Every year, whisky expert Jim Murray tries thousands of whiskies from around the world, rates them, and compiles the entire list in his best-selling Whisky Bible.

Out of those thousands of whiskies, the one he rates the highest is crowned “Whisky Of The Year” in the book.

In 2015, Murray named a Japanese whisky (Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013) as his top tipple, and last year, he named a Canadian rye whisky (Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye).

After tasting more than 4,600 for the recently released 2017 edition of the Whisky Bible, Murray decided that this year’s Whisky Of The Year is Booker’s 13 Year Old Rye (Big Time Batch), an American rye whiskey that contains a whopping 68.1% ABV.

In the book, Murray describes the whiskey as “simply a staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whiskey actually means”.

While this is the third year in a row that he has named a whisky that is not from the traditional whisky lands of Scotland, all is not lost for Scotch – the Glen Grant 18 Year Old Rare Edition was named in second place, the first time a Scotch whisky has featured in the top three since 2014.

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible is one of the most popular whisky-related books in the world.

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible is one of the most popular whisky-related books in the world.

William Larue Weller, a bourbon by Buffalo Trace Distillery, was in third place.

Whatever you think of Murray’s often controversial awards, there is no doubting the effect the Whisky Bible has on the industry. His naming of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 as his Whisky Of The Year in 2015 caused a massive stir within the industry, and probably helped raise the profile of Japanese whisky on a global scale. Whether it will do the same for Booker’s remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be hard to find a bottle of it now.

Here is full list of awards given by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017:

Whisky Of The Year:

1. Booker’s 13 Year Old Rye (Big Time Batch)

2. Glen Grant 18 Year Old Rare Edition

3. William Larue Weller (2015 Release)

Scotch Whisky categories

Scotch Whisky of the Year: Glen Grant 18 Year Old Rare Edition

Single Malt (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant 18 Year Old Rare Edition

The Glen Grant 18YO was named in second place of the Whisky Bibles Whisky Of the Year. Photo: The Star/P. Nathan

The Glen Grant 18YO was named in second place of the Whisky Bibles Whisky Of the Year. Photo: The Star/P. Nathan

Single Malt (Single Cask): Macallan 25 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

Scotch Blend: The Last Drop 1971

Scotch Grain: Invergordon 24 Year Old – Whiskyjace

Scotch Vatted Malt: Compass Box Flaming Heart 15th Anniversary

Regional categories

Canadian Whiskey: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

European Whisky: English Whisky Co. Chapter 14

Irish Whiskey: Redbreast Aged 21 Year Old

Japanese Whisky: Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016