The World's Best Whiskey Is from Japan

Scottish distilleries are in shock

Nov 4, 2014
Outside Magazine

Suntory is Japan's oldest whiskey distillery.    Norio NAKAYAMA/Flickr

The 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, a highly regarded ranking of the world’s whiskies, has named Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 the best whiskey in the world, according to a report in the Telegraph.

The whiskey comes from Suntory, Japan’s oldest malt whiskey distillery, and is aged in used sherry barrels for approximately 15 years. Only 16,000 bottles have been made.

Scottish whiskies were shut out of the top five slots, a first in the 12 years that the Whisky Bible has been published. Americans rounded out the podium: The second-place whiskey was William Larue Weller and third place went to Sazerac Rye 18-Year-Old, both from Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Each of the American whiskeys goes for about $500 a bottle, making the winning Suntory spirit’s $160 price tag look like a bargain—if you can find it. The drink is sold only online and in specialty liquor stores.