For the third year in a row, the Whisky Bible has named a whiskey from North America as the best whisky of the year.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2018, the 15th edition of the celebrated whisky expert’s annual guide, named Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain Bottled in Bond Aged 12 Years as its world Whisky of the Year.

Last year, it was Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old that took the accolade, with Canada’s Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye winning in 2015. The last time a Scotch whisky won was in 2013, when Glenmorangie Ealanta took the honour.

Murray scored the winning bourbon a remarkable 97.5 out of 100, hailing its “sheer undiluted beauty”.

Describing its finish as a “slow, lightly oiled, gently spiced chocolate fade which goes on… and on, he added that “nothing could match the astonishing beauty of its surprisingly delicate weight and complexity combined. It was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…”.

Whisky Bible 2018 is the 15th edition of the annual whisky guide. Photo: whiskybible.com

Whisky Bible 2018 is the 15th edition of the annual whisky guide. Photo: whiskybible.com

Produced by Kentucky-based Buffalo Trace Distillery, the bottling is the ninth release in a series made to honour past distillery owner, Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr.

A statement on the Whisky Bible official website states that the unique bottling “gives a nod to the four grains – corn, rye, wheat and malted barley – that the legendary bourbon pioneer worked with back in the 19th century”.

Coming in second was Redbreast Aged 21 Years, marking the highest rank an Irish whiskey has ever achieved in Whisky Bible’s history.

In third place, and keeping the Scotch flag flying high, is Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition, which finished second last year.

Other winners from the book include Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky (Japanese Whisky Of The Year), India’s Paul John Kanya (Asian Whisky Of The Year), Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); and Limeburner’s Dark Winter (Southern Hemisphere).

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky was named Whisky Bible's Japanese whisky of the year. Photo: TWE Sdn Bhd.

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky was named Whisky Bible’s Japanese whisky of the year. Photo: TWE Sdn Bhd.