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Canada's Crown Royal Has Just Claimed The Title Of Best Whisky In The World

11/20/2015 01:25 EST | Updated 11/20/2015 01:59 EST

Canadian whisky brand Crown Royal has nabbed the title of World Whisky of the Year 2016 for its Northern Harvest Rye, the first time the honor has gone to a Canadian brand.

A respected authority on all things whisky, writer Jim Murray pronounced the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye the best of 2016 calling the result a game changer, and a surprise.

"Crown Royal Northern Harvest pops up out of nowhere and changes the game," said Murray in a statement. "To say this is a masterpiece is barely doing it justice."

Murray gave the whisky a mark of 97.5 out of 100.

Crown Royal's Northern Harvest Rye, priced at $30 for 750 ml, is the brand's first ever blended spirit: 90 percent rye whisky is described as smooth and spicy.

This year, Murray has expanded his list of top whiskies from three to five:

Here are the 2016 World Whiskies of The Year according to Jim Murray:

1. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, Canada

2. Pikesville Straight Rye, USA

3. Midleton Dair Ghaelach, Ireland

4. William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot.2014), USA

5. Suntory Yamazaki Mizunara (Bot.2014), Japan

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