Jim Murray Names Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain His 2018 Whiskey Of The Year

It is that whiskey time of year again. Nope we are not talking about the fall bourbon hunting season, but that other event – the annual naming of Jim Murray’s whiskey of the year. It is sometimes controversial, and sometimes much more mundane. We will venture to say this year it is more the latter, with Murray naming Buffalo Trace’s Colonel E.H. Taylor 4 Grain Bottled in Bond Aged 12 years his 2018 Whiskey of the Year.

Murray, who is known for better or worse for his yearly Whisky Bible, scored it a 97.5 out of 100 (for the curious, we scored it a 4/5 in our review earlier this year). Key notes from his review indicate it has a finish that is “slow, lightly oiled, gently spiced chocolate fade which goes on…and on.”

Jim Murray Whiskey of the Year

image copyright The Whiskey Wash

“Nothing could match the astonishing beauty of its surprisingly delicate weight and complexity combined,” said Murray in a prepared statement. “It was though time stood still in the tasting room; I just knew…”

It is said that with over 1,200 new whiskies tasted for the latest edition of the international guide, the Col. Taylor faced stiff competition from European rivals to claim the top award. Following in second place was Redbreast Aged 21 Years, the best result for an Irish entrant in Whisky Bible history and only the second time the Emerald Isle has made the top three. It scored 97 out of 100, earning praise from Murray for “one of the most wonderful noses on this planet” which reportedly helped make it “one of the world’s most beautiful and iconic whisk(e)ys.”

Rounding out the top world winners was the Glen Grant Aged 18 Years Rare Edition, which was named Third Finest following its second-place finish in 2017, also with 97 points.

Sectional winners include: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canadian Whiskey of the Year); The Norfolk Parched from St George’s (European); Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky (Japanese); Paul John Kanya (Asian) and Limeburner’s Dark Winter (Southern Hemisphere).

Bourbon of the Mont Club
About the author

Nino Marchetti

As the founder of The Whiskey Wash, I'm crazy about whiskey, I can tell you, and I aim to share this passion with you through this site. As for my professional background, I’m a writer and journalist by trade and an Internet dot-com veteran prior to that. My most recent venture prior to this was as the founder and editor-in-chief of EarthTechling, a leading consumer focused green technology news website. I also have an extensive collection of whiskies from both start up distilleries and centuries old operations in Scotland alike, sprinkled with some other odds and ends from around the world, that have provided me with a unique picture of what’s going on with this wonderful spirit.

  • Anthony Bakker

    Curious as to whether these tastings are done “blind”. It is one thing to review a bottle on it’s own and write up your thoughts in the moment. I do that myself. But, in my mind, if you are going to be pitting one appellation against another, it should be done “blind” so that it truly is the nose and the mouth which are determining a winner.