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