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BEST of the BEST 2014 | Leisure | Spirits: John Walker & Sons Odyssey

Richard Carleton Hacker

Already the best-selling Scotch-whisky producer in the world, John Walker & Sons continues to add offerings to its prestigious portfolio, which includes Johnnie Walker XR 21 and King George V. The company’s latest rarity, which will be made available in limited allocations, is John Walker & Sons Odyssey (www.johnniewalker​.com, $1,100), a whisky that pays homage to Alexander Walker’s epic seafaring voyages. This intrepid theme informs not only the nautically inspired crystal decanter’s silver gyroscopic holder but also the spirit’s composition: Jim Beveridge, master blender, fashioned Odyssey from three single malts, each from a different distillery, using absolutely no grain whisky. Although the identities of the component whiskies remain a mystery, the musty-sherry and honeyed-heather hints on the nose of the first triple-malt whisky ever produced by the company suggest the Highlands, while a whiff of smoke brings Islay to mind. A single sip all but confirms these speculations, and the long, silky finish sails smoothly toward its final destination.