Not only is bourbon domestically popular, the spirit is enjoyed worldwide — so much so that a bourbon was officially named the World Whisky of the Year. The winner of the World Whisky of the Year title in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018 is Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain Bottled in Bond Aged 12 Years, followed by Redbreast 21 Year Old in second place, and Glen Grant 13 Year Old Rare Edition in third. Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible contains these rankings, as well as critiques of more than 4,600 drams. The world champion bourbon is bottled by Buffalo Trace right here at home in Kentucky, and is truly a unique bourbon.
The namesake mash bill is a combination of corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley. Murray gives the bourbon a superb score of 97.5 out of 100, and describes the whiskey as a “slow, slightly oiled, gently spiced chocolate fade, which goes on…and on.” Murray continues his description of the tasting experience, opining, “it was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…”
Scotch Whisky Magazine reports that this is the third consecutive year that a North American whiskey has taken the coveted World Whisky of the Year title. Booker’s Rye 13 Years, 1 Month, 12 Days took the top spot in 2016, and Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye won the title in 2015. Notably, it’s been four years since a Scotch has won 1st place.
Buffalo Trace recently unearthed the remains of Col. Taylor’s distillery, which was destroyed by a fire in 1872. Buffalo Trace now has tours of the distillery, and what it describes as “Bourbon Pompeii.” Mark Brown, president of Buffalo Trace, is pleased with the recognition: “We are beyond excited. The timing could not coincide more perfectly with the recent discovery of Taylor’s original distillery.”