On this week's WhiskyCast, Martine Nouet said she would not be cowed by the Paris terrorist attacks because "we have to go on living as we do, and these people want us to change our life."
I wish I could be in Oostende, Belgium this weekend, where the Lindores Whisky Society will go forward with the final edition of the Lindores Whiskyfest despite the ongoing terror alert in Belgium. To those of you who will be there...raise a dram to each other with one hand and a middle finger to the terrorists!
November 24, 2015 – As all of Belgium remains under high alert while police and soldiers warn of a possible terrorist attack, a group of dedicated whisky lovers still plans to gather in Ooste…
Thought this might be the best place for a bit of commentary on the "World Whisky of the Year" announcement from Jim Murray the other day. In this week's episode, I wanted to cover the Canadian reaction to his selection of Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, especially since I was in Canada as the announcement was being made.
Will his selection draw attention to Canadian whisky? Most certainly...but don't take it as a sudden "discovery" of the overall quality of many Canadian whiskies. Those of us who have had the chance to try many different Canadian whiskies over the years have been duly impressed with their quality and overall value.
I've tried Northern Harvest Rye and have received two bottles of it (one as a sample for evaluation, and one at a Crown Royal press tasting in New York), and scored it 88 points. Is it the best whisky in the world this year? In my opinion, it's not even the best Crown Royal release in recent months. That honor would go to the Crown Royal Hand Selected Single Barrel Coffey Rye bottling selected by my friend and colleague Davin de Kergommeaux (91 points).
Scoring whiskies is a subjective art at best, and please don't take any one person's scores into account when deciding on a whisky. We're all entitled to our own opinions, and as I have noted on the tasting notes page at the WhiskyCast web site for many years, my scores and tasting notes are my own academic exercise - and your own experience with that same whisky may be quite different.
Jim Murray's job is to sell books, and it should come as no surprise that his news release with the announcement came out just as the book was about to be published. There's no doubt that a bit of controversy helps sell books...and making his announcement once he'd finished his tastings for the 2016 edition just wouldn't generate the same buzz. There's enough controversy in our world today without arguing over what is or isn't the "best whisky in the world." I like the line Alan Winchester of The Glenlivet used this past weekend in New Brunswick when asked about his favorite whisky...
"It's the one in my glass..."
That, my friends...is the best whisky in the world. Treat each dram with respect, and you'll rarely be disappointed.