Scotland’s Whisky River Runs Dry As Japan’s Single Malt Is Named ‘Best In World’

Scotland may be drowning its sorrows in another country’s whisky from now on with the shock news that a single malt from the Far East has been named best in world.

It’s safe to say that if whisky could walk and talk, it’d probably wear a kilt and boast a deep Scottish brogue. Like lochs, tartan, and bagpipes, the old fire water has long been part of Scotland’s cultural identity.

So it must be something of a body blow to wake up one fine bonny morning in the windswept highlands with a raging hangover and a disheveled kilt, only to discover that Japan is now leading the charge when it comes to manufacturing the finest whisky money can buy. Och no Jimmy!

According to Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, Japan’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 is a work of “near incredible genius,” and one which is described as the best tipple in town.

To make matters worse for the Scotch whisky industry, for the first time in history, the 2015 edition of the Whisky Bible features no Scottish distillery in its top five listings.

Just to aggravate the situation even more, the auld enemy England won European Whisky of the Year – the honor going to Chapter 14 Not Peated, from the English Whisky Company.

The Daily Mail reported that Japan’s oldest distillery, established in 1923, produced the winning single malt, which received an impressive 97.5 marks out of 100 from Murray, who praised its “nose of exquisite boldness” and finish of “light, teasing spice.”

In 2012 and 2014, Murray named varieties of Scotch whisky the best in the world, but the connoisseur of the hard stuff believes it’s high-time that Scotland roused itself from its stupor and woke up to the fact that an abundance of high quality overseas whisky manufacturers are making a claim for the throne.

Slamming producers for taking their “eye of the ball,” the whisky lover snarled that the Yamazaki whisky is a single malt which no Scotch can at the moment get anywhere near’.

Like a drunk just gearing up for a square go with the biggest bruiser in the bar, Murray snaps that he has sampled hundreds of Scotch whiskies while tasting 4,700 varieties from around the world for his 2015 bible, but said he remains disappointed at the general product trickling forth from Scotland’s whisky manufacturers.

“Some have taken their eye off the ball and not brought into account the changes which have altered the face of whisky. They began to believe their own PR hype and standard brands started standing still or going backwards.”

Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, may have once eternally romanticized and mythologized Scotch whisky in his 1785 poem Scotch Drink as “thy strong heart’s blood.” but Murray takes a more pragmatic and hard-headed approach and asks the Scotland of 2014 exactly what they are doing to keep the spirt of Burns’s renowned words alive.

“Where were the complex whiskies in the prime of their lives? Where were the blends which offered bewildering layers of depth? Where were the malts which took you on hair-standing journeys through dank and dingy warehouses?”

Who knows! Has anyone thought to ask Shane MacGowan?