Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Jura Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
While the Isle Of Jura may be only a five-minute ferry ride away from Islay, and be relatively the same size in acreage, it has a much smaller population of both humans and whisky distilleries. Islay is well known for its history of distilling. There were once as many as 23 operating distilleries on the island (currently there are nine, with plans in the works for two more).
Jura, however, is known for one. One distillery, one road, one pub, one hotel, one shop, and one whirlpool. The occupations of the 200 or so residents, for the most part, have something to do with the distillery. The Isle is also well known for its red deer population, which numbers close to 6,000, although I believe that they have less to do with the distillery’s operation.
The Isle Of Jura is also known for The Paps of Jura, and as being the location where George Orwell escaped the noise and distraction to finish his classic dystopian novel 1984.
I find it to be an interesting parallel between Orwell needing solitude and isolation to be able to complete his novel and the recent isolation some of us felt during the pandemic. I really appreciate hearing how friends and colleagues adjusted to the lock-down by trying to utilize the time at home to learn and do new things. I heard of languages being learned, podcast starting, and pets being adopted among many other skills and interests.
I, myself, began writing whisky reviews. So let’s get to it.
Jura Distillery is known for having some of the tallest stills in Scotland. The 12 year old spends its time maturing in ex-bourbon barrels, and is then finished in Oloroso sherry casks. This is a tried and true method that should result in a dram that is “Doubleplusgood.”
Tasting Notes: Jura 12 Year Old
Vital Stats: 100% malted barley distilled on The Isle Of Jura. Matured in American white oak ex-bourbon barrels with an aged Oloroso sherry cask finish. 80 proof (40% ABV). $48 average price per 750 ml.
Appearance: Clear, but with a rich depth of body. Copper to tawny hued with clearly defined rivulets on the side of the tasting glass.
Nose: Gentle smoke with a medium intensity, followed by tropical fruit. Chocolate develops followed by coffee and banana.
Palate: The promises of the aroma are fulfilled with more developed tropical fruit and chocolate notes. The coffee characteristics balance out the slight sherry sweetness with a touch of bitter. The smoke only presents itself faintly during a medium finish
If I were to find myself stranded on a sparsely populated island with only some deer to keep me company, I sure hope it’s this one. This whisky really seems to capture the character of a place with a reasonable price. Now, all that is left to do is wait for inspiration to strike.
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Jason Marshall has spent his career as a bartender advocate and mentor , providing an opportunity for the best new faces and ideas to flourish. The process has given him opportunities to stretch creatively, develop wonderful people who branched out to their own passions, and host cocktail competitions with a...