Getty ImagesJeff J Mitchell
For the third year in a row, the best whiskey in the world is American by one measurement. Pour another glass and let freedom ring.
Every year for the past 15 years, a man named Jim Murray has released a “Whisky Bible” that ranks his faves. He considered over 4,600 types of whiskies for this edition, which sounds like a fun job, and his picks are important in the whiskey world. According to his tasting palate, the 2019 World Whisky of the Year is William Larue Weller 128.2 Proof, part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017, per the Whisky Exchange. It’s a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, barreled in 2005 and bottled in 2017. Its tasting notes include “marshmallow, salted almonds, nougat, figs, and dates.” It smells of “caramel corn, new leather, plums, light toffee, and pipe tobacco.”
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It’s also sold out, which is a bummer.
This marks the third year in a row that Murray has picked an American whiskey as the best in the world. For 2018 he chose Buffalo Trace’s small batch release Colonel EH Taylor Four Grain. In 2017 it was Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old, a Kentucky straight rye whiskey. But in 2016, the top prize went to Canada’s Crown Royale Northern Harvest Rye—the horror! Previous years saw Japanese and Scottish winners.
In second place this year was Glen Grant 18 Year Old from Scotland. In third was another Buffalo Trace whiskey, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 2011, a Kentucky straight rye whiskey.
All said, this is one guy’s opinion. (He has a full white beard, if that makes it feel more official.) But if it helps you sell yourself as a whiskey connoisseur at the bar next Friday, or win debates with all your Scottish and Canadian friends, then by all means, study up. Or just enjoy your Jack Daniels in peace.