LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Three whiskeys from the Sazerac Company have taken the top awards for the best whiskeys in the world in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2020, winning World Whiskey of the Year for its 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, William Larue Weller 125.7 proof second finest whiskey in the world, and Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 128.8 proof third finest whiskey in the world.
The 1792 Full Proof scored a 97.5 out of 100 and its taste is described by Jim Murray as “you can only sit, eyes closed, in awe. This is a delivery of perfection: intense, seemingly no prisoners. Yet, actually, you find it has the grace to allow every character to make a speech of great erudition, ultimately a discourse of how so many facets can be singular yet together make for such glorious integration. On this evidence, Buffalo Trace has a threat to its world supremacy – from a rival distillery…they own! This is a whiskey of stand out, almost stand-alone beauty. Finding fault is not easy with something this intense and magnificently rich.”
This is the first time the whiskeys from one company have won all three top spots in the 17 years Jim Murray has been giving the awards in his Whiskey Bible.
“Even I was pretty staggered that a single company managed to scoop my awards not just for World Whisky of the Year, but 2nd and 3rd best, too,” Murray said. “It is unprecedented. Though, of course, the awards encompass two distilleries. Even so, it was not something I particularly desired as I know there will be eyebrows raised and claims of favouritism, which, of course, is never the case with the Whiskey Bible. I call it exactly as I see it. Even so, for that reason, once I knew the top three (two bourbons and a rye, and all from the same company!), I immediately built in an extra two days to run through my top ten whiskies once more….and the results came out exactly the same! The awards are truly justified.”
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“For the 1792 Full Proof to eclipse last year’s winner, the William Larue Weller bourbon, which this year came second, and third-placed Thomas Handy Rye – both from Buffalo Trace – is nothing short of staggering,” continued Murray. “But this is not just a great day for Sazerac, whom I heartily congratulate, but Kentucky whiskey in general.”
“To not only be named World Whiskey of the Year, but also to have our whiskeys be named the second and third finest whiskeys in the world is astonishing,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Sazerac Company. “It is truly a testament of the skill and dedication of not only our two Master Distillers but to all of our team members at Sazerac. We could not be happier and more motivated to continue to strive for perfection in the American whiskeys we make.”
Other Sazerac whiskeys named award winners in the “Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2020” include:
- Bourbon of the Year – 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Rye of the Year – Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 128.8 Proof
- Bourbon No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels) – 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- Bourbon No Age Statement (Single Barrel) – E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel
- Bourbon Age 11-15 Years – Pappy Van Winkle 15-Year-Old
- Bourbon Age 21 Years and Older – Pappy Van Winkle 23-Year-Old
- Rye No Age Statement – Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 128.8 Proof
- Rye Age 11-15 Years – Van Winkle Family Reserve 13-Year-Old
- Rye Over 15 Years – Sazerac 18 Year Old
The 1792 Full Proof joins numerous other whiskeys produced by Sazerac that Jim Murray has also named the World Whiskey of the Year, including E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon in 2017, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac, 128.6 proof in 2013, the Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye Whiskey in 2010, The George T. Stagg Bourbon 129 proof in 2006, and the George T. Stagg Bourbon in both 2005 and 2004. In all, seven whiskeys produced by Buffalo Trace have been named to Jim’s top spot in the past 17 years, an amazing accomplishment.
Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2020 can be pre-ordered at http://whiskybible.com/