The continually increasing popularity of American whiskies on the world market certainly won't be harmed by the release of authority Jim Murray's iconic "Whisky Bible 2017" edition.
It names Booker’s Rye, a 13-year-old, $300-a-bottle spirit from Kentucky, the world's best whisk(e)y. The last time an American spirit was ranked on top was in 2013 when Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye was rated No. 1.
Murray's pronouncement on the Booker's Rye called it “simply a staggering example of a magnificent rye showing exactly what genius in terms of whiskey actually means.”
It should be noted that, while the Booker's brand originated in the U.S. and still is made here, it is owned by Beam Suntory, the Japanese spirits conglomerate that a number of years ago purchased Booker's parent company, Jim Beam Brands. It is not the first "Whiskey Bible" honor for Suntory. In 2015, its Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask was named No. 1.
Booker’s Rye has a huge alcohol content, bottled at 68.1% alcohol by volume (abv), or 136.2 proof. Murray describes the taste as “well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. This uncut rye has a spicy, robust flavor, but it is not overpowering.”