Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese whiskyImage by Jit Bag/Flickr

For decades, if not centuries, we have known Scotland to be the whisky capital, wherein only the best brews are produced. We have craved the Scottish labels, sworn by them and now we see Scotland’s image dashed against the rocks. Tumbling to the depths of embarrassment, Scotland must deal with the shock of having a Japanese malt, the Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, named the best in the world, while the best European whisky of the year was found to be the English tipple Chapter 14 Not Peated, from the English Whisky Company.

This is the first time in the 12 year history of the Whisky Bible, Scotland has not even made the top 5 in best whiskies. That is most probably the most undeniably frustrating situation the country could have been placed in. The 2015 World Whisky Bible, compiled by whisky expert Jim Murray, named Japan’s brew as the best in the world, finding it hard to describe the spirit as anything other than “near indescribable genius” and giving it an impressive 97.5 out of 100.

The naming of the best in the industry is done by Jim Murray, a whisky connoisseur who puts together the world’s leading whisky guide, wherein each edition contains “roughly 4,500 detailed, professionally analysed and easy to understand tasting notes on the world’s leading and lesser known whiskies.” After tasting over 1,000 different brews, Murray decided it was time for Scotland to taste a dose of humility as well, considering its scotch now landed in the mediocre rankings. For the first time ever, Japan not only reached the final five shortlist, but beat its American rivals as well, taking home first place. The Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 is available in certain specialty stores and online for around $133. It is most definitely a splendid win for the Japanese and a slap back to reality for the Northerners that had claimed superiority in the whisky business to date.