Japan whisky named world's best as Scotch falls behind
A JAPANESE single malt whisky was named the world's best for the first time by a prestigious guide, which failed to place a Scotch in its top ranking.
The Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 was described as "thick, dry, as rounded as a snooker ball" by Jim Murray's Whisky Bible, which awarded it a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100.
Three bourbons from the United States took second, third and fourth places: William Larue Weller, Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old and Four Roses.
Whisky has been made commercially in Japan since the 1920s, after a Japanese student who had studied in Glasgow, Masataka Taketsuru, moved back home with his Scottish wife and helped start the Yamazaki distillery near Kyoto.
Yamazaki's maker, Japan's Suntory Holdings, bought the US maker of Jim Beam bourbon for nearly US$16 billion (S$21 billion) earlier this year.
Mr Murray said in his editorial for the guide, released on Monday, that it was time for Scotch whisky distilleries to stop resting on their laurels.
"Where were the complex whiskies in the prime of their lives? Where were the blends which offered bewildering layers of depth?" he wrote.
"It is time for a little dose of humility...to get back to basics. To realise that something is missing."