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Monday, December 18, 2006

The Whisky Bible: Blended Scotch is the Holy Grail

Single Malt Scotch gets most of the drinks media's attention when it comes to whisky from the United Kingdom. They tend to be heavily promoted by distilleries and they come with higher price tags than most blends. Single Malts are perceived as the art and craft of the distilling world. Now a world renowned Scotch expert has stirred up the Scotch universe by naming a blend as his Whisky of the Year for the first time ever.

Jim Murray, the author of the Complete Book of Whiskey and Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, has named Old Parr Superior 18 Year Old as Whisky of the Year. He awarded the blend bottled by MacDonald Greenlees Distillers and marketed by Diageo a 97 out of 100 points in the new edition of the Whisky Bible, matching the highest point total ever awarded by Murray.

Much of the Old Parr Superior production is sold in Asia and through duty free stores, meaning that it may be hard for average Scotch fans to locate. Murray named White Horse 12 Years Old as the Blended Scotch Whisky of the Year and Brora 30-years-old Fourth Release as the Single Malt Whisky of the Year.

Blended Scotch can be a very satisfying drink. Master blenders often use more than a dozen malts to create a blend. Turning out a great blend may indeed be more difficult in some ways than hitting the jackpot with a great Single Malt. I've never tasted the Old Parr Superior, but you can bet that I will keep a eye open for it during my travels.

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