The Scots can be unpredictable—the country's official animal is a unicorn, and then there's the whole Loch Ness Monster business. But what may come as more of a shock to you is that this is the first time in 12 years not a single Scottish whisky made top five rankings in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, the Telegraph reports.
The winning title belongs to Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 from Suntory, Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, founded in 1923. This "rich and fruity" whisky has an "exquisite boldness" and a finish of "light, teasing spice," according to the whisky expert himself, Murray, who sampled over 1,000 new entries for the Bible's 2015 edition.
Now hear us out before you form an angry mob yielding your finest glassware and fretting over what’s become of the world of liquor. Japan produces some of the finest whiskies worldwide. And if you don’t want to hear us out, then listen to restaurateur and chef Michael Mina of Bourbon Steak Los Angeles at The Americana at Brand.
“I think the fact that [the winning Yamakazi is] aged in a sherry cask and done in a single malt style with clean Japanese water, makes it just such a superior quality,” Mina said in an email interview.
The Yamakazi Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 scored 97.5 out of 100 and earned great acclaim for being "near indescribable genius," but getting your hands on some isn’t an easy task. Only 18,000 bottles were made, it’s sold out in the Whisky Bible’s online shop, and it’s only available in a few specialty shops in the U.K. for about $160. As an alternative, here are Chef Mina’s top four Japanese whiskies so you know what to drink—until the Yamakzi Sherry Cask is back in stock, of course.