Every year since 2003, esteemed whiskey critic Jim Murray has released an extensive guide to the world’s top bottles in his annual “Whiskey Bible.” For enthusiasts and producers alike, the guide’s release is an important event — all eager to learn which bottle will claim top prize as “World Whiskey of the Year.”

For the 2021 edition of Murray’s guide, that prestigious crown belongs to Beam Suntory’s Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye. The Canadian whisky scored an impressive 97.5 points out of 100.

Bottled at 65.1 percent ABV, Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye is made with a 100 percent prairie rye mash bill that contains a mix of malted and unmalted rye.

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye
Credit: Alberta Distillers

“A succulence to the oils, balanced perfectly by ulmo and manuka honeys ensure for the most chewable Canadian mouthful possibly ever and yet this is constantly salivating, from the very first nanosecond,” Murray says of the whisky.

This isn’t the first time Murray has recognized the “nearly perfectly balanced” rye whisky. In 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, he named it Canadian Whiskey of the Year.

“To receive this prestigious accolade is a testament to the team’s dedication and passion for crafting a premium spirit of the highest quality,” Beam Suntory president and CEO Albert Baladi said in a press release. “[It] comes at a time of Canadian whisky resurgence around the world.”

Last year, the top three spots on Murray’s list were claimed by the New Orleans-based Sazerac company, with 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon earning the top prize.

Jim Murray’s 2021 Whiskey Bible features tasting notes from over 4,500 whiskies. It is available for purchase online.