New York, NY (October 27, 2010) -- A blended scotch whisky has swept aside all single malt rivals to take the prestigious Jim Murray's Whisky Bible Award for 2011.
Ballantine's 17 Year Old has topped all other whiskies in this year's publication, which includes 4,500 different brands - of which over 1,000 new entries were tasted by Jim Murray in six months.
Speaking at the publication of the Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2011 Jim Murray said, "Blends are seen by many as the poor relations to single malts. Ballantine's 17 proves, quite spectacularly, what many of us have known for a great many years: it isn't. A blender has the chance to create something unique and quite beautiful by putting together many whisky styles. With Ballantine's 17, the blender has done his job in glorious, quite majestic fashion."
Giving the blend 97.5 points out of 100, Jim Murray describes the whisky as "one of the most beautiful, complex and stunningly structured whiskies ever created."
Conducted over a four-month period, whilst writing the 2011 Whisky Bible, Jim Murray tasted in excess of 1000 whiskies to reach his final decision. In the end, it was a Scotch blend which scored highly in previous editions which took the top prize.
Wayne Hartunian, VP Whiskies for Pernod Ricard USA commented, “It is a great honor for Ballantine’s 17 Year Old to receive Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Award, arguably the most coveted annual award in the whisky industry. Ballantine’s Blended Scotch Whisky is a brand with great history and tradition. Ballantine’s Finest is the fastest growing standard Scotch brand in the US (+6.1% between 2005 and 2009*), and there is still much opportunity to expand the portfolio in the US and continue to grow the Ballantine’s brand. Receiving this acknowledgement will be instrumental in taking this great brand to the next level.”
Added Jim: "Ballantine's 17 Year Old has always been one of the world's premier whiskies: its consistency over the years has been quite remarkable. But this year it just progressed that extra notch to leave all other whiskies in its shadow. This currently marks the epitome of great blending, indeed, great whisky: nowhere else can you find balance, texture, and content come together in such a sensual, graceful way. It really is the nectar of the gods, except even they might struggle to get to the bottom of its labyrinthine complexity."