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Scotland Loses World's Best Whisky Title to Japan

It also lost the best European whisky title to a distillery from England.


Scotland no longer makes the best whisky in the world. According to the Independent, Whisky expert Jim Murray — who runs the Whisky Bible competition — crowned a Japanese single malt as "the best whisky in the world." Many consider the Whisky Bible to be the definitive ranking for the industry.

To add insult to injury, not only did the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 win the competition, but it's the first time in the competition's 12-year history that a Scottish malt has "failed to make the top five drams." The bad news did not stop there: The best European whisky was awarded to an English producer.

Murray notes that the outcome is a "wake-up call" for Scottish distilleries, adding that the Japanese whisky is a "single malt which no Scotch can at the moment get anywhere near." Murray also pointed out that "Scottish distilleries were in danger of churning out drab or mediocre malts" and that it was time for "a little dose of humility" to fix the problem. Perhaps Scottish distillers should spend less time launching their bottles into space and more time on filling the bottle with a better product.

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