The best whisky in the world? (or just magnolia wall paint?)

The lifestyle magazine The Gentlemans Journal recently published an article entitled “The five best whiskies”. That’s a bold statement on such a divisive subject.  Whats on the list? A Glenmorangie 1963 vintage? A Highland Park 50? A Brora 1972?

Nope. Heres the list and the links to purchase them.

Powers 12 Year Old

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

Highland Park 12 Year Old

Bowmore 25 Year Old

Hibiki 12 Year Old

Contraversial? I suppose so but I think its more a case of a misleading headline.  You can argue the merits of each dram but are they the BEST?  

Its hard to quantify best, however I will say that this is a great spectrum of whiskies to try.  Personally I have not tried the Powers 12y.o but I am familiar with all the others.  

If you wanted to pick 5 whiskies to show the range and diversity of tastes and styles of whisky then this would probably be a good starting 5. A whisky tasting platter if you will. A starting point for someone starting their whisky tasting adventures.

An Irish whisky, a smooth, mature speysider, an easy drinking all rounder, a smoky yet rich 25 year old and a top notch blended whisky from Japan. A wide spectrum indeed.  

The Hibiki 12 is a fantastic dram and is one of my favourite whiskies to pass the time with. Very pleasant and never disappoints.  This would definately stay in the 5 as its a good example of both a blend and a non-scottish whisky.  

If we were to keep it to 5 scottish whiskies I’d swap in a Clynelish for the Powers and The Bailie Nicoll Jarvie for the Hibiki (thats another discussion entirely)

As for Highland Park.  Its probably found lurking in everyones cupboard and behind every hotel bar in the world.  I was at a whisky tasting evening some time ago, at which we tried some fantastic well aged and well finished whiskies varying between 16 and 25 year old.  There were five of us at the table and over the course of the evening some got the thumbs up and some got the thumbs down however there was only one whisky that we all could enjoy and agree on. 

It was Highland Park 12 and was in the bar afterwards.  

Not to diminish the ones we had tried earlier, far from it, they were some mouthwatering expressions and beautiful whiskies.  Stick a group of whisky lovers in a room and you will likely find it hard to get a consensus on a whisky.  To (slightly mis)quote my brother “Its like painting your living room magnolia, nobody will hate it and nobody will love it”

Whether it makes Highland Park the best whisky in the world is doubtful, however it remains universally loved, more than likely for this reason.

Finally what is the best whisky in the world? 

Last week a whisky buddy and I went camping and took along a hip flask or two.  We knew what was in some of them but one was a mystery whisky.  Sitting round the fire, bantering and generally shooting the sh*t we enjoyed the worlds best whisky. 

What was it? Absolutely no idea (and still have no clue) 

At that time, whatever that was, It could not, and never will, be beaten. 

The original article from The Gentlemans Journal can be found here.

2 comments

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you Drammer,we get caught up with lists of the best this and the best that
    . Now, if it was a list of the five best whiskies in the world currently available in a blind tasting session in a sterile environment by the top ten world blenders we MAY be close to finding out the results but, as you said we know that mood,location, what we ate last;hell even the weather can change how we perceive taste and smell.
    Do we get rid of these lists? Who knows. Do we enjoy whiskies at that moment in time? Certainly.

    Michael.

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