Whisky Magazine Issue 16
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Why the best of the best? We have tasted our way through over 300 whiskies in the last couple of years. However, we have relied almost exclusively on two very authoritative palates. I felt it would be of enormous interest to take a selection of the highest scoring of these whiskies, divide them into flights and to have them re-tasted on three continents by the people who actually make the stuff. Not all the tasters were from the production side. We involved specialist retailers and journalists as well. The panel of tasters virtually reads like a Who's Who of the whisky industry today. The results (which start on page 56) make fascinating reading. The overall success of the event will ensure we repeat it. Of course, differences in scoring expose national characteristics (real or imagined) very clearly. The tasting in Edinburgh showed the natural diffidence and convivial nature of the British mentality. An exhausting tasting was followed by a trip to the pub. There was very little difference in the scores given to indigenous or overseas whiskies. In Kentucky, the assembled party only just stopped short of chanting ‘USA, USA, USA' when delivered a flight of bourbons. Their innate competitive nature was displayed by a propensity to score bourbons notably higher than other whiskies.
The inscrutability of the Japanese tasters was demonstrated by their ability as a group to award any given whisky as many 5s as 10s.
It is worth repeating that this is not a definitive list of the...