Ballantine’s 17 Year Old has beaten all competition, including 4,500 different brands, to take the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Award for 2011.
Second place went to Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye (129 proof) ahead of William Larue Weller (134.8 proof), both from the same distillery Buffalo Trace.
Jim is obviously a busy and thirsty man, having tasted over 1,000 new entries in six months! Speaking at the publication of his new Whisky Bible 2011 he said,
“Blends are seen by many as the poor relations to single malts. Ballantine’s 17 proves, quite spectacularly, what many of us have known for a great many years: it isn’t. A blender has the chance to create something unique and quite beautiful by putting together many whisky styles. With Ballantine’s 17, the blender has done his job in glorious, quite majestic fashion… This currently marks the epitome of great blending, indeed, great whisky: nowhere else can you find balance, texture, and content come together in such a sensual, graceful way.”
Also describing the whisky as “one of the most beautiful, complex and stunningly structured whiskies ever created”, he awarded it a 97.5% score.
The award is fairly well recognised and Ballantine’s success has been mentioned on blogs and news sites throughout the world. Like this one, which also uses the brand’s language of ‘leave an impression’.