisky of the Year, Ardbeg Uigeadail for Canada?

Any Canadians who can confirm that there has been a special bottling of Uigeadail for Canada at 52,3% ABV? The Glenmorangie Plc can not....


I'm from Vancouver and this is what the BC Liquor Distribution Branch is showing:

http://www.bcliquorstores.com/en/products/202028

Now, I'm going to drop by the store and see if the ABV is 54.2 or 52.3%!

Cheers!

Noel
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:49 pm

mr_fox wrote:I gather that Jim reviews the quality of the whisky, rather rating it against his personal favourite smells/tastes.

That's the theory. In practice, quality of whisky is a subjective thing and you will always judge it against the backdrop of your personal tastes and preferences.

Upthread, I criticized JM for giving high scores to whiskies from his favourite distilleries. He replied, quite reasonably, that of course he did - they were his favourite distilleries because they produced whisky that scored highly. But this does seem, at least, to acknowledge that subjectivity comes into it.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby John McGill » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:26 pm

Ardbeg updated their website this afternoon and they are now throwing in a free copy of the Whisky Bible 2009 with every bottle of Uigeadail purchased during November.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mr_fox » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:40 pm

So does this mean that Ardbeg/Glenmo are going to start flagging all Uig bottles as 'World Whisky of the Year'???? Wish Jim would post here again to clarify the Uig entries.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby John McGill » Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:44 pm

mr_fox wrote:So does this mean that Ardbeg/Glenmo are going to start flagging all Uig bottles as 'World Whisky of the Year'????


Yes, the description of Uigeadail now reads:

A fine drop of Ardbeg bottled at cask strength.It`s an earthy whisky with a bit of spice - a marriage of Ardbeg from bourbon barrel and sherry butt which gives a sweet and smokey finish to this malt at 54.2%. Uigeadail is the loch from which all Ardbeg water flows and you can suck up the Islay landscape with a dram of this fine whisky. Winner of World Whisky of The Year title in Jim Murray`s 2009 Whisky Bible.When you buy a bottle of Uigeadail in November you will receive a free copy of The Bible 2009.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mlawrenson » Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:13 pm

Got my copy today. Glad to see the rating for Tobermory 10. I thought it was just me.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby lohssanami » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:53 am

lawschooldrunk wrote:
John McGill wrote:
Yes, the description of Uigeadail now reads:

When you buy a bottle of Uigeadail in November you will receive a free copy of The Bible 2009.



where? which venues? who is offering this?


You might check some of your local spirits shops. Beltramos in the Bay Area gave out free Whisky Bible's earlier this year for a short time to honor the A10. Maybe it will happen again this year for the Uigeadail at some shops.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby cathach » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:53 pm

Collector57 wrote:Serge finds even more aromas and flavours than Jim, and some of them even more esoteric!



Well that's grand but him and the other malt maniacs don't have much time for Irish SM or blend or pot still. They havn't a great grá for anything outside Islay either!

So they're too one-sided for a generalist like myself
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:48 am

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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby -arsH » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:56 am

But... it must have been a cask sample for Canada at 52,3% ABV, that won the WWotY, not the ordinary Uigeadail at 54,2% ABV...... :?
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby les taylor » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:34 am

butephoto wrote:It's made the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7718735.stm



That story also made the 9 o'clock news on Talk Sport this morning. Next stop the world.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:08 pm

-arsH wrote:But... it must have been a cask sample for Canada at 52,3% ABV, that won the WWotY, not the ordinary Uigeadail at 54,2% ABV...... :?

Indeed - but JM seems happy for LVMH to claim the award for Uigeadail in general, judging by his warm words on the wireless this morning alongside Rachel Barrie.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby -arsH » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:26 pm

Nick Brown wrote:Indeed - but JM seems happy for LVMH to claim the award for Uigeadail in general, judging by his warm words on the wireless this morning alongside Rachel Barrie.


OK... :o What about all the other whiskies above 89p (Ardbeg Uigeadail 89 p) ?
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mr_fox » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:39 pm

Indeed. Shame JM left in the old entry for Uig which, since it has no circles or diamonds, hasn't been retasted for this edition. Presumably someone at Ardbeg/Glenmo has put out a 'yippee we won' press release without clarifying the actual award!
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby mr_fox » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:43 pm

Thanks to Jotter for posting the Glenmorangie press release at http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10112.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Wendy » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:09 am

Hello Everyone,
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.
Cheers,
Wendy

**********************
Press Release:

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.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:37 am

So most of us may never get to taste this mystery Oogie that has taken the prize for highest scoring whisky ever?

Do I care? Seems there's a wee bit of skullduggery going on, but I have loved every drop of "bog standard" Oogie i've tasted - a cut above the ten even...AND owned a few.

At the last WL I eagerly tried the Renaissance..and then for old time's sake, an Oogie. (It was offered, so who am i to say no to an Ardbeg?!?)

I have to say, I preferred the Oogie, and since I missed the Bible last year, and intend to get one this year, the current Ardbeg deal looks good to me...even if it ain't THE Oogie!
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby -arsH » Wed Nov 12, 2008 8:50 am

Still talking about two different bottlings of Uigeadail?

I thought Jim Murray would say something about Ardbeg using his award on a bottling that just got 89p....
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby bamber » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:16 am

Reggaeblues wrote:So most of us may never get to taste this mystery Oogie that has taken the prize for highest scoring whisky ever?

Do I care? Seems there's a wee bit of skullduggery going on, but I have loved every drop of "bog standard" Oogie i've tasted - a cut above the ten even...AND owned a few.


E's having a bubble. Was it last year some random blend - Old Parr ? got 97 points, but it was only available in some airport in Dubai.

Still, his book's well worth the money, I always get it and his tasting notes really talk to me, but his scores get more ridiculous every year.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby maltinthemouth » Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:42 am

Congratulations on another fantastic release Jim. The release of the Bible is always one of the highlights of my year and this one was well worth the wait.
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Aidan » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:25 am

So does the whisky of the year actually exist? Has anyone ever seen it?
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:53 am

The Ardbeg rating is nothing to get too excited about really ... does not really compare to 'World's best Distillery' as awarded by the IWSC to Cooley which undoubtedly is a more reliable award :wink: :P :D
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Re: Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:16 pm

aaaah! Irish wisdom! you can't put price(or a score) on that!
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