A Canadian malt named in honour of the Queen Mother has been crowned the world's best whisky. 

Crown Royal Northern Harvest was awarded 97.5 marks out of 100 in whisky expert Jim Murray’s annual guidebook, the Whisky Bible, after he sampled more than 1000 whiskies. 

It is the first time that a Canadian whisky has won the prestigious prize. 

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Mr Murray said: “Last year people were shocked when I gave Yamazaki the award – until they tasted it. Then they saw it was not the affront to Scotch they first thought and something truly extraordinary.

“This year, doubtless there will be many more eyebrows raised because rarely is Canada mentioned when it come to the world’s top whiskies. But, again, I have no doubt people finding the bottling I tasted will be blown away with this whisky’s uncompromising and unique beauty. It certainly puts the rye into Canadian rye.”

Guidebook’s top five 

1 Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye (Canada), £47 a bottle. Gentle oak note, rich butterscotch, spiced vanilla and a smooth, creamy finish.

2 Pikesville 100 proof Straight Rye (USA), £33 a bottle. Dry and spicy with honeyed rye and cloves and a cinnamon edge

3 Midleton Dair Ghaelach (Ireland), £180 a bottle. Rich and complex, with notes of toffee, vanilla, dried fruit and spice. Matured for 15-22 years in ex-bourbon casks.

4 William Larue Weller (USA), £65 a bottle. Bourbon with spices

5 Yamazaki Mizunara (Japan), £45 a bottle. A single malt matured in Mizunara oak casks

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