Malt Resistance

Narrating the Rise and Fall of Single Malt Scotch.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Does Jim Murray have any shame?

Since we at Maltresistance pride ourselves on our independence and outspokenness, here is the lowdown on one of the worst frauds in the Whisky industry. To wit:

Why would anyone consider Jim Murray an authority on anything, much less whisky, absolutely baffles me. Jim Murray is in the running for world's greatest fraud and he's got an ego to match. For starters, he modestly titled his collection of badly written (but often quite funny) tasting notes the "whiskybible", I suppose that in his own eyes this makes him the WhiskyGod....

I've always wanted to believe that Jim Murray was a good guy, a disinterested Whisky writer whose goal was to popularize Whisky in all of its incarnations... But everytime I try to give him credit, or take his tasting notes seriously, hard cold facts come in the way. For example, the other day I found out that the 3 brands of corn Whiskey made by Heaven-Hill distileries (Dixie Dew, JW Corn and Mellow Corn) were and have been for a long time, one and the same whiskey, same age, etc... Yet, Jim Murray reviews them as three seperate products and gives them wildy different grades and notes in his maltoporn compendium full of "impossibly-badly-written-its -funny-tasting-notes" and inuendos. (That's the aforementionned whiskybible in case you missed it!). To sum up, that's 3 different tasting notes, 3 different grades for the same whiskey!!! If that hilarious example doesn't bring home the fact that Jim Murray is a bufoon and a sorry excuse for a taster, nothing will.

If his hignessness (the greatest whisky writer in the world as he constantly refers to himself in his own book) comes anywhere near my town on one of his pontification tours I'll make sure to ask him why he gave great reviews and grades in Whisky Magazine to whisk(e)ys of a certain japanese distillery without at the same time disclosing to us WM readers that he was on their payroll as a 'consultant'... Perhaps that's the real reason he no longer reviews whiskeys for that publication?

And how about his giving near-perfect grades to whiskies "he" was paid to help create? Ardbeg 17 comes to mind, but there are many others... He also was on The Balvenie's payroll and at least one U.S. distillery but made sure that no one reading his rave reviews of these distilleries products were aware of his blatant conflict of interest. And then as a cherry on the cake, he goes on and on about how 'fearless' and independent he supposedly is on his book. I kid you not, the guys has absolutely no shame, not one ounce of it.

I always wonder if when he's about to give very high grades to whiskies he was paid to help create, the notion of recusing himself even cross his mind?

Doubt it... This insecure whacko who talks of wife swapping in his 'book' and basically says all Cognac is caramel-colored crap, needs to learn how to write (or get a real editor; I know I'd like one...), he also needs to take an extensive course in ethics, and --last not least -- he urgently needs to humbly thank Michael Jackson on his hands and knees for making his own career a possibility. Until then, he's nothing short of a disgrace to the whiskyworld.