Famed Whisky expert Jim Murray has given top honors to Alberta Premium Cask Strength in his Whisky Bible 2021, naming it World Whisky of the Year – the first time it has won the coveted top prize. The Canadian Rye Whisky from Alberta Distillers sources its water from the Rocky Mountains.
Made from a mix of malted and unmalted rye, Alberta Premium Cask Strength weighs in at a massive 65.1% abv and scores 97.5 points out of a 100.
The last time a Canadian won World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible police in Toronto were called as drinkers fought over the last bottles still on the shelf.
After sweeping the board in 2020 with a unique 1-2-3, Kentucky distiller the Sazerac Company has to settle for the runner-up spot in 2021 with the “mind-blowing” Stagg Jr Barrel Proof, another bourbon out of the Buffalo Trace stable, boasting a finish of “cocoa, dark liquorice and so much toastiness”.
But the most eye-catching podium entry of all is Mithuna, from the Paul John distillery in the tiny Indian state of Goa – the first time a South Asian whisky has taken a top three gong in more than a decade.
Jim Murray says sampling its sensational chocolate-and-spices complexity is: “Like after you have just made love…and you are unable to speak or move while your senses get back into some kind of normality”.
The renowned and influential whisky writer tasted 1,252 new drams for the 2021 edition of the Whisky Bible.
Speyside classic Glen Grant takes Scotch Whisky of the Year for its Aged 15 Years Batch Strength 1st Edition with Jim Murray praising the Moray distillery’s “extraordinary and unique charm”.
Other sectional winners include: Ballantine’s 30 Year Old (Blended Scotch); Annandale (Scotch 10 Years & Under); Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy (Irish); Thomas H Handy Sazerac (American Rye); Nikka Whisky Single Malt Yoichi Apple Brandy Wood Finish (Japanese); PUNI Aura Italian Single Malt (European).